Sustainability in Workplaces
What is Sustainability in Workplaces?
Sustainability is meeting our own needs without jeopardising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Being sustainable in a workplace means being aware of balancing the planet, people and profit to produce success and viability in the long term run.
Sustainable practices, regardless small or large, have significant impacts in the long run. By adopting sustainable changes, a smaller carbon footprint is produced as well as a reduction in the amount of pollution released into the atmosphere. Ultimately, future generations will reap the most benefit from improved air and water quality, fewer landfills and more renewable energy sources.
Furthermore, being a sustainable organisation showcases its sense of responsibility and awareness to its impact on the environment. In return, this convinces their customers that they are investing and doing business with organisations which care for society’s well being.
Where to Start?
Being a sustainable organisation requires continuous effort, and commitment from each and every one of its members. However, we recommend baby steps in efforts to achieve optimal sustainability practices. Perhaps by encouraging use of reusable cutleries instead of plastic ones in the office. Remember, small steps lead to bigger ones!
Who Should Be Involved?
Being a sustainable organisation requires continuous effort and commitment from employers and employees. Both are responsible to make sure that the practices are applied in all aspects of the organisation, be it logistics or the suppliers. And surprise! Consumers play a part in this too. As a consumer, a sense of responsibility to keep up the sustainable efforts in their own way is a must to make sustainability a well-rounded effort.
Admittedly, being committed to sustainability requires tremendous effort, time and resources. However, for such a great cause, it is worth sacrificing our efforts now for a greater future of the world.
How to Act Sustainably?
Here are some of our favourite ways to apply sustainable practices in our daily business!
Switch to Deforestation-Free Paper
Let’s admit it. We use paper for all sorts of things such as invoices, meeting memos and plain old note-taking. However, our age-old ways need to change if we are serious about saving the environment. Besides switching to digital where applicable (not only is it environmentally friendly, but it’s also easier to keep track of!), using deforestation-free paper is also able to reduce one’s impact on the environment. Paper with FSC certification ensures that the paper is produced in ways that the forests are not impacted. Due to the fact that the forests are home to numerous species of wildlife, this certification confirms that the forests are being managed in a way that preserves biological diversity and benefits the lives of local people and workers while ensuring it sustains economic viability.
Check Your Suppliers
Ensure that your suppliers' values align with your organisation’s principles. Be assured that your suppliers’ company’s ethics and environmental practices are ones that you would be proud to be associated with. This can be done by confirming their organisations’ environmental certificates or researching their suppliers too!
Measure Your Carbon Footprint
Carbon footprint can be categorised into three categories which are Scope 1, 2, and 3. Scope 1 is direct emissions from activities of the organisation or parties under their management. For example, air-conditioning leaks and fleet vehicles. Scope 2 is indirect emissions from electricity purchased and used by the organisation. Scope 3 is also indirect emissions from activities of the organisation that are not owned or managed by them. For instance, it is to do with employees’ business travel, procurement, waste as well as water. Climate Care is an easy tool to calculate your organisation’s carbon footprint.
Setting reduction targets is much easier once an estimate of your organisation’s carbon footprint is acquired. However, it is essential to set scientifically reasonable goals to achieve. Carefully research and study your yearly carbon footprint and set achievable targets to reduce your carbon footprint by the following year. Admittedly, it will require some patience to significantly reduce the carbon footprint but slow and steady always wins the race!