At SBN we aim to practise what we preach to demonstrate our genuine commitment to sustainability, both in and out of the office. If you haven’t yet set a New Year resolution, check out our 2016 sustainability commitments for inspiration.
Every year we ask our team to commit to personal sustainability initiatives. Here’s a selection of the actions we’ve committed to across our work and personal lives for 2016.
A healthy workplace is an important place to start and we do what we can to ensure our office is a healthy place to work (including three flights of stairs!). However, we go beyond that and encourage our staff to live active lives outside the workplace and to focus on their own health and safety.
Our commitments for 2016 include staff stretching sessions every day and getting away from our desks, for example at standing meetings and getting out and about at lunchtime instead of working through, We’ve also committed to increasing personal fitness (cycling, running, swimming, walking and pilates); keeping up to date with First Aid; and cycling or walking to meetings.
SBN in the community
We’re also committed to get our staff out into their own communities and supporting or starting initiatives that, between us, are long and varied – ranging from local music scenes to veggie gardens and fruit picking for charity. Here’s what’s at the top of that list: learning Te Reo and opening SBN meetings with a Mihi, whole team tree planting days through the Million Metres Streams Project, plant pest control, caring for local streams and supporting a Botanic Park in Tauranga.
Valuing our people
To keep us sharp and on the cutting edge of sustainability we encourage our staff to have active learning programmes and a healthy work-life balance. We’re committed to attending a mix of work and life learning events including: participating in the Lead and Influence Sustainability course, 20 hours structured education through the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, and attending conferences on business innovation and social enterprise.
How we travel is a big part of being sustainable and our staff continue to make full use of public transport, walking and cycling, car sharing and working from home to decrease the need for travel. This year our staff are working towards; radically reducing car usage, walking and cycling as frequently as possible (including strategically coordinating meetings to fit this commitment) and emphasising our use of public transport.
Those of us with children encourage them to walk, cycle, use public transport or carpool to get to school and to visit friends.
All of our purchasing is made in accordance with our purchasing policy (based on organic, Fairtrade, recycled and sustainability certifications) which includes using SBN members as our suppliers wherever and whenever possible. That said, if it can be avoided we don’t make purchases in the first place.
Our staff embody our purchasing policy in their day to day lives and have committed to the paperless office, supporting local growers through OOOOBY and farmers markets, radically reducing food packaging waste, supporting our members in every instance possible and above all working to minimise food waste within the office and in our personal lives.
Renewable Energy and energy reduction
We’re moving office in March and a big part of that focus is going to be implementing renewable energy (if possible) at the new office. We’re also doing what we can in our homes to reduce energy or procure solar panels or actively use renewable transport. This includes: catching the train to work, installing solar panels in our own homes, supporting the team to ride bikes, utilising our member car-sharing services, supporting electric vehicles, and offsetting our energy emissions through planting trees.
Every year we’re committed to a leaner and increasingly waste free office through composting, the circular economy and striding toward a paperless office. Our major focus for the next 12 months is reducing our food waste in our homes and in the office. Our staff are composting, using worm farms, cutting down to one council rubbish bag a month and reducing plastic waste to landfill.
EVENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Lastly (but by no means least!) we aspire to demonstrate sustainable practice in our events (such as our annual conference, Awards ceremony, workshops and networking events). This includes selecting venues that allow for public transport, walking or cycling; sustainable catering; using SBN members as suppliers or sustainable suppliers for purchasing needs; recognising local iwi at formal occasions and zero waste management plans.
Promoting our members and what we’ve learned from our events, as well as using digital communications as our primary communications (instead of print), is an important way of ensuring our members can employ sustainability initiatives at events – we lead by example.