Sustainability

"‘Comply’ is not a vision”

Ray Anderson, founder of Interface

Don’t be scared off by the idea of “sustainability”.

Think of sustainability simply as a process that helps you, your team, and your company do things better in the future and to demonstrate that improvement to your customers and stakeholders, rather than just being yet ‘another thing to do.’

Consider also that sustainability isn’t something that’s going to be here today and gone tomorrow. As more people are using more products, more quickly, using finite resources, customers and investors are increasingly demanding proof of “green credentials” from suppliers and broader industry. Relatedly, Government focus and associated regulation of “sustainability” has increased over time and will continue to do so to meet consumer and investment demands, and international agreements. Therefore, in turn, competition for resources will continue to increase for the foreseeable future, with prices continuing to rise, and the availability of certified-compliant products keep falling. This means that consideration of competition by companies of lesser certified, or by non-certified will be increasingly important to demonstrate your credentials

So what is Sustainability?

The first thing to remember is that Sustainability isn’t just about “being green” in the physical environment. Sustainability also means understanding your business and your business environment. Sustainability means “working smarter” with your clients and suppliers, and achieving and maintaining lasting meaningful advantages over your competitors.

The second thing is that sustainability is predictable and manageable within the scope of the company.

But where do you start? You may already have quality and cost management practices in place. – sustainability easy to add for a quality focussed firm.

Sustainability, ultimately, means your business survival.

Many businesses today look at the “triple bottom line” (i.e., their financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities), but what do the terms “sustainable” or "green" mean in the world of property & construction?

Green building is responsible building; where firms focus not only on construction itself, but on the impact of the entire process of planning, development, construction & eventual renovation and, ultimately, decommissioning upon the broader environment and the wider economy.

So what will I get from placing a focus on sustainability assessment and certification?

Construction expands the definition for sustainability well outside the limits “green”. Construction considers the economic, social, and even personal impacts of sustainability related changes in the business landscape.

Producers and processors are under increasing pressure to take meaurable steps which reflect the environmental, social, ethical and economic impacts of their operations and products. Buyers’ purchasing decisions are increasingly driven by efforts to ensure positive impacts and reduce any negative social, environmental, and economic impacts.

Showing a digital record of responsible sourcing of raw materials, with full product traceability, providing a chain of custody across the entire procurement process from the producer to the end-user provides clients’ confidence that the certification process has verified all the necessary requirements without them having satisfy themselves (or, in turn, their own stakeholders’) indecently.

Philip Sanders takes the mystery out of the terms "green" and “sustainable” to incorporate the necessary measures to achieve impact across your business.

"We must shift our thinking away from short-term gain toward long-term investment and sustainability, and always have the next generations in mind with every decision we make”

Deb Haaland, US Politician

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