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  • Writer's pictureThe Just Audit team

Part 1: What is sustainability and why should we care?

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

This is the first of a multi-part series about sustainability in the workplace


“We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in change.

Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world”

[Howard Zinn]


Sustainability is something of a buzzword. We’d like to demystify it and create some clarity so it has real meaning. Such words become part of our everyday landscape but start to lose definition as time goes on. It’s useful to stop and reconsider these broad terms in the context of our own daily lives. From this level of understanding we can create the motivation to bring about positive change, even if those changes are tiny.


There are many definitions of sustainability. UCLA says “Sustainability is the balance between the environment, equity, and economy”. For its practicality we also like “Sustainability refers to the ability to maintain or support a process continuously over time” (Investopedia) and Harvard’s “In business, sustainability refers to doing business without negatively impacting the environment, community, or society as a whole.”


The premise is clear: we should be going about our business making sure we minimise our negative effect on our environment.


Through our forthcoming articles we’ll be looking at a number of things:


· The sustainable building

· Recycling in the workplace

· Sustainable work practices

· Introducing sustainability training/ambassadors

· Embracing community endeavour

· Creating green spaces in the workplace

· Sustainable business practices

· Introducing energy-giving initiatives

· Sustainability funding and grants UK (links and signposting, not advice)

· Practical sustainability training and where to find it

· Communicating your sustainable endeavours and successes

· Remote working and virtual meetings


In the spirit of being accountable, we’ll share our practices with you. We’ll also note areas that we know we can do better in and track these over time.


What does your business do to achieve its sustainability goals? If you’d like to contribute and help us create a community we’ll post your thoughts on our website page. The same goes for useful links – we’d love to have your feedback and suggestions.


We’re not on a crusade but we are mindful of doing things better. And if nothing else there are financial savings to be had in good sustainability practice and, as auditors, you know we are fans of that!


 

Photo credit: © <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_virtosmedia'>virtosmedia</a>, <a href='https://www.123rf.com/free-images/'>123RF Free Images</a>

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