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How can I do my bit for sustainability?

ENVIRONMENTAL and sustainability issues are very much in the news at the moment. Environmental consideration has moved rapidly from being seen as pure altruism to being a commercial necessity. Sustainability is all about protecting the environment and improving society but it must be affordable, otherwise our economy itself is not sustainable. But how can we as businesses do our bit? Here are a couple of thought starters.

* Improving our resource efficiency

This means reducing our consumption of finite natural resources while maintaining or increasing output. Energy efficiency is the obvious one as we all consume energy. This could take the form of investing in energy efficient technology, renewable energy generation or implementing behaviour changes in the workplace to reduce consumption. There are cost benefits, with the behaviour changes often being free!

The other main area is waste. Scrap or rework in our processes consumes energy and raw materials that have cost us but give no benefit. Reducing this improves throughput while saving money. Involve your people in identifying improvements.

Can we recycle more? Apart from reducing demand for virgin material, recycling reduces waste disposal costs. Can we work with our suppliers and customers to change or reduce the packaging that we use so that less waste is generated in the first place?

* Improving society

This involves enhancing the economic and social well-being of our staff, suppliers, customers, neighbours and anyone else our businesses interact with. Do we source goods locally? Are we aware of potential modern slavery issues? Do we pay our staff fairly, improve the work environment and demonstrate staff are valued through consultation and personal development. Could you enable your team to offer their time to help the local community, for example in a makeover project for a charity or good cause?

A recent student survey revealed that current students would consider working for 15% less than other offers if the employer demonstrated a good sustainability and environmental record. So if you want to attract and retain the best young people in the future, now is the time to lay the foundations.

By developing a sustainability strategy we can identify appropriate actions and then prioritise them based on our business context and be seen to be doing our bit for the planet as well as enhancing our reputation with staff and customers and improving business performance.

Find out how Envertis can help further, get in touch at or call Richard on 07925 160902.

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