I don’t think I could be writing this blog at a better time. When the planet was crying out for a break from humanity’s destructive ways, Covid-19 reared its ugly head, forcing us to stop what we were doing and rethink the way that we go about our daily lives. Whew – perfect timing! It always amazes me how nature always forces its hand when it matters the most.
Written by Sarah Fernandes in collaboration with Mark Valentine
With pollution, plastics and recycling being front-of-mind for a lot of people at this point in time, the question that often springs to mind is who should be responsible for waste? How often have you looked at the back of packaging after purchase only to see the dreaded words “not currently recycled”? For those who are committed to recycling, there is nothing more frustrating. Shouldn’t the packaging producers at least manufacture something that will make it easy for people to do the right thing? It’s time to delve into the issue of extended producer responsibility.
This month we will be looking at the tenth and final One Planet Living principle, which in my opinion is one of the most important principles for sustainable businesses – materials and products. The principle encourages the use of materials from sustainable sources and promoting products which help consumers reduce their consumption.
Continuing with our series exploring the One Planet Living principles, the principle of “zero carbon energy” takes the spotlight this month. This principle endorses making buildings energy efficient and supplying all energy with renewable's.
Businesses committed to One Planet Living set the following goals with respects to zero carbon energy:
- To help customers save energy and reduce carbon emissions.
- To make all operations and supply chains energy efficient.
- To power all operations and supply chain through renewable energy.
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.
A company interested in pursuing One Planet Living instills a culture of sustainability amongst staff, customers and suppliers. Additionally, they strive to assist the community within which they operate financially and non-financially, such as donating staff time to a community project or undertaking a renovation project at a local school.
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.
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.