CSR: Our environmental strategy

I recently attended an excellent event hosted by Heart of the City regarding environmental and social trends. Jennie Colville (RSA’s Group Corporate Social Responsibility Manager) presented her thoughts on the role of the company in mitigating impact on the environment.

Her message was clear: climate change is real; it’s happening; human beings are causing it − and human beings need to address it!  “We’re seeing more frequent and more severe climate events” she said, pointing to the flooded Thames outside; a result of a month’s rain falling in just a few hours the previous night.

We are in the process of re-examining our environmental strategy, so it was a timely event.

It can be challenging to implement strong environmental policies across organisations because of those factors seemingly out of our control − like serviced offices, challenges to headcounts, or procurement strategies − but every company fits into the bigger picture because they use energy and water, produce waste, need transportation, and procure goods and services. Savvy (and conscientious) organisations can minimise their footprint by ensuring conversations are had regarding the environment, and devising ways to ensure environmental sustainability as a company.

With some suggestions that we will be using 50% more energy by 2030, businesses need to act now to ensure their long-term plans put clear targets in place to reduce their environmental impact on the world. And communication is key. Lowering operating costs to the business, whilst minimising the impact of the business on the environment, is win-win. Put simply, good environmental policy is good business, and by positioning commercially the plans we have, we are often able to push them through.

With employee surveys highlighting the importance of CSR − in terms of attraction and staff retention −, now has never been a better time to act on your environmental policy. So if you can install water hippos, do; if you can use the stairs not the lift, brilliant; if you can improve your recycling policy, even better − but more important than anything, if we want to change the shape of this graph, we need to do something now. And anything is better than nothing.

By Katy Crothall, Operations Director



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