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If an organization wants to be seen as a leader in its field, certain things can make a difference in the eyes and minds of customers, users, and followers. Sustainability is one of these differentiators.
The term sustainability has become a commitment – a promise – of doing things right for people, the environment, and the world as a whole. Individuals want to know and see proof that an organization they support, work for or are involved in is working to be sustainable. This can mean that the operation uses ISO certification standards in its quality management. The building and facilities have been designed with the efficiency of LEED standards, and/or environmental studies are considered in all actions and interactions.
Every industry can benefit by hiring employees (or facilitating education for existing team members) who have taken a sustainability course that leads to a more sustainable operation. Four industries that must be on top of sustainability practices include: government, construction, non-profits, and hospitality.
Because regional, provincial, and national government bodies operate on taxpayer dollars, efficiency and sustainability are key for cost savings. Still, sustainability is also what citizens want to see for the benefit of the environment and future generations. Many planners will have taken LEED Green Associate exam prep course in municipal planning departments to understand better how bylaws and building codes impact people and the environment. Because of this knowledge, they are better able to help citizens, businesses, and the government itself respond to the growing need for more efficient, less wasteful buildings, operations and practices. They are also able to suggest modifications to local and regional practices that are more sustainable.
For many years, there was a general belief that construction was among the most wasteful industries. This all changed when LEED practices became mainstream and environmental courses became the standard for many project managers, architects, contractors, and others on a building team. In the construction industry, an environmental sciences course can play a big role, from understanding the natural habitat of a site and making recommendations to better suit those features to appreciating how certain materials and systems can play a part in the improvement or detriment of the environment.
Far from just a residential issue, commercial construction makes use of things like modifying the design to fit the terrain, rainwater capture, LED lights and replanting existing native plants to create an incorporated building rather than something built from a clean slate.
While non-profits are in the business of using the money for a cause or benefit, these organizations have administrative costs, and donors want to be sure their money is being used wisely. Although a non-profit organization may not have the budget to build a new facility, retro-fitting an existing building with low-flow toilets, off-hours energy settings, and ride-share programs can be a step in the right direction. This approach will save money and reduce the organization’s carbon footprint, making donors happy. Plus, for an environmentally geared operation, it is essential.
Hotels, restaurants, and attractions are also expected to have a keen eye for sustainability. Whether it is making use of better workflows to reduce restaurant food waste or bringing in a line of environmentally friendly body-care products in a hotel spa, there is often room for the minutia in each of these types of businesses improvement in even the most current sustainability plan.
Water efficiency is a big element wherever there are public washrooms, laundry facilities and foodservice. Energy-efficient appliances that ensure proper sanitation are also critical. Making the right choices for a new organization or one that is upgrading requires an understanding of the things to look for married with the needs of the business. Taking a sustainability course is the ideal first step to contributing to the environment to be presented to customers and benefit the business’s bottom line.
Regardless of the industry, every business should be looking at their sustainability program (or establishing a plan if they don’t have one) to maximize benefits financially and environmentally. Today’s consumers and stakeholders expect organizations to make sustainability a key part of overall strategies.
The information contained in this post is considered true and accurate as of the publication date. However, the accuracy of this information may be impacted by changes in circumstances that occur after the time of publication. Ashton College assumes no liability for any error or omissions in the information contained in this post or any other post in our blog.