Continuing our series exploring Bioregional’s ten principles of One Planet Living, the spotlight this month is on Land and Nature. In having an academic background focused on the natural environment, this principle is close to my heart and promotes the protection and restoration of land and marine systems for the benefit of people and wildlife.
Continuing our series exploring Bio regional’s ten principles of One Planet Living, the spotlight this month is on equity and local economy. This principle is based on creating “safe, equitable places to live and work which support local prosperity and international fair trade”.
The One Planet goals for equity and local economy include:
- To ensure diversity and equality of opportunity across gender, race, age, sexual orientation and disability.
- To create a vibrant and resilient economy where a significant proportion of money is spent locally.
- To pay all employees a living wage and avoid large income gaps.
- To ensure pensions and investments are managed responsibly.
- To conduct international trade fairly and without exploitation.
South Africa is considered to be a water scarce country. In fact, we are ranked as the 30th driest country in the world, receiving an average of 450 mm rainfall per year compared to the global annual average of 870 mm. Increasing population growth and climate change is sure to exacerbate this, as we have already witnessed with the severe droughts experienced in Cape Town in 2017/2018 where “day zero” was terrifyingly close to becoming a reality.
Green Office’s mission is to make businesses efficient and sustainable, and what is important to remember is that these two terms are interlinked. Moving towards a more sustainable business model will allow for the identification of inefficiencies within your business, thus reducing operational costs.
Looking specifically at the print environment, Green Office has assisted their Managed Print Service (MPS) clients to do exactly that, by implementing various sustainability initiatives – reducing print volumes, reducing energy consumption, green procurement and printer cartridge recycling.
Last month, we looked at the first One Planet Living principle of living a happy and healthy life, with healthy food choices obviously being an important aspect to health. However, there is more to food that we need to consider than just choosing to eat more fruit and vegetables – we need to understand where our food comes from to be sustainable. This brings us onto the next One Planet Living principle, local and sustainable food.
Choosing local food has been gaining popularity for a while now with farmers markets becoming all the rage. As consumers, we love the idea of knowing where our food comes from whilst engaging with and supporting local businesses. We know that choosing local supports the local economy and uplifts and supports small scale farmers, but are we aware of what buying local does for the environment?
The first One Planet Living principle we will be exploring is health and happiness. When thinking of the word “sustainability”, one doesn’t normally think about what we dish up on our dinner plates, or our wellbeing for that matter. The reality is however, that a happy and healthy community is a sustainable one, and it’s no different with respect to happy and healthy employees contributing to a business’ sustainability. This tends to be overlooked by employers, yet it is arguably one of the most important aspects to keeping customers happy – vital to any business’s success. Consider the following benefits of ensuring that your employees are happy and healthy
As our business explores the concept and principles of One Planet Living, it is important to understand the science behind the strategy – ecological footprint. Ecological footprint is the only metric that measures the demand we put on nature, and what nature can give us in return. In other words, it measures how fast we consume resources and generate waste in comparison to how fast nature can absorb our waste and generate new resources for us to use.
The human population’s appetite for relentlessly eating away at the Earth’s natural riches and resources is growing out of control.
A report produced by the International Resource Panel, a component of the United Nations Environment Programme, indicated that rising consumption has resulted in resource extraction increasing from 22 billion tons in 1970 to 70 billion tons in 2010. This means that the amount of the planet’s natural resources extracted for human use has tripled in the last 40 years. The report warns that further increases in the use of natural resources will result in critical shortages of materials and an increase in the risk of human conflict.
With the implementation of carbon tax looming in South Africa, it has become more important than ever for businesses to monitor and ultimately reduce their carbon footprint. Apart from cost-saving benefits, adopting a greener, eco-friendlier attitude will ensure that businesses are environmentally and socially responsible – a major drawcard when attracting new clientele.