It’s the beginning of 2018, and many a New Year’s resolution has not yet been put aside yet. The desire to do something different occupies peoples’ minds and they are searching for the right thing to do this year. Often professional people feel the need to be challenged again, to experience something different at work, to get excited about the next working day… How can we achieve such thing, if we do not want to change jobs or even our career entirely?

Here is an idea: Become the green champion of your company. Differentiate yourself from other staff members by driving sustainability. Motivate and action changes that are not only good for the planet, but good for the company’s financial, too. Help manage risks in regard to operating costs and improve operating inefficiencies. Facilitate positive marketing and greater customer satisfaction. See opportunities to improve staff morale and productivity. Lower staff absenteeism and contribute to attracting good quality staff. Enhance your company’s brand through differentiation from competitors. Inspire your seniors with a sustainable view on business operations and opportunities. Does this all sound like a tall order? Maybe. Maybe it is just the kind of challenge many professionals have been looking for.

Sustainability in companies, offices and hospitality establishments has proven to carry many benefits and affect all areas of day to day business operations in a positive way. Take the example of eliminating chemical pollution in an office space. Studies have shown that staff is less allergic, less tired and most of all less sick and therefore less absent. Another example would be managing energy demand through implementing energy efficient retrofits, as it shows excellent returns on investment and mitigates risk associated to electricity tariffs. There are many more benefits. Learning about all other benefits and how to achieve them takes no longer than 2-3 days. Be inspired through one of our many courses:

Sustainable and Efficient Facilities Management
The course is packed with practical and easy to understand examples which can be implemented immediately. Key focus areas in addition to energy and water efficiency are waste management, healthy work environments and sustainable procurement.

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Office Eco Manager
The course focuses on teaching learners how to systematically assess problem areas within a commercial environment and to recommend appropriate solutions (technology & behaviour).

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Residential Eco Consultant
This course thoroughly explores the residential environment of a guest house or small hospitality establishment, and teaches the learner how to assess and identify solutions across all areas.

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Carbon Footprint Analyst
This course will give you an understanding of the economic effects of climate change on industry sectors. It will teach you how to account for a company’s environmental impact (carbon). Learners will be taken through a number of in depth case studies and practical examples.

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Environmental Strategy and Policy Development
This course is designed to give managers and executives the processes, knowledge and tools required to develop a world class environmental policy and strategy for their organisation.

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All courses will teach the learner a sound base from which to start the new challenge in 2018. It will form the understanding and the strategy for your extra achievements this year and is bound to make you and your seniors very proud! And our planet a better place to live.

It is 2017 and many people still wonder whether or not human induced climate change is happening and is real. Even as the list of devastating first ever climate change events continues to grow annually the naysayers continue their old ways lobbying. For over 3 decades there has been much international debate across the board. Still today, there are certainties and uncertainties. Even amongst the circles of well educated professionals doubt or lack of knowledge is apparent and well documented. If there is even a remote chance that the naysayers are wrong and climate change is indeed real then the impact on all of our lives will be enormous and the impact on the lives of our children many times worse. But let us assume, we really do not know.

The question that remains is, whether it would make sense to take action and mitigate climate change anyhow, despite us not knowing. Should we, given the uncertain circumstances, implement changes and manage our resources or should we just go forth with a business as usual attitude? What are the pros and cons of adapting to climate change that might or might not happen? What are the risks and costs of such efforts? What are the possible steps for corporations in order to adapt?

Let’s first understand what it means to take corporate action against climate change: It is developing an environmental strategy and policy for the company and/or embarking on sustainable facilities management. Both would include the following important measures

  1. Carbon foot-printing: is a great way to start as it’s a tool to use to understand non-financial environmental data and possibly reduce imminent carbon tax
  2. Water management to achieve efficiencies and save costs
  3. Energy management to achieve efficiencies and save costs
  4. Waste management
  5. Indoor health for employees to improve performance and lower absenteeism
  6. Supply chain greening to achieve a good corporate image
  7. Renewable energy as a way to reduce costs and secure energy supply
  8. Green education for all employees to build awareness
  9. Training in efficiency for key staff to build skills

The uncertainty whether or not climate change will actually happen, might prevent many executives from following an environmental strategy. In 2017 this is a point, however, where every citizen, human or corporate, has to make a decision. Yes or no?

There is an interesting video on YouTube with the somewhat exaggerated title of “The Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See” by wonderingmind42 (Greg Craven). Personally, I would not call it terrifying, but rather rational or quite logical. In his video, Greg talks about the decision making principle for us as a global race. He introduces 4 different options and suggests that our future will roughly fall into one of these 4 scenarios:

  • Climate changes does not happen – yet we have prepared for it.
  • Climate changes does not happen – and we have not prepared for it
  • Climate change does happen – and we have prepared for it.
  • Climate change does happen – but we have not prepared for it.

The matrix for analysis looks like this:

I suggest that companies who are unsure what to do about their corporate environmental responsibilities, could try the above exercise. Fill thoughts and considerations relevant to your businesses and the environment your operation depends on into this decision making matrix. As an example I have filled the table demonstrating potential outcomes:

Now that we created a bigger picture, we can see many possible effects and consequences, it is time to choose.

Which column is the best for us? Which column has the most positive aspects? Should we take action?

What do you think? What would you choose?

I can see a column that has a lot more ticks (✓) than the other: It is the one averting the most risks by taking action. I feel we can safely come to the conclusion, that the question whether or not climate change is happening is irrelevant. The question around environmental strategy and taking action gets a much clearer answer. It is just like the decision to buckle up when riding in a car… YES, let’s buckle up! Not only will this decision support us should climate change happen, but it might also avert climate change from happening in the first place.