What is a Sustainability Policy and Why Your Brand Needs One

With the green movement in full swing, many companies have put together a Sustainability Policy to show how they are doing their part in making sustainability a core mission within their organization. You may see a sustainability policy on a company’s website, or the organization may state that it has one. Either way, putting together a Sustainability Policy is a good idea, and it will not only help you focus on what you can do to make your company more ‘green.’ Still, it can bring to mind some of the ways your company has been wasteful.

Sustainability is the capability to equitably meet the vital human needs of the present without compromising future generations’ ability to meet their own needs by preserving and protecting the area’s ecosystems and natural resources. The concept of sustainability describes a condition in which human use of natural resources, required for the continuation of life, is in balance with Nature’s ability to replenish them.

Here are some steps your company can take in writing a Sustainability Policy:

  • Look at each of the processes within your organization and find ways that they can be altered to incorporate sustainability practices with minimal effect on the process itself
  • Look at your break room and find ways that you can eliminate wastefulness
  • What about your company’s use of electricity or water? Are you being wasteful?
  • How about how your employees are getting to and from work every day?

Here are some examples of ways that you might decide to improve:

  • Replace most light bulbs with low-energy light bulbs like LEDs or CFLs
  • Make it a practice to turn off lights when you leave a room that isn’t being used
  • Use coffee cups that can be washed and reused instead of paper cups
  • Purchase paper products made out of recycled material
  • Offer employees the opportunity to work from home once a week
  • Offer incentives for employees to ride the bus or join a carpool

Once you have all your ideas together and have decided that they are ‘doable,’ you can write your policy. Remember that a Sustainability Policy should be simple and easy to understand.

Here is an example of a Company Sustainability Policy:

(To see Press8 Telecom’s Sustainability Policy, click here.)

ABC Company recognizes that businesses can negatively impact the environment. We are committed to and enjoy finding ways to reduce the impact of our work both in the office and when work takes us away from the office.

It is our policy to:

  • Recycle as much waste material as possible
  • Avoid the use of paper wherever possible. For example, invoices and quotes can be emailed as PDF files.
  • Recycling equipment that is no longer of use to the company. For example, giving away items such as computers and printers that we no longer use.
  • Keep energy usage low. For example, use low-energy light bulbs throughout and ensure that computers are shut down after work.
  • Reuse waste paper (from the printer) where possible, using the blank side for notes, etc.
  • Purchase products made with recycled paper. For example, paper towels, printer paper
  • Purchase products with a lower environmental impact—for example, environmentally safe soaps and detergents.
  • Use low-impact transport for travel to and from work and travel for business. For example, we use public transport to attend meetings and offer a Cycle Scheme to encourage staff to cycle to work or to carpool.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel using instant messaging, video and audio conferencing, telephone, and email.

So get together with your employees today and write your own Sustainability Policy. Make it viewable in your work area and/or on your website, and re-visit it at least once a year to find new ways to decrease your company’s carbon footprint. It’s good for the environment and good for business.

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