Is there any other way than the sustainable way?

Is there any other way than the sustainable way?

The word sustainability conjures up a variety of interpretations depending on what your beliefs and values are. For some, it means environmental issues, such as turning the lights off or saving the polar ice caps. For others it is something more personal and about considering the effects of what they do today on their children or grandchildren. And for some with a more cynical view, it is just another initiative that will create more work for us to do when we are already extremely busy.

But actually, sustainability is a fantastic opportunity for our business to lead the way, become bigger, better and more profitable whilst reducing our negative impact on the environment at local, national and global levels.

At a very fundamental level, we as humans want to survive. But if we continue to use the earth’s natural resources and pollute our air, land and water at the same rate we currently do in the UK, we will need three planets to survive. Unfortunately, we only have one and we don’t have another earth to go to. So we need to change.

Leading the change

It is companies that have the power to change, and we are all part of a company that wants to change. There is strong evidence that companies are changing their business models to look for sustainable opportunities and ultimately operate more efficiently, more profitably and with improved brand reputation. It is not only inspiring, but also encouraging for the future.

If we all look inside ourselves, we will see that sustainability is all-encompassing and touches every element of our lives, at home, at work and even during our leisure time it can affect us both positively and negatively. But actually, being sustainable is just about doing the right thing. Is there really any other way that a successful business can operate?

We face a huge challenge as individuals, as a company, a nation, a race. But that should make us more determined to get it right and do the right thing because if we don’t, mother nature will take back what we have pillaged in a catastrophic way.

I am proud to work for a company that sees the benefits of being sustainable. If we all work together to achieve our SustainAbilities outcomes and goals, I am certain that you will also be proud, not only to work for a sustainable company, but that you will have made a difference.

Let us know what difference you are making to your business.

Paul Richards

Paul Richards is QSHE Director at Interserve Support Services and chairs the division’s Sustainability Working Party. Paul is also Chair of the Health and Safety Working Group of the Facilities Management Association (FMA).


    Great blog. Couldn’t agree more with the principle that doing the irght thing will make us all more sustainable and it’s the small things we do every day both at work and in our own time that will really make a difference.

    • Phil

      Very salient point Richard about the small things we do every day. One of the problems with the fanfare surrounding such grand sounding ambitions as that of sustainability is the ease with which it can quickly materialise into exactly nothing – if there is no serious effort to involve people at a grass-roots level. Small simple steps are the way forward I believe; steps that have a patently positive and measurable impact.

  • France98

    Great blog Paul and underlines the fact that sustainability is now the default position of responsible companies.

  • Quite agree that companies have the power to change things: they can move quicker than governments, have a longer horizon than the next election, and are well resourced to deliver meaningful change.

  • Paul, an interesting link to this is – -which has a month long look at sustainability from a health, financial and community perspective. We can all make a difference.