The Approach To Sustainability Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Approach to Sustainability.

Answer:

Introduction:

Describing the approach to sustainability
The approach to sustainability that has been chosen rests on four pillars of environment, society, economy and culture. Themes within the environmental pillar includes energy, air, water, solid waste and land use. The themes within the social pillar include education and learning, health, nutrition, eradicating poverty and homelessness and inclusion. Within the pillars of economy come the areas of economic development, community development, labour market and infrastructure development. Last but not the least is cultural pillar. It includes arts, creativity, active citizenship and diversity. By adopting these four areas an organisation can proceed on the path of holistic sustainable development. All these four disciplines are interconnected and equal emphasis has to be given on each of the pillars for bringing all around development (Vera and Langlois, 2007).

Minimising resource use in an organisation

Competent use of resources can be achieved by a systematic approach. The systematic approach calls for measuring and analysing resource usage at every step so as to decide where to carry on improvement. Next step is to plan, implement and evaluate the improvements. Finally entities have to sustain and build on the improvements. Some of the areas can be fuel consumption, energy consumption, water consumption and commitment to a systematic approach for minimising the resource use. Energy Efficient lighting system, efficient HVAC system and even installing automated systems for reducing energy use. Likewise water saving devices like low volume hose nozzles, aerators on taps, low flush toilets can save significant amount of water (Swart and Raes, 2007). Employees have to be encouraged to report any leakages and their suggestions need to be appreciated.

Advantages of sustainability

The advantages of sustainability are numerous. Firms practicing sustainability does get definite benefits in terms of reducing energy related costs, attracting new customers, availing tax incentives, boosting the morale of the workforce and eventual societal impact. Switching to energy efficient lighting, energy efficient HVCA and adopting environment friendly packaging does improve bottom line and help in reducing monthly bills. Adopting sustainable practices help in making a company more marketable. Present day consumers are more conscious and aware about green initiatives. Highlighting the sustainable initiatives by an organisation does help in attracting more customers and revenue. Different sops and reliefs are available to organisations that practice sustainability. Adopting sustainability helps a firm in availing exemptions and reliefs (Omer, 2008).

Workplace procedure to sustainability

Planning assumes a significant role in embedding sustainability into day to day functioning of an entity. The role of the leaders and managers assume a significant role in achieving sustainability. Sustainable practice comes from workforce planning, retention strategies, workplace culture and leading a culture of improvement. Enhancing sustainability does not always involve new procedures but also comes from improving the existing operational procedures. Managers and leaders have to lead the programme of sustainability. Sustainability procedures are not isolated and they need to be integrated to the business goals (Voss et al, 2006). Work force planning can help in employing the right people with the right skills that will help in maintaining goals of sustainability. In this vein retention strategy is a significant workplace procedure affecting the sustainability. High staff turnover has the potential to damage the reputation and jeopardise the social sustainability issues. Recognising and rewarding contribution from the employees is a powerful retention strategy useful in promoting work place sustainability (Swart and Raes, 2007).

Audit procedure for monitoring continuous improvement

Audit procedure for monitoring energy consumption at the workplace has been enumerated in the section below:

Readiness of reducing the consumption of water, air, gas electric and steam (WAGES) starts off from energy awareness. Awareness to energy consumption by adhering to ISO-50001 will be beneficial in energy compliance. Facility monitoring needs to b carried out that will help it to know energy demand and how the energy costs vary. Adopting a simple spreadsheet based model can be beneficial at the outset. Power control devices, energy efficient components and even motion control solutions like direct drive technology can reduce energy consumption significantly (Voss et al, 2006). Automaton has assumed a crucial role in harnessing production as well as energy efficiency. A systematic PDCA (Plan, Do, Check and Adjust) will go a long way in auditing and monitoring continuous improvement. Energy consumption audit requires the six key steps of establishing priority areas, continuous audit rules, determining process frequency, configuring parameters, following up and communicating results (Vera and Langlois, 2007).

One barrier that have to be overcome while implementing workplace procedures

One of the prime barriers that stand in implementing energy efficient programmes at office premises is economic barrier. It may be difficult to access capital that may be needed in order to implement automated energy efficient system. High interest rate in borrowing capital is a possible deterring force in investing in energy efficient system. Imperfection in the financial market may also result in such practices. Since the energy efficient technology is not a part of the core production process investments in these areas are often neglected (Omer, 2007). As such proper blue print has to be drawn that identifies the potential sources of finance while implementing the sustainability program at the workplace.

References:

Omer, A. M. (2008). Energy, environment and sustainable development.Renewable and sustainable energy reviews, 12(9), 2265-2300.

Swart, R. O. B., & Raes, F. (2007). Making integration of adaptation and mitigation work: mainstreaming into sustainable development policies?.Climate policy, 7(4), 288-303.

Vera, I., & Langlois, L. (2007). Energy indicators for sustainable development. Energy, 32(6), 875-882.

Voss, J. P., Bauknecht, D., & Kemp, R. (Eds.). (2006). Reflexive governance for sustainable development. Edward Elgar Publishing.

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