Continuing with our series exploring the One Planet Living principles, the principle of “Zero Waste” takes the spotlight this month. This principle focuses on reducing consumption (thereby reducing waste), reusing and recycling to achieve zero waste to landfill. Businesses, suppliers and customers should be encouraged and supported to do the same.
Continuing our series exploring Bioregional’s ten principles of One Planet Living, sustainable travel and transport takes the spotlight this month. Can business travel and transport ever be sustainable?
Considering that one will always leave a footprint, be it from the journey itself or the waste produced along the way, is sustainable travel achievable? For us, sustainable travel means making conscious decisions about the travel requirements that we can control.
Many businesses have transport needs that are essential for the day-to-day running of the business which cannot be completely controlled such as using a courier for deliveries. However, staff business travel can certainly be controlled or managed in such a way that it has the least impact on the environment as possible.
Continuing our series exploring Bioregional’s ten principles of One Planet Living, this month we will be looking at the culture and community principle. The importance of instilling a culture of sustainability within staff and the community within which businesses operate cannot be overstated enough. Bioregional’s culture and community principle encourages businesses to nurture local identity and heritage, empower communities and promote a culture of sustainable living.
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.
I have always loved the quote:
“The greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of inspiration.” - by Cornel West
Business owners are becoming more aware of the effect their activities are having on the environment, and because of this, people are showing a greater interest in transitioning from the ordinary, everyday, overdone corporate gifts to now gifting customers with gifts that have “a meaning”. What a better way to inspire your colleagues/clients to be sustainable than to gift them with an eco-friendly gift to remind them of the value of supporting brands that are socially and environmentally friendly.
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.
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.