Archive for the ‘Engagement & Communications’ Category
On a global scale, environmental and social impacts arise through the actions of billions of actors undertaking trillions of actions, each with varying implications. These actions take place within a general framework of economic and capitalist behaviours, mediated by varying legal codes and social norms.
There’s no single or homogenous audience to talk to about the challenges and opportunities of sustainability and climate change. Instead there are many different actors, be they individuals making consumption choices, governments setting legislation or policy, or corporations making investment and production decisions.
All tend to make choices in isolation, but with cumulative impacts. Ecological and social problems are generally not the result of conscious or deliberate choices but the side effects of all these individual actions and decisions. It’s these unintended consequences that are causing concern: climate change, natural resource depletion, pollution, waste, land degradation, etc, etc. Read the rest of this entry »
The Independent Australian Sustainable Paper Procurement Guide assists buyers of printing and communication papers to make informed purchasing decisions.
It will help you avoid known pitfalls and issues that can result in unsustainable outcomes and have a negative impact on your business reputations and brands.
Equilibrium has partnered with pulp and paper market intelligence experts IndustryEdge to produce the Guide. It covers the widest possible range of sustainability issues, supplying both minimum and known best practice criteria. It includes commentary drawn from our team’s extensive consulting experience. It does not refer to or recommend any particular products or manufacturers.
Focus in this Guide is on printing and communication papers. A companion Guide will shortly be released for the tissue sector, which is similar, but has some important differences.
Individual copies are just AUD100 (plus GST in Australia) per copy, with multiple copies available at discount rates.
More information here
With trade flows and online communications connecting the world on a level never before seen, business activities, large and small, are being increasingly scrutinised more closely and more widely, not just locally, but globally also. In this hyper-connected world, the gap between the point of origin and the point of consumption has been narrowed considerably.
Any indiscretion, or perceived indiscretion, relating to the environment or society – eg. pollution, unfair labour practices – can quickly result in any business being condemned in the court of public opinion. Without the controls or procedures of a court room, lawyers prove worthless and, rightly or wrongly, a business can be judged morally or ethically “liable” for indiscretions. Read the rest of this entry »
When we think of sustainability, often the images conjured up are changing light bulbs, switching off taps and putting things into recycling bins. Certainly, these initiatives are essential, specially in the face of rising global populations and wealthier middle classes consuming more. But is real behaviour change occurring? And is it happening quickly, and broadly, enough? What else can be done to help bring sustainability into the mainstream?
While information programs and education will remain key platforms of engagement, as will “stick” approaches to change people’s behaviour (such as a price on carbon, congestion taxes, landfill levies), other areas are emerging, such as the use of art and games. Read the rest of this entry »
When it comes to strategy, sustainability, collaboration, social media and crowd-sourcing for better outcomes are increasingly finding their way into conversations. A more participatory mode of strategy development can help improve final outcomes by pulling in diverse perspectives that can enrich plans and provide greater oversight and insight.
So it is that I find myself on the steering committee for the Sydney Coastal Council’s Group, “Becoming Social” project.
The Sydney Coastal Councils Group is a voluntary Regional Organisation of Councils (ROC), established in 1989 to promote coordination between Member Councils on environmental issues relating to the sustainable management of the urban coastal environment. Read the rest of this entry »
At Equilibrium, we work at the intersection of economy, society and environment. Quite often, this means we immerse ourselves in a “grey area” of uncertainty, that is, the choices we try to help our clients make are not always black and white. Sustainability, corporate responsibility, or however you wish to call it, means different things to different people.
Having a very clear definition of what the client, as a business, is trying to achieve is an absolutely critical first step. Are they purely interested in energy efficiency? Do they want to implement a sustainable supply chain policy? Are they interested in waste reduction, or water savings? Do they want to reduce their carbon footprint? Do they want to implement a staff awareness campaign around sustainability? Do they want to create a new product or service with better environmental credentials? Or do they want to do all these, and more??? Read the rest of this entry »
During the year, we’ve been showing how online engagement and social media channels are emerging as an ideal platform for large companies to share their corporate responsibility (CR) story with stakeholders – economic, environmental, social. Indeed, it’s a particularly powerful combination given that both CR and social media are rooted in the principles of authenticity, transparency, credibility, collaboration and learning from your community to build a better, stronger business.
Opportunities for companies to inform and engage key stakeholders around their CR initiatives continues to increase as understanding and usage of social media becomes more sophisticated. At the large company level, resources and staff time can be funnelled into figuring out the best way proceed. But what about the small and medium sized enterprise (SME) sector? Last week’s blog looked at the key differences between big businesses and SMEs, and the fact that CR looks a lot different to SMEs. Read the rest of this entry »
During 2011-2012, Equilibrium undertook a pilot project with Moonee Valley City Council to develop and implement a small business sustainability program within the municipality called “Environmental Manager on Loan”.
It was a free program to assist SME businesses become more sustainable by providing advice to help them reduce energy, water and waste and greenhouse gas emissions. In the face of rising energy bills as a result of network upgrades (and, to a lesser degree, the price on carbon), SMEs should be paying particular attention to energy efficiency. Helping them identify and overcome internal and external barriers was also an important aspect of the program.
Big businesses obviously have more clout and resources to address sustainability. Assessing and minimising the organisation’s environmental footprint; engaging stakeholders; allaying the concerns of interest groups; encouraging employee participation in volunteer programs on company time; communicating initiatives to stakeholders: these are all part of the big business vocabulary. Read the rest of this entry »
There are mixed stories coming out of Rio+20 this week. Even if governments don’t make great progress, the need for sustainability is not going to evaporate. In the face of many environmental and social challenges, the need to address business footprints and implement responsible practices is only going to increase. Business shouldn’t wait for government.
Embedding sustainability into an organisation’s DNA is a challenge at the best of times. Like exercise and a healthy diet, fostering sustainability is a form of preventative medicine. It’s critical to long-term health and life span. But, just like exercise and a healthy diet, it’s also hard to demonstrate the immediate payoffs. We know it’s ultimately good for us, but can we be bothered working up a sweat today, or choose the bowl of fruit instead of the greasy eggs and bacon on offer? Read the rest of this entry »
Equilibrium participated in the Private Label Manufacturers Association’s forum today: “Carbon Tax and Sustainability – building an in-depth understanding and competitive advantage for your business”. The PLMA brought together a panel of experts to cover the carbon price legislation and its implications for the manufacturing, retail and consumer segments of the economy.
General Manager of Equilibrium, Damien Wigley, outlined the development and implementation of carbon strategies. He was joined by Peter Konidaris (Partner, Indirect Taxes, PwC) who spoke about the carbon tax and how it affects businesses, their customers, suppliers and consumers. Holly Angell (Head of Energy and Sustainability, Coles) provided a retailers perspective on the carbon price.
The event was well atended, with around 40 PLMA members joining in on the informative session.