You’ve probably already begun your ESG and eco-friendly journey by now but it can be a struggle to keep progress on track. With the “dark side” of single-use products in our workspaces and out-of-sight-out-of-mind attitudes to energy use, it’s easy to wander off the sustainable path.
As one of the leading Board Portals, Convene is the solution to eco-friendly governance, with a long history of eliminating physical board packs. Now with our new ESG Reporting Product on the market, we thought we could be your eco-Yoda and give you some top tips on how to maintain sustainability.
What Are The Main Challenges For Sustainability?
- “Sustainability still does not fit neatly into the business case.”
Sustainable practices come in a variety of forms. Some are community-driven, some are environmentally-driven and some are economic. In the long-term, they all serve to improve prospects for your business, and ensure you can reap the rewards in future.
Sustainability is all about balance. It’s important to ask if your organisation can afford to be left behind if competitors adopt sustainable practices now.
Some of the most successful companies in the world have adopted long-term sustainability practices - including those on the Corporate Knights’ Most Sustainable Companies of 2022. Integrating sustainability into your organisational practices can improve your financial prospects in future.
- “Sustainability is expensive.”
Investing in sustainability can feel costly at first, like we said, single use products are often momentarily cheaper. Think about it, in the moment, it is cheaper and easier to buy water in plastic bottles when you need it, rather than always carrying about a reusable water bottle just in case you get thirsty, but we all know which one is better for the planet!
However, just like you need to drink to survive, there are a lot of things your organisation needs to run smoothly, be that meeting packs or pens to make physical notes. There are ways to substitute this for a more sustainable option with software. A Board Portal can come in handy here, and there are ways to balance the cost and functionality of a Board Portal!
- “Sustainability Reporting is too confusing.”
Sometimes, it can feel like there is no universal system for reporting on sustainability issues. Most reporting is industry specific, for example there is the Sustainable Reporting Standard for the Housing Sector. There is no set way that you should report on ESG but having the most engaging report is essential for stakeholder and shareholder investment both monetarily and emotionally in your sustainability journey.
- “It is difficult to decide on the best sustainability strategy.”
When it comes to strategy, the best way is a top-down approach. Part of the role of the board is to inspire their employees. If directors travel endlessly around the world and consume 300 pages per person per meeting, it may be difficult for them to motivate employees to cut down on travel and printing.
Many of our clients at Azeus Convene, started by bringing sustainable practices into the boardroom. Virtual meetings can fast-track your movement towards sustainability by allowing everyone in the business to experience seamless collaboration. By paying attention to the culture of your company, you can understand what sustainability practices will work for you.
Sustainability offers an opportunity for your organisation to develop a consistent identity and affirm your brand value. This involves developing staff training and awareness on sustainability.
There’s no reason you should limit your sustainability goals to a few ‘green’ projects, but see it as a guiding principle of business. Extend these targets to your full range of products and services which will allow you to build sustainability into your company’s unique selling point.
Affirm sustainability as a brand value, develop staff training and awareness on sustainability. And there is an obligation to limit sustainability to a few ‘green’ projects but instead extend it to the full range of products and services, thereby building sustainability into your company’s unique selling point.
Top Tips To Improve Sustainability:
- Invest In Technology:
Technology can play an essential role in your sustainability strategy. Replacing physical materials with software can reduce your waste materials and support the switch to hybrid work. Technology is also the way forward when it comes to energy savings, investing in modern equipment tends to improve your energy savings rating!
- Have A Clear ESG Plan:
Sustainability fits neatly into the E of ESG and should be incorporated actively into your ESG plan. With the last IPCC report showcasing the catastrophic effects that will happen if we don’t act now, every single entity needs to make changes. Consider hiring a CSO to oversee all sustainability projects and ensure the budget is always used wisely.
- Switch To The Hybrid Model:
If you haven’t already made the change, the hybrid model is the future! This switch is far easier if you have suitable technology already in place. The hybrid model is not only the most convenient, given the uncertainty of working conditions during the pandemic, but also economical and environmentally friendly.
You can rent a smaller working space, as you are likely to have smaller teams come in rather than the whole organisation at once. This means that you are using less energy and producing less waste.
This is particularly the case in the summer months, as working from home during the summer has been proven to reduce everyone’s carbon footprint. Most homes in the UK have adequate sunlight and insulation, meaning there are less emissions produced than lighting and heating large office buildings.
How Can Convene Improve Your Organisation’s Sustainability?
Here at Convene, we understand the growing importance of ESG. That’s why we have developed a reporting tool to alleviate some of the challenges of data gathering, performance tracking, and reporting.
We are working in close collaboration with a number of existing Convene housing customers including Orbit and Cartrefi Conwy as part of our early adopters programme. Through their valuable feedback, we will together continue to develop and fine-tune our platform, delivering a robust end-to-end ESG experience.
Our Board Portal product can also help you ensure that your paper waste is minimal whilst maintaining the best security on the market. Convene is now also fully integrated with Microsoft Teams, so you can convert completely to a digital workplace with effective paperless meetings.