My Sustainability Statement
In my work as the Sustainability Strategist, I help organisations work out what sustainability could look like for them, why it might be a good idea to move in that direction and how they can do that. And because it’s my life’s work, I walk the talk as much as I can.
This is my 2015-16 Sustainability Statement, reflecting my work as a sole practitioner with a great network of trusted colleagues, clients, suppliers, friends and family.
A world where people enjoy happy and meaningful lives, in which we and our built and natural environments regenerate each other and enhance the health and wellbeing of all living things.
I practise living in line with the principles of kindness, generosity, contentment and honest, kindly speech. I practise developing awareness and clear thinking in relation to people and other living things on this planet that is so bursting with life!
Values I work and play by include:
- ethical action in all spheres of life
- teamwork that creates fun and synergy
- friendly, open and honest communication
- business and environment as mutually beneficial
- lifelong learning and mentoring of young professionals
- life balance between labour, learning, lifestyle and leisure
- life balance for all people and other living things – plenty for all
- sustainability as a journey of fun, learning, innovation and productivity.
My company is called Environmental Communications Ltd and I created it to fulfil my mission of communicating the financial, social and cultural benefits of good environmental management and enhancing the capability of businesses, government bodies and non-profits to progress towards achieving these.
I am committed to continually reducing my environmental impact at home, play and work and to promoting more sustainable outcomes across the social, cultural, economic and environmental wellbeings. Below are the actions I take to make my personal and professional contribution to a happier world.
Resource reduction and efficiency
I aim to minimise my use of energy, water and materials in line with the waste hierarchy: I avoid buying things I don’t really need and make purchasing decisions based on life cycle analysis where possible, as well as on the amount and nature of packaging materials. I re-use and re-purpose things as much as I can and donate to registered charities clothes and other items I no longer use. I scrupulously sort recyclables and compost what I can so as to dispose of the minimum possible waste.
- maximise the use of electronic editing, to save paper
- refrain from printing, or print two pages per sheet double-sided. I re-use single-sided sheets for one-sided printing and convert remaining blank sides into A5 notepads
- turn off lights, equipment and taps when not in use
- avoid unnecessary travel by using virtual meetings and car-pooling where possible
- buy carbon credits if flying – and choose to fly airlines that offer this facility
- am vegetarian, which is another way of reducing my carbon footprint.
I buy goods and services that are ethically produced and where possible locally produced, ideally with life cycle/embodied energy/carbon intensity criteria and third party certification, including take-back schemes and lifecycle analysis for home and office equipment. This goes from Fair Trade coffee and Trade Aid gifts to office and other equipment.
- my brand-new Apple Mac Book Pro comes with much better environmental credentials than my six-year old one, which I will keep as a back-up machine and recycle at the end of its working life
- I bought my 15-year old Kyocera laser printer on the basis of its then rare environmental credentials and have just bought a new Kyocera printer/scanner/copier because they still have the best environmental criteria for New Zealand
- recently I traded up to a Toyota Prius, and while batteries remain a life cycle issue, I have chosen to support the rapidly improving technologies in this much-needed field of energy innovation. I will maintain the car for optimal efficiency and longevity and efficiency with regular inspections and maintenance, monthly tyre pressure checks, fuel use records
- future home and office machinery and equipment will be chosen on the basis of the best possible environmental performance and certifications
- I will try to avoid temptingly cheap stationery and will check out good fountain pens. They may also improve my handwriting, which everyone will appreciate …
Social responsibility and future-thinking
My business promotes business sustainability through intelligent environmental practices.
I have joyfully dedicated many years to this work through my speaking, writing, training and consulting. Together with my friend and colleague Susie Wood and others through the Environment and Business Group, and in co-operation with many other valued professionals, I strive to promote shared learning and collaboration for better outcomes in the area of sustainability.
Sustainability also has a social and cultural aspect as well as its financial and environmental aspects. To support all these dimensions, other things I do are:
- instead of giving Christmas presents to my clients, for the last 15 years I have made annual donations to two respected social charities. In the past I have supported the Domestic Violence Centre, Amnesty International, the City Mission and the Salvation Army, and have had wonderful feedback from my clients about this
- support the next generation of environmental professionals by giving guest lectures, freely helping students and new professionals on request and giving my time in interviews for those carrying out research for their masters or doctorates
- take part in voluntary initiatives that help us all develop and disseminate sustainability skills
- support charitable trusts that help people and the environment.
As longer term objectives, I will work towards counting my paper use and fuel efficiency, working out my annual carbon emissions and investigating B Corp Certification to hold me accountable to achieving my vision and mission and support me in living in line with my values.
I will review this Sustainability Statement every year when my company registration falls due, and will look for other ways to reduce my company’s adverse impacts and improve its beneficial effects.
Clare Feeney, The Sustainability Strategist