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.
The One Planet goals for land and nature include:
- To have a positive impact on natural ecosystems and prevent harm, from extraction to production, and retail;
- To source materials responsibly and eliminate the use of materials associated with the destruction of natural habitats; and
- To make a positive contribution to local biodiversity.
Businesses which are aligned with the principles of One Planet Living recognize that their activities and operations have an impact, whether they are positive or negative, on the natural environment and wildlife. These impacts may be direct through day-to-day business operations or indirect through the services provided to customers.
It is important to understand and acknowledge that environmental impacts occur throughout the supply chain from extraction and processing, to retail, in use and finally end-life disposal. Have you, as a business owner, really looked into your full operation and understood the impact your business is having on the environment? Are you environmentally compliant? Are your suppliers environmentally compliant? These are the type of questions you should be asking yourself if you are interested in aligning to the concept of One Planet Living.
Here are some tips which can help your business protect land and nature.
- Assess the potential environmental impacts and benefits associated with materials in your supply chain or industry you serve.
- Always try to substitute unsustainable materials (e.g. materials that degrade the environment, palm oil etc.) with eco-friendly alternatives, or source the materials from certified sustainable sources e.g. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) timber.
- Avoid products tested on animals.
- When constructing new builds, always investigate the option of building on brownfield sites which are previously developed or degraded sites.
- You identify any key habitats or species located on your site and implement plans to ensure that these species and habitats are adequately protected.
- Identify any onsite ecosystem services and ensure that these are maintained or enhanced.
- Where options are limited, such as in a leased or shared property, consider supporting an appropriate conservation organisation.
- Education is always key - encourage your staff in becoming more interested in protecting the environment. Organise a beach or river clean up, to demonstrate the impact human activities are having on the environment. A picture is worth a thousand words.
As a final note, evidence suggests that contact with nature is good for mental health and will ultimately increase economic productivity and resilience. Involve your staff in greening your office space with functional areas such as setting up vegetable gardens or putting up owl boxes.
Do you know if your business is having an environmental impact throughout its supply chain? Is your business compliant with environmental legislation? Why not have our Sustainability Officer give you a call to help?
Book a Consultation to Speak to our Green Office Sustainability Consultant.
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