In a series of blog posts, we're re-visiting our publication Sustainable Business to share our findings and make our work more accessible on our platform.
Sustainable Business: Part 2
You’ve decided to explore insights onto how you and your company can better support sustainable measures. Congratulations! This is a step in a worthwhile direction. Before you investigate your current policies and similar internal functions, you need to determine what your goals and related values are.
Think about your industry, its respective jobs in Malta or elsewhere, and how it particularly impacts climate change, and align your company mission statement alongside this. For example, if you work in technology, you might want to review how you can unify your products, supplies, and partnerships, to better support greener practices. Make these actionable through the products and technologies you release. Whatever you do, keep the Earth in mind, and build a climate culture that celebrates making a positive impact.
For many organisations, small and large, the notion of carbon neutrality has swept the minds of leaders into meeting relevant goals that can minimise their carbon footprints. It’s such a popular phenomenon, the European Union (EU) implemented a climate law committing to carbon neutrality by 2050. But what does this term mean, exactly?
Carbon neutrality encourages organisations to balance their carbon emissions with carbon absorption. With the right operations in place, you can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it—ultimately aiming to absorb more carbon than you emit.
There are many ways to create this balance of carbon dioxide, however for on-site or remote careers, this is namely done through carbon offsetting. By investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, or other green technologies, you are reducing the use of carbon emissions. Organisations that invest in renewable energies and supplies create healthy supply chains that support sustainability and encourage other businesses to follow suit—the kind of empowerment we need to fight global warming.
Earlier on, you decided your new mission statement to reflect the creation and delivery of products that keep the planet in mind. Whilst products and technologies serve the interests of users, it’s essential to consider employee needs, too. Businesses can support the co-creation of sustainable development through building workspaces that are good for people and the environment.
There are many ways you can dress your workspace to be greener. Whilst this depends on the resources available, organisations can consider the following tips to create an office space that is healthier for employees and the climate:
- Use LED bulbs to support lighting for improved energy efficiency,
- Improve your office air quality with many indoor plants,
- Limit the use of cooling and heating appliances,
- Create a composting system as part of managing waste, including recycling bins,
- Use reusable products instead of disposable items like utensils and containers,
- Use environmentally friendly cleaning products,
- Digitise documentation and limit paper use,
- Install aerators to optimise use of water from sinks and taps, and
- Encourage greener methods of commuting, such as public transportation.
Nowadays, many of us have work from home jobs and do not make much use of an office space. However, the above list can also be applied to home settings. For example, limiting your use of disposable products, cooling and heating appliances, and similar points are all ways we can positively contribute to sustainable methods in our everyday lives.
Whilst there are ways to be more sustainable independently as an organisation, as mentioned throughout this article, minimising the effects of climate change requires a collaborative front. Organisations must thoughtfully select their partnerships so that these share similar environmental values.
For example, you can base your inventory and office or home supplies on companies that source their materials ethically. Ensure supply chains are responsible and make an effort to work with NGOs and research facilities that are all fighting the climate crisis. Consider your decisions as a company and always explore eco-friendly options. Understand your impact as an individual, company, and leader, and be accountable for your actions. Together, you can make meaningful change toward a sustainable future.
Consider this: through your company’s services and products, you want to contribute to a greater purpose that includes your users in meeting certain goals. In combining your business objectives with sustainability, you are able to provide users and consumers with the ability to make a greater impact by making greener choices accessible.
With committed teamwork, you’re able to make smart decisions and address environmental challenges so that you can empower your consumers to do the same. Technology is at the forefront of this empowerment.
Creating sustainable technologies and products arise from more than the materials you source to build these. Greener decisions must be made at the design and development process as well, as part of a larger initiative that supports clean technologies and software engineering.
Clean technologies, also referred to as green technology, is any process, service, or product, that aims to reduce negative climate impacts through energy efficient processes. That can mean numerous things, such as writing less code to minimise data input and clutter. You can learn more information about clean technology on our blog, however for now, it’s worth noting that in any stage of product development—better and more eco-friendly choices can be made with your team.
AI and Sustainability
Artificial intelligence (AI) has a great role to play in sustainability, for addressing some of the most challenging and complex issues the world faces in tackling climate change. Applied in numerous on-site and remote jobs, including energy, transportation and water management, AI can support human efforts in reducing the negative impact of climate change. One of the most meaningful ways AI can help sustainability efforts is in energy use, in that applications and systems can balance electricity supplies and optimise energy use for storage purposes.
Additionally, AI can transform the way we use networks to use energies across our homes, workplaces, and elsewhere, by creating a decentralised energy system that can help predict and analyse changes in climates. This is a vital area of research as the workplace and other institutions move toward complete digitalisation of their products and services.
Nevertheless, AI is not perfect and comes with limitations that are inherently unsustainable. Datasets that train AI can comprise high volumes of energy that is counterintuitive to sustainability efforts. However, in line with the ethos of clean technologies, researchers are working around these issues by reducing the need for so much training in these systems.
With constant innovation and novel changes arising all the time, we’ll in time see the powerful effects of AI in consuming little energy and still provide transformative performance that can change the way we reduce global energy supplies.
As one of the most pressing matters of our time, ongoing research will lead to developments in the space of sustainability that will empower everyone to make eco-friendly choices at work and at home. By making small changes to our everyday lives, you can contribute to a larger impact on our planet.
If you have a work from home job, look for ways you can minimise water and energy usage from your appliances. If you’re working as part of an organisation that necessitates commuting to the office, see if you can include greener options to your workspace, such as better recycling and waste practices. Encourage your peers to reduce their environmental footprints by adopting small habits everyone can do. If you’re a leader—promote sustainable practices and place these as part of workplace policies.
In this publication, we reviewed various areas of focus that can help businesses think of their operations with the Earth in mind. Look for ways to treat our planet as your primary client—and base your decisions upon this collaborative mindset. Be it through setting new mission statements for your company or re-thinking the way you design your products, tackling climate change requires a collective front, and this eco-consciousness can begin from home, at work, and in everyday life.
Sustainable with Castille
Learn more about how you can take climate action on our blog: