The concept of sustainability is not a new one, built on the recognition that economic growth, environmental balance and social and cultural progress are the three pillars that must be fostered simultaneously to achieve an equitable society for current and future generations. Historically, there has been a close correlation between economic growth and environmental degradation: as populations have grown, the environment has declined. For economic growth to be sustainable, it must be intertwined with proper environmental management as well as cultural and social inclusion.
Sustainability constitutes an organisation’s recognition and efficient use of its share of Natural Capital, which is the geology, soil, water, living organisms and clean air we rely on for goods and services. Responsible environmental management evaluates ways to reduce the amount of resources needed for the production, consumption and disposal of a product or service. The manner in which organisations address the challenges and risks of sustainability is vital to their competitiveness, prosperity and ultimately to their survival.
Organisations that anticipate and manage current and future economic, environmental, social and cultural opportunities and constraints do so by focusing on quality, innovation and productivity.
Sustainability is becoming a core strategic theme at all levels of society. Consumer expectation of conscientious business practices and investor awareness of liabilities are playing a major part in making sustainability an important trade issue, compelling industry to move towards an active demonstration of measurable “Sustainability” credentials. The practical application of this is primarily by organisations improving their resource use (energy, water, waste), looking at their raw material provenance, and better interacting with the community around them, thereby striving for social and environmental best practice coupled with economic growth.
Benefits of operating sustainably include:
- Reduced operating costs by maximising resource efficiency
- Better environmental regulation compliance
- Identification of risks, such as supply chain risks
- Reduced liabilities
- Better transparency of business activities to customers
- Improved product or service branding
- Minimising social, cultural and environmental impacts.
FNE’s ability to combine technical skills with business management advice can support an organisation’s need to translate sustainability planning into real actions.
Sustainability Planning and Reporting includes the following:
- Supporting executive team to establish core objectives and values
- Developing and mentoring a sustainability team
- Scoping and developing Sustainability Plans
- Facilitating integration of sustainability into business planning processes
- Developing baseline metrics of business performance
- Resource Efficiency Assessments- water, energy and waste
- Material reuse and up-cycling advice
- Sustainable Procurement
Contact: Kara Flannery 086 8314603