Consideration needs to be given to social responsibility, staff welfare, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, impact of the organisation’s supply chain and its financial sustainability. These are not mutually exclusive goals but are now increasingly demanded by customers, staff and shareholders.
The approach required by most New Zealand businesses will be quite different to that applied by large overseas corporations. Fortunately, there are many established options available to those wanting to implement sustainability initiatives and communicate their achievements. The trick is choosing the combination of options that best suit your specific business needs and aspirations.
- SOME OF THE MOST COST-EFFECTIVE IMPROVEMENT METHODS are based on established approaches to risk management, waste minimisation and stakeholder engagement. Furthermore, established business management systems (such as those for quality, environment, risk and OHS) are well suited to identifying, prioritising, implementing and monitoring sustainability initiatives. Hence, most firms should be able to implement sustainability initiatives using their existing management systems, once they understand the issues that need to be tackled.
- ONCE YOUR SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMME IS UP AND RUNNING, the next challenge is how to communicate your achievement for business benefit. The range of certification schemes, ecolabels and sustainability claims available to firms can be bewildering, and it is important to ensure that your choice is based on relevant standards and independent validation. Otherwise, you run the risk of making misleading claims. There is a further challenge for those firms involved with multiple procurement agencies or supply chains, as they may be need report and validate their sustainability performance in several different ways. In some cases, this complexity can be reduced or avoided by selecting a well established and recognised assessment and reporting scheme.
- ARE SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS PRACTICES, SMART BUSINESS PRACTICES? Yes because there is increasing evidence that those businesses that take the sustainability initiatives that are relevant to them seriously will have more customers, more motivated staff, improved business efficiencies and higher profits.
Follow the links below to find out more about certification and sustainable business practices:
Telarc is New Zealand's largest certifier of quality, environmental, and occupational health and safety management systems. We provide businesses with the assessment tools and certification schemes they need for performance improvement and market differentiation.