It seems like there’s a lot of focus in today’s marketplace over the idea of “going green.” The general public has taken at least a passing interest in ecology and is rewarding companies which show the same interest with brand loyalty. This, of course, gives companies a reason to profess an interest in the environment as well, implementing sustainability strategies to garner public approval.
When we talk about company sustainability, we’re not talking about keeping the company working and profitable, we’re talking about the company doing what it can to sustain the resources that they use, so that the entire ecosystem can be sustained. In the long run, that helps ensure the sustainability of the company as well, but that’s not the true focus.
While some companies that are implementing sustainability policies may have a genuine interest in preserving the ecosystem, most are more interest in maintaining the company profitable. Even so, anything that pleases the customer is likely to end up showing up in the bottom line.
Making a company “sustainable” is not easy. It requires rethinking how the company operates and may require a pretty hefty investment. How much it actually costs depends upon a lot of things; starting with what type of business the company is in and how much that activity currently affects the environment.
Regardless of the company, their current carbon footprint and how much change they have to make in order to go green, the first step is always developing a sustainability plan. This plan outlines the company’s sustainability goals and how the company is going to go about meeting them.
Developing this plan is a complicated process, which requires input from a broad range of people within the organization, as well as suppliers and consultants. While there are a lot of things that can be done, the priority must be placed on those that will provide the maximum possible effectiveness, in the minimum possible time and for the minimal possible cost.
If you’ve never gone through this process before, it can be complicated and confusing. If you are the one chosen to develop the company’s sustainability strategy, then you’ll need to learn about it and how to develop a policy. You can find this information in our BSBSUS501A course on Developing Workplace Policies and Procedures for Sustainability.
Often, there are some rather simple things that a company can do, as their opening moves towards sustainability. These can be as simple to implement as reusing cardboard shipping cartons to reduce waste. Such a move also has the added benefit of saving the company money along the way. More complicated steps usually require taking the time to develop the necessary changes and get approval for the use of capital funding.
Regardless of the company’s motivation for sustainability, there are benefits to be gained by implementing a sustainability policy. In many cases, the same changes that are made for sustainability can save the company money over the long term. In some cases, these changes had been ignored previously, simply because the time frame for the return on investment was too long. However, by making it part of the sustainability policy, there are two benefits to reap from the change, increasing the likelihood of implementation.
This article was published in Equipped, Fortress Learning’s free monthly magazine for success.