STRATEGY – 7 sustainability commitments for 2017

31 January 2017

Each year SBN staff commit to sustainability initiatives at work. It helps ensure we’re walking the talk. Here’s what you can do too.

  1. A healthy workplace

An important place to start! We work to ensure our offices are healthy places. At least one person in each office gets regular First Aid training. We encourage staff to focus on their own health and safety too, by:

  • Setting up a standing desk
  • Exercising regularly. Yoga, Pilates, stretching, walking, trail running and cycling are top of our list
  • Paying more attention to posture and not being too sedentary at work
  • Cutting down on coffee (not a universal commitment…)
  1. SBN in the community

All our staff are encouraged to take part in at least one community activity each year. Here’s a selection:

  • Community tree planting
  • Community fruit harvesting
  • Community clean up
  • Volunteering at schools and with children’s sport
  • Helping develop a botanic park
  • Hosting an olive harvest festival and teaching people how to make salt-cured olives
  • Neighbourhood pest eradication
  • Starting a community picnic at a local park for neighbours
  • Running sustainable fashion initiatives
  1. Valuing our people

We want each team member to have an active learning programme, a healthy work-life balance and team building opportunities. Individuals have committed to:

  • Attending SBN’s Leadership in Sustainable Business course
  • Taking a Te Reo Maori class
  • Attending SBN and non-SBN learning events
  • Taking part in a Continuing Education programme
  • Benefiting from SBN’s Time Off in Lieu policy to ensure a healthy work-life balance
  1. Smart transport

SBN prioritises smart transport. Our main office is in Britomart, Auckland’s public transport hub. We have a public transport card, a pedal bike and an electric bike for all staff to use. We have a hybrid car for when we need a vehicle. We measure the carbon dioxide emissions from our work-related travel using the Annual Carbon Emissions calculator.

Our staff have committed to:    

  • Taking public transport or cycling/walking to meetings and to/from work wherever possible
  • Planning meetings to optimise time and fuel consumption
  • Using a car share scheme for vehicle use in the city
  • Replacing a family car with an electric car, and using car share for longer trips
  • Minimising air flights and offsetting carbon for any necessary flights
  • Doing more sailing to travel between places!
  1. Smart purchasing

All our purchases are made according to our purchasing policy. We minimise, reuse or recycle to avoid buying things in the first place. We source products and services that are organic, Fairtrade, recycled and/or have other sustainability certifications where possible. We also use SBN members for our suppliers wherever possible. Our staff are going to:

  • Go paper free as much as possible and only buy FSC certified paper
  • Reuse waste paper for note paper
  • Recycle ink cartridges and batteries
  • Start a community garden to reduce the need to buy fruit and vegetables
  • Pay attention to the provenance of foods and their packaging
  • Buy more certified organic and Fairtrade food
  • Use the Good on You app for clothes
  • Buy a reusable coffee cup and take it everywhere
  • Buy new items as little as possible, instead looking for pre-used items
  • Donate to the Million Metres Streams Project
  1. Waste management

We’re committed to a leaner and increasingly waste-free office. We will do this through composting, reusing and recycling, paper-free communications and following circular economy principles.

Our staff are:

  • Bringing lunch from home (no packaging required), or bringing containers when buying lunch
  • Taking part in Plastic Free July.
  • Using circular economy model office principles for home renovations
  • Composting food waste
  • Taking all soft plastics to a recycling depot
  1. Energy reduction

We’re committed to energy conservation and reduction. Our aim is to reduce our energy use by 10%. We also measure our CO2 emissions using the Annual Carbon Emissions calculator.

Our staff will be:

  • Using an electricity provider that only supplies electricity from renewable sources
  • Reducing and offsetting family road travel with Ekos
  • Using solar power and energy timing devices at home
  • Investigating installing solar hot water heating
  • Installing a more efficient shower head to reduce water consumption
  • Reducing shower times

Good luck setting your own sustainability commitments for the year!