Connecting Safety & Sustainability
Updated: Oct 23
Your Organization’s Impact on Our Planet and Future Generations
There are many different motivations behind those who are passionate about
sustainability. It is an overall value shared by many individuals and organizations around the globe. The reasons people find interest in sustainability efforts are complex, but the purpose of these initiatives are quite similar: create solutions and adapt.
In my previous blogs, we talked about sustainability as a whole as well as the social pillar of sustainability. Another one of those pillars is the environmental pillar. So, what exactly is the environmental pillar? The general definition of environmental sustainability is “responsibly interacting with the planet to maintain natural resources and avoid jeopardizing the ability for future generations to meet their own needs.”
There are differing definitions of environmental sustainability and they typically lead to more questions about what role people and organizations should have. Surprisingly, we all have unknowingly participated in environmental sustainability efforts in the last few years. As people have stayed home during the pandemic, our planet has become wilder and cleaner! Air pollution has considerably decreased and sea turtles are being undisturbed and able to create their nests more easily on beaches.
Environmental sustainability has significantly increased in popularity and more attention has been placed on global environmental concerns. Organizations can assess their environmental impact by evaluating their carbon footprint and usage of natural resources.
Organizations, regardless of industry, can take actions of all sizes to implement and/or improve environmental sustainability. Whether through creating targeted employee projects, committing to establishing more eco-friendly products, or developing best practices for reducing harmful or excessive waste, organizations that promote environmental sustainability can become leaders in the movement to create a sustainable planet, society, and economy for future generations.
Implementing environmental sustainability initiatives into an organization’s culture and daily operations provides the opportunity to really encourage innovation among employees. We have all had to be innovative during the pandemic, so why not continue that moving forward? Embrace the innovation that has been done to adapt and overcome challenges.
Where can you start?
Provide or attend educational programs to help employees understand how to apply sustainability in their job and everyday lives.
Create a “Sustainability Manager” position or appoint a sustainability champion.
Incorporate sustainability components into existing management systems.
Formalize a sustainability policy and best practices and procedures.
In 2018, United Airlines switched to 1oz lighter paper for the in-flight magazine and saved 170,000 gallons of fuel worth $290,000!
In the 1980s, American Airlines removed just 1 olive from every single passenger salad and saved $40,000 a year. And nobody noticed!