Sustainability a natural focus

My interest in sustainability took off around 2008 when I realised that we humans need to change our behaviour to survive as a species. We need to change our behaviour both in terms of environment & climate and social sustainability. When it comes to economic sustainability, we need to measure activities in a different way where we also take into account our environmental & climate impact on humans, animals and nature.

Since then I have been involved in organisations that work with sustainability issues, such as Sustainable Småland, and I have attended around 10 training courses in the field of sustainability, including courses on GRI reporting, increasing profitability through sustainability work, and life cycle analysis.  

I have also worked for a longer time as a consultant for a leading manufacturer of software for measuring sustainability on product, process and company level. My knowledge in the field of sustainability is now relatively extensive and I also undertake consultancy assignments where I often combine my long experience in the business world with my knowledge of sustainability issues. See below for an example of an assignment.

Analysis of environmental & climate impact

An assignment for a medium sized Nordic company where I, as a consultant, together with other consultants in my network, helped the management to define and investigate areas in their business with a potentially high climate & environmental impact through a series of workshops over a longer period of time. 

We looked at energy, transports also including business travel and staff travel patterns, impact through the company's own processes, impact through the supply chain, and during the use of the company's products. 


We also looked at opportunities to work more circular in the future with product development and production to facilitate the reuse of parts of products and extend their lifetime through repairs. We also brainstormed on how the company could reduce its carbon footprint by marketing and selling products as a service.

We reviewed different types of software for measuring sustainability and carried out some life cycle analysis (carbon footprint) for some typical products. We also conducted analysis of materials and chemical substances in some products through a collaboration with some of the company's suppliers and a software developer.













      



Result
  • The management's and the whole organisation's understanding of sustainability increased dramatically.
  • The company was able to quickly reduce its carbon footprint and energy costs by switching to renewable energy sources and own solar power.
  • They reduced their transport impact by frequently replacing business trips with web meetings, creating car-sharing pools and working with local authorities to improve public transport for staff and by changing transport providers for incomeing goods and products
  • The company got an initial picture of how their main products and processes affect their carbon footprint and they now know how to work further on those issues.
  • They found a number of inappropriate chemical substances in key products and are now working with alternative materials and suppliers to reduce their environmental impact.
  • They have learned how to measure sustainability in products and processes and have initiated purchasing processes to buy system support.