Sustainability – is it all just politics and preening? (And a little bit boring?)

Trevelyan’s sustainabiLity committee

We’ve all met one. A workplace eco-warrior who knows exactly what plastic numbers can be recycled in New Zealand, and usually drives an electric car (and encourages carpools!). Then there’s the rest of us, who rolled our eyes, and more or less shirked our environmental responsibilities.

Few people these days can ignore the effects of climate change, and when it comes to tackling it, only a united effort can spark genuine transformation. In simple terms ‘Every person can make a difference, and every person should try.’*

Yes, sustainability can be a complicated and intimidating topic, but there are practical, uncomplicated steps any company (or person in that company!) can take to address sustainability and show progress.

Sustainability reporting is a mechanism for measuring and communicating performance against environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors, and since 2014, before it was ‘cool’ or ‘woke’ Trevelyan’s tracked, collated, and reported on their waste and recycling, carbon emissions, and resource usage data. They do it so that they can better understand their environmental impacts and how these can be reduced. Trevelyan’s uses a holistic approach, considering ecological, social, and economic dimensions, because they recognise that ALL must be considered together to achieve a sustainable future.

The success of a family-owned business, such as Trevelyan’s, is attributed to values and attitudes; they face difficult decisions head-on, embrace change, and are open and transparent. Trevelyan’s is structured around a clear sustainability framework that supports how they operate, and it is built on three key pillars; Work Smart, Tread Lightly, and Respect Our People. These pillars help define their kaupapa (purpose) – growing a better future for their people, the environment, and the industry.

At Trevelyan’s, Sarah Lei is the Head of Sustainability, and with a passionate sustainability committee behind her, she champions numerous projects and gently educates on the benefits of change. The achievements are impressive. For the environment, less than 5% of waste went to landfill in 2022; the remainder was recycled or composted. For their people, they achieved a Gold Workwell Accreditation** and for the industry, they pioneered by recently establishing a Sustainability-linked loan with their bank (ASB)***.

Sarah commented – “At Trevelyan’s, we aspire to make the world a better place and make a meaningful difference as we face the major challenges of our time, such as climate change. We have been working hard to reduce our environmental impacts over the last decade. All the data we have collected during this time has helped us define clear sustainability targets and commit to them through the sustainable finance format. We share these goals with our stakeholders so we can all work together towards a better future.”

With mindful decisions, we are encouraged to preserve our natural resources, and small steps can lead to big changes. So today, consider how you and your company can work more sustainably…Robert Swan OBE, the first man in history to walk to both the North and South Poles, is quoted as saying, ‘The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.’ Today, be someone.

→ 07 573 0085
→  www.trevelyan.co.nz



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