Sustainability – The Journey From Activism To Concrete Action

On January 1st 2020, I made a personal commitment to driving sustainability across product life-cycles and along supply-chains, which is also being reflected in the work Equitus Design Engineering and Innovations Limited does. Two years hence, every project Equitus has delivered or is delivering is aligned to multiple UN SDGs.

Now, here is my take on how to drive sustainability at scale.

A simple definition of sustainability is ‘avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.’ The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.

These SDGs can also be arranged based on their direct impact on the biosphere, society and economy, with SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals at the centre. This presents the SDGs with a more contextual significance than mere statements.

The need of the hour is to go beyond activism and convert the good intentions to actions that make impact. The question that we need to answer is ‘how do we make the right thing to do, the easiest thing to do?’.

As industry, three things we can do immediately are below. If you want more help, or want to know more, reach out.

Align business practises with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

It must include specific examples of how everything that the organisation does for its own processes and for its clients to promote participation in the UN SDGs. At Equitus Engineering Limited all our success stories have this alignment built into them.

Put sustainability at the core of product and process design

For example, develop designs that consume less material for the same performance. This will drive sustainability and positive climate action by ‘making the right thing to to, the easiest thing to do’.

Focus on Developing People and Fostering Collaboration

Change our culture and approach from a task-driven culture to a results-driven culture, i.e. changing the conversation form ‘it is not my job’ to ‘it is our job’.

To summarise my point, I believe to achieve sustainable development and a sustainable future, we need collective participation from the people. Activism alone will not solve any problem. It will require governments, adacemia, industry and the general population to come together and collaborate. It’s about making the right thing to do, the easiest thing to do.

As I finish, two questions and an action for you.

  1. Are you practising sustainability at your organisation, which goes beyond recycling, waste management and energy source and efficiency?
  2. If so, how are you measuring your sustainability practises?
  3. If not, please get in touch and Equitus can show you how to get started. You may not need it but you may know of someone who is looking for this.

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