Telephone: +44 (0)1269 871 944
Mobile: +44 (0)7794 043 282
Schedule Appointment: Book
Be responsible, be sustainable
At its heart, sustainability is about making decisions that will meet your needs without compromising those of future generations. Those decisions can be personal, or business related. Often, the first subject that instantly comes to mind when we think of sustainability is climate change and what we can do to lessen the negative impacts of our carbon footprint. Climate change falls under the environmental pillar of sustainability, but there are three pillars in total: environment, social and economic. Another way to remember these pillars are the 3 Ps:
- Planet (environmental)
- People (social)
- Profits (economic)
As individuals, we often think that any changes we make are not going to be enough to make an impact. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Our behaviours impact both our immediate and wider environments, even if we don’t immediately see the results of choices we have made. We might not even witness the benefits first-hand or even for years to come. However, it all adds up. In fact, to make any change at all, we all need to start taking more personal responsibility to improve sustainability.
As individuals, there are several things you could look at to become more sustainable
- Waste less food – organise your weekly meals for you and your family. This ensures you only buy what you need. It also gives your children an opportunity to be involved with the planning meaning they are more likely to eat what is provided and therefore, not waste anything.
- Raise awareness – don’t shy away from conversations about the environment, particularly if you have children. They are likely to have covered the topic at school, so as a family you could decide on actions you are going to take to help the planet one day at a time.
- Be a responsible consumer – shop local, buy Fairtrade, conflict free and cruelty free where you can. As Anna Lappé, educator, philanthropist and author said “every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”
- Invest in ESG funds – if you have personal savings and investments with a financial advisor, you can request you invest in ESG funds. This is also known as sustainable investing and is a way to invest while positively impacting both society and the wider environment.
- Donate – this doesn’t just have to be money. You can donate other unwanted items such as clothes and furniture.
- Volunteer – if you have nothing to donate, you can donate your time, which is what volunteering is and will be a way to give back to a cause close to your heart or that you believe in.
In business, sustainability encompasses the entire supply chain from the CEO or board members who make decisions, right through to suppliers and even retailers. They all have a part to play however, as a business owner, there are a few basic places to start.
- Minimise waste – identify and limit sources of waste, promoting recycling or aftermarket and avoiding landfill, enabling circular economy.
- Avoid plastic – evaluate use of materials and consider total environmental burden, sourcing portfolio redesign for minimum total impact.
- Supply chain transparency – eradicate child labour and modern slavery and audit your own suppliers’ labour practices
- Take the stairs, cycle to work or encourage car-pooling
- Switch to green energy where possible
- Buy in bulk – reduce the number of orders required by buying more to save in the future. If you are a small business, can you unite with another, similar business to help reduce waste?
- If your business invests, can you invest in ESG funds?
- Collaborate with other businesses – can you use their waste product or offer them yours? After all, one business’s waste is another’s raw material.
We are all personally responsible for taking steps towards sustainability. We shouldn’t be coerced or forced into it – after all, any positive changes we make now will positively impact and directly affect the lives of our children’s children.
Whether we see the impact or not, one positive change can make ripples far beyond what we imagine.
For more about my professional and personal coaching packages, feel free to get in touch today and book your no obligation, 15-minute coffee and connect session!