Sophie went to C&IT's Sustainability Forum, and here's what she learned...
Sustainability, Carbon Offsetting, NetZero and Corporate Responsibility have been hot topics for years, but it seems people are finally starting to sit up and listen.
Perhaps it's the UK Government's ambitious pledge to reduce carbon emissions to 68% by 2030? Or the fact that September 2023 was the warmest since 2006 that has encouraged change. Who knows? But change is happening, and it can only be a good thing.
With 67% of businesses now consciously using sustainable materials and 82% of UK firms having net-zero carbon goals, it seems there's less ego-centric 'greenwashing' and more eco-centric action happening worldwide.
asembl.Cares is our initiative towards doing our bit to help the environment. We're still early on our journey, but little by little, we're making changes within our work, business and team. We need to keep ourselves educated, so this year's C&IT Sustainability Forum was a date not to be missed.
Sophie Blench, one of our Sustainability Champions, went to see what it was all about and here are her key takeaways from the day...
#1 – Talk the talk AND walk the walk.
There was a time when it was all talk and no action for some organisations. However, it wasn't long until all this greenwashing was seen through and rightly called out. In some cases, it led to lawsuits for less-than-truthful ad campaigns.
The lesson here is that no matter where you are in the process: own it. You don't need to show off or exaggerate, but if your intentions are good and you're making positive steps, you're doing ok.
#2 – Embed and enhance.
Sustainability should be embedded across all business objectives to talk the talk AND walk the walk. This means it'll become part of everyday life and create a sense of purpose. The positive impact is that purpose defines culture, culture attracts talent, and talent drives sustainable and business success.
#3 – Too many voices.
With the likes of Isla, B-Corp, C&IT, ICO and all the other bodies championing sustainability, the question arose whether too many voices are competing against each other, causing confusion. Is there a need for a unifying voice that brings all the accreditations and best practices into one place?
#4 – It's about the long game.
Having a proper purpose for sustainability is a long-term play. It can't be aligned with short-term business objectives, and there's no quick fix to tick all the boxes. The approach must consistently focus on the future, not just the here and now. Alongside setting objectives is how you’re going to measure. You can’t improve if you don’t know what’s working and what isn’t. Plan your sustainability objectives with measurements in place for the long term, and don't get deterred if results don't happen overnight.
#5 It's a team effort.
It's not just down to one person to make change happen; it's a team effort. Getting buy-in from everyone is half the challenge solved. Changing attitudes and habits can be tricky, but everyone needs to get on board to make a difference. All each of us can do is lead by example.
We'd love to hear your thoughts - get in touch to let us know what you think.
If you want to learn more about our asembl. initiatives, you can here.