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PostedOctober 24, 2012, in  Step 0: go / no go
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It starts with awareness. Change is impossible without understanding the relevance and possibilities of sustainable management. The practical conversion takes place after the awareness; how will you implement sustainability? Where do you start? What means do you deploy and how do you create a basis?  

Fundamental

The basis of the 'sustainability' subject is getting wider for companies in the Netherlands, as proves research by the BZW (Brabants-Zeeuwse Werkgeversvereniging). Sustainable management is in the top 3 of many priority lists, but how do you take care of it? Incorporating sustainability always means change management, it is therefore fundamental and mostly leads to a hesitant start. This is where we come across the first pitfall; endless talks, discussions and thinking without making concrete steps. It is better to just get into action and start the process.

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BZW
 

Improvements & Savings

Those who know their company processes, also know what their impact is on the environment; what raw materials and resources are used and how much waste they create. Make 'more efficient working' a main goal. This often leads to quick process improvements and savings, which motivate you to continue. Expand your knowledge of sustainability, and you will soon notice new areas for improvement. A positive cycle in the right direction has been created.

Embedding

There is no standard blueprint that paves the way towards sustainability. There are a number of logic steps though, and implementing structure is the first one. Set goals, work on certification and consult with customers. Make this a policy and give your staff members the space to make their own creative contributions. The entire organization is to embrace sustainability; it has to be embedded in the 'hearts and minds'...

Inspiration & Motivation

In contrast to what most people think, sustainability is not something large departments necessarily have to implement. Just take a look at ASML, one of the world's most sustainable companies. A company with a 5.7 billion Euro turnover (2011) that made the conscious choice to take its responsibility for both the social and environmental part.

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ASML

A team of only 4 part-time staff members started mapping sustainability. Not by enforcing it top down, but by inspiring, motivating and securing. Sustainability is given a practical interpretation at the departments of the company itself, for example by working with an environment management system (ISO 14001).

It is clear: sustainability does not have to be unnecessarily difficult. It is just a matter of choosing and doing.

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PostedOctober 24, 2012, in Step 0: go / no go
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