Business Sustainability in Action

On May 7, 2012, in Uncategorized, by charlalord

planetThis Spring the Walker School of Business welcomed to Webster Yolanda Kakabadse, president of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) International as our 2012 Global Leader in Residence.  Yolanda taught us many things, among those how to do business within our environment while leaving the smallest footprint.  Here is one of the a Sustainability Action Plan for a business based on the 10 Principles of One Planet living she shared with us.

Yolanda say One Planet Living uses ecological footprinting as its key indicator of sustainability while also promotes the idea that living sustainably should mean a better quality of life. We hope you share it within your organization because it can also mean a better quality of business.

Sustainability Action Plan for Business

Zero Carbon – All energy demand from buildings and structures is met from renewable sources either generated on site or from a dedicated off-site source representing new renewable energy capacity

Strategies Options
Reduce heat / cooling
  • Increase the insulation/air tightness of the building
  • Prefer natural ventilation or mechanical ventilation with heat recovery to HVAC
Reduce non-process electricity
  • Increase the energy efficiency of the appliances, fittings, external lighting
  • Influence user behaviour through visible metering and continuous support
Reduce process energy
  • Can heat from the HVAC and process energy be reused anywhere else in the building or on the site?
  • Lobby suppliers to increase the efficiency of equipment
Meeting optimised demand through sustainable sources:
  • Use of on-site renewable energy where possible:

§  Biomass heating

§  PV panels on the roof

  • Large scale off-site wind turbine
  • Buy ‘green’ electricity
  Zero Waste – Reduce waste at source, then reuse, recycle, compost or generate clean energy with the remainder. Broader goals are to minimise exploitation of virgin resources and prevent waste to landfill.


  Reduce non recyclable waste
  • Reduce waste to landfill i.e.

§  No disposable cups/sugar packets etc

§  All packaging in the canteen to be recyclable

  • Understand and reduce non recyclable waste fraction
  Minimise waste generation
  • Reduce the quantity of packaging in your products
  • Eliminate all non-recyclable packaging
  Reduce material use in process:
  • Liaise with suppliers to maximise material and packaging take back of materials
  • Work with suppliers to minimise the quantity of packaging delivered to
Sustainable Transport – Reducing need to travel and provide alternatives to private car use and air travel.


Staff travel – reducing impact:
  • Look at using waste vegetable oil or biodiesel as fuel for the buses to the site
  • Offset remaining transport emissions
Business travel
  • Minimising and optimize air travel
  • Video conferencing facilities
Travel to work
  • Monitor existing travel patterns –staff transport survey
  • Allowing to work from home when relevant
  • In the short term offset all emissions
Optimising Goods Transport
  • Analyse logistics practices for opportunities.
  • Use intermodal transport where possible
  • Optimise waste and recycling collection
Local and Sustainable Materials – Use of local, reclaimed, recycled and low environmental impact materials in construction and estate management should be increased and optimised.  


Supplier materials :
  • Liaise with suppliers to ensure that all materials are responsibly sourced
Directly purchased materials:
  • Review of procurement policy of these materials – could a more sustainable option or more local supplier be found? i.e. recycled paper



Local and Sustainable Food – Healthy diets should be promoted and minimum targets achieved for supply of organic or low-environmental impact food and local sourcing  


Reducing the impact of the food
  • Using local fresh produce rather than processed food
  • Reducing the meat and dairy consumption:

§  Offering vegetarian and vegan options

§  Specifying low impact meat (local and pasture fed)

Reduce waste
  • Reducing food waste – smaller portions with options for a second plate
Sustainable Water – Implement strategies for reducing water demand, increasing reuse and managing rain and waste water sustainably.  


Reducing water demand:
  • Replace or retrofit all toilets with dual flush toilets and waterless PIR urinals. Retrofit tap aerators and flow-restricted showers
Reuse of water
  • Capture rainwater and reuse onsite in the toilets
  • Rainwater to be used for landscape irrigation and minimising irrigation demands on the mains water supply
Natural Habitats and Wildlife – Integrate approaches for the conservation of existing biodiversity and the regeneration of degraded land, as well as increased access to nature by employees  
  • Explore opportunities for buildings to create habitat, e.g. integrated nest boxes, green roofs, etc
  • Design and planting strategy to emphasise native species, which are more likely to support local wildlife
  • Functional and aesthetic landscape, e.g. fruit orchards in car park as part of ‘edible landscaping’ strategy
  • Use of environmentally friendly cleaning products to minimise pollution in production and clean up.
Culture and Heritage – To design and create a workplace with a unique character and identity.  
  • Local sourcing policy – particularly for food
  • Remaining faithful to local aesthetic traditions when considering buildings, infrastructure and landscape
  • Host and support performances of local or traditional performance art, e.g., music, theatre, storytelling
  • Employee intranet and notice board to provide information on local culture and heritage products and events.
Equity and Fair Trade – To target a substantial proportion of total investment in the project towards the local economy by using local skills and materials where possible, hence creating local jobs.  
  • Employ local enterprises and labour insofar as possible
  • Canteen to be encouraged to favour local, low-impact or traditional foods and/or imported fair trade foods
  • Employ disabled and disadvantaged people, provide an onsite crèche
  • Ongoing training for staff
  • Where products cannot be sourced locally, suppliers of ‘fair trade’ products to be favoured
  • All goods should be responsibly sourced – e.g. FSC timber.
Health and Happiness – Foster strategies to promote health and wellbeing in the present and the future  
  • ‘Healthy’ buildings using no toxic materials in the finishes, flooring or exposed inner surfaces, but having natural ventilation and high daylighting levels to create wholesome internal spaces
  • Commitment to ongoing monitoring and reporting as part of ethos of continual improvement.




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