In the past year or so, LORIC has worked on over 70 different projects, a good third of which relayed in one shape or form to the building of resilience and sustainability in people, communities, and the environment.
On the surface, this may not seem like such a big deal - after all, sustainability is on everyone's mind these days. But what has been striking about some of the work that we have done is how many businesses have been embedding practices that help people, communities, and the environment for years. Some of our beneficiaries have been supporting and promoting the circular economy consciously since the 1990s; others sought to deliberately make their business model sustainable by design, starting up their business with a clear mission to make their environment better.
But what does it mean to be Sustainable by Design?
What are examples of good sustainability in business?
Spoiler alert - it's not all about recycling.
It is easy enough to overlook examples of really good sustainability practices, especially if they are such a part of your company culture that you don't even note them anymore. But anything that makes your people, your communities, and your environment more resilient does contribute to the overall sustainability of your company. Things like:
- Compassionate, flexible working policies that accommodate family carers as well as people with multiple and complex needs in your workforce;
- Mindful and impactful diversity and inclusion training that ensures everyone feels welcome in your company;
- Focusing on partnerships with companies that share your values;
- Small changes to reduce carbon footprint, like cutting unnecessary face-to-face meetings;
- Considering on how you might increase the community value of any projects you do;
- Refurbishing, reusing, or reselling assets that are not yet at the end of their economic life;
- Nurturing talent within your own team, building up skills organically so that people can reach their potential;
All of those things (and more) can improve the environment in which you work and create value. Even little actions, like letting the family carer on your team have a parking spot close to the building, can have meaningful impact on morale and on the resilience of your company. By making the most of our assets, we reduce our carbon footprint. By taking actions that actively help our local community, we are making it a better, more welcoming place.
This June, we would like to invited you to take a look at your own business practices, and celebrate the good work you're already doing. Whether it is embracing flexible working to reduce carbon footprint, or kinder, more compassionate support towards family carers, there is so much that is already being done to support people, communities, and the environment.
Would you like to share how your company is Sustainable by Design? Write in to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will collate the best responses in our July newsletter!
Let's take the time to celebrate all the good we already do, and the people who make it possible.
(And if you'd like more advice on making your business more sustainable, please do give us a shout, too.)