360 Degrees: We asked about your sustainable business practices
Q: How have you adopted sustainable business practices in your workplace?
An inconvenient truth
We started our journey in more sustainable business practices with an environmental audit. We wanted to break the addiction to convenience by implementing more sustainable practices into the office, as well as leading by example to our clients, and other local businesses through our involvement on the Plastic Free Cronulla committee.
This helped raise our business profile as a leader and an example of a forward thinking firm willing to embrace change for the good. We chose a few areas to begin with so as not to overwhelm. We have been paperless for years, and if we just had no alternative, we print smarter and only when essential.
We provide bins for recycling and discourage use of nonrecyclable products, we have real kitchenware and have a refillable water filter and an in house coffee machine.
One of our staff even provides green cleaning products she makes at home, we have reusable tote bags and containers available for all.
Opening up your mindset to introduce sustainable business practices and reviewing the worst words you can hear in business: “We have always done it this way”, are the first essential steps to improve sustainability in all areas.
Annette Tasker, JP, FIPA, FFA, Southern Summit Advisory
Our staff are conscious of the vulnerability of the planet and are passionate about implementing sustainable practices. In response to this as a firm, we are totally paperless, it wasn’t driven by the efficiencies that a paperless office creates, it was initiated to minimise the footprint we leave by minimising paper use. Our practice actively discourages the use of single use plastics products including coffee cups and water bottles and have a recycling program that helps towards this goal.
From a wellness perspective, Johnston Advisory offers a flexible workplace and encourages staff to put their health and wellbeing first. If staff are happy and healthy it promotes productivity and an enjoyable workplace.
Flexible workdays and the option to work from home whenever suits the employee are a couple of examples of how we encourage our staff to stay in a healthy frame of mind, especially those that have young families and are juggling the work/life balance. Fortunately, advanced technology and data storage in the Cloud have eased this transition which may well be a way of the future post pandemic.
Johnston Advisory also supports the community by providing pro-bono services to companies that are doing good in the community at the expense of profiteering. An example is Worn for Good, a company that supports recycling fashion and sustainable manufacturing processes ultimately to reduce the impact left by mass textile production.
Ben Johnston, FIPA, FFA, managing director, Johnston Advisory
Small change, big difference
Yes, we have adopted sustainable business practices in our workplace. The starting point for this was our move to digital signing of documents three years ago. This dramatically reduced the amount of paper we required and also reduced our need for printer cartridges. Many of our team had their own printers in the past, but with 95 per cent of our documents sent to clients electronically now we only need one multi-function printing and scanning device in our business. This has also reduced electricity use and our postage requirements.
Some of our younger team members made suggestions to us that we implemented. In our kitchen area we’ve installed recycle waste bins to keep this separate from general waste. Our toner cartridges are set for recycling.
We’re moving to a smaller office space in the same building in a few months’ time, and we’re ensuring that LED lighting is fitted to reduce electricity usage. These are all small things – but they add up over the long term!
Timothy Munro, FIPA, FFA, CEO and founder, Change Accountants and Advisors