First Steps towards a Sustainable Future
Welcome to the first post in our sustainability blog series where we describe our road towards sustainability. This blog series is to showcase how we integrate different corporate responsibility and sustainability themes into our business: both on the company level but also with our partners and clients.
Let’s begin with a small introduction into the world of sustainability. The inspiration for the title of this blog series is the report “Our Common Future” (1987) by Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former Prime Minister of Norway. Her report defined the purpose for sustainable development. According to the definition, sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of current generations without sacrificing the potential for future generations to meet their own needs. In other words, we should live so that we don’t leave our planet in worse shape than we found it in.
Many may have the perception that sustainability is all about environmental protection and conservation. Sure, these aspects are important, but sustainability is so much more. Sustainability can be compared to a three-legged stool. One of the legs is our economy including, for instance, jobs and assets. The second leg is about social aspects in the world such as human rights and general well being of citizens. Finally, we have the third leg, the environment. This leg consists of themes such as environmental health and the ability to sustain decent living conditions. If any of these legs were to break, the stool becomes unstable and will fall. The same metaphor applies to our society. So, we are talking about important things.
Why do we at Islet emphasize sustainability in our operations and how can we contribute to this worthy cause?
Let’s first answer the question why. The scientific community has nearly unanimously claimed that climate change will be one the largest safety and security threats for the world in the next decades to come. Humankind’s industrial activity and consumption patterns only accelerate the phenomenon. Moreover, changing demographics, globalization and urbanization will change our social structures. In this changing social landscape, it is important to make sure that everyone has the chance to be educated and realize their potential. We see that it is important to use our expertise to reach sustainable outcomes together.
The previously mentioned challenges also mean that every organization must take sustainability into account in all of their operations. The management of brand image and stakeholders might previously have been the main reason for integrating sustainability into business. Nevertheless, I state that the business gains of adding sustainability into business operations are remarkable: sustainable attitude and actions will be reflected as a better result in your bottom line. The use of new technologies, such as Best Available Technologies, will decrease companies’ environmental impacts and enhance social surroundings at workplace. Decreasing environmental impacts will help companies to optimize the usage of side products of their production and to minimize the waste. Better recycling, sorting and re-processing of materials enable sourcing from materials once already used, so the acquiring costs may decrease significantly. The social inclusion at workplace improves employee wellbeing and greatly affects the productivity of the whole organization.
Now, I can tell you how we will make our way towards more sustainable avenues
Because sustainability is so multifaceted, we cannot say that we have already mapped all the milestones. Therefore, we will recognize the themes where we can contribute the most. This is called materiality.
Recognizing materiality is important because it will enable us to prioritize the areas that are most important to our stakeholders. Discovering materiality is an undertaking that involves company executives, employees, clients and other stakeholder groups. Therefore, we will ask our stakeholders for their inputs on how we can develop our and our clients’ sustainability aspects.
I cannot ignore technology as a driver for sustainability. New technology solutions will revolutionize the ways we consume and commute daily in near future. We feel that with our expertise we can support our customers in this change and accomplish solutions for future technologies together.
In a few years, alternative renewable sources of energy and bio-based solutions will become pivotal to sustainably, enabling us to have the commodities that we so need, for example electricity and plastic. The development of artificial intelligence makes it possible to create a new service economy. Autonomous cars work as an impressive example of this, making it possible to use them only when needed and replace many of our inefficient private vehicles.
Even though many of these examples often heard sound futuristic, artificial intelligence can benefit us in more simpler situations. Our several daily processes and services will be transformed with the use of AI. The only question now is how rapidly we will take the first steps to utilize artificial intelligence and start transforming our processes to become more sustainable.
We have invested heavily in these new technologies and we are not afraid to grasp all new opportunities to help our customers with our new generation expertise.
In our next sustainability blog post, we will go through materiality in greater detail and describe how it will be shown in our operations. We will also dive deeper into the technology solutions and explore how we can provide sustainability value to our clients.
Chief Operating Officer
piia.hoffsten (a) isletgroup.fi
+358 40 5877 303
Buzzwords: #sustainabledevelopment #sustainability #corporateresponsibility #materiality #AI