Does your organization source socially and environmentally responsible food?

Environmental Management Systems

Does your organization source socially and environmentally responsible food?

Fast food joints are not places that I go to very frequently. In fact, it had been years since I last went into a McDonalds – until a couple of weeks ago. I knew that they used British and Irish beef (who could have missed the advertising?), but I was astonished to see that they also use organic milk, Rainforest Alliance tea, RSPCA assured pork and MSC certified fish.

Similarly, when I visited my local Wetherspoons and asked them about the provenance of their fish, they directed me to a leaflet that told me exactly why they consider their fish to be sustainable, where they get their free-range eggs from, etc.

McDonalds and Wetherspoons are both known for offering food at affordable prices. If they can buy responsibly-sourced food and still offer great prices to customers, can you?

Is your emergency preparedness adequate?

One of the (many) environmental impacts of Hurricane Harvey was a toxic plume from a chemical storage facility. The flooding associated with the storm had left them without power, which they needed to keep the chemicals cool enough to remain stable.

I don’t know what emergency preparedness planning they had put into place, but clearly it wasn’t effective under those conditions.

We are experiencing more heavy rainfall and more flooding here in the UK. We are also expecting to have more heatwaves.

Are your emergency plans adequate to effectively respond to significant weather events? What are the environmental and business implications if they’re not?

How do you report on key issues?

I was with a company recently that uses A3 reporting in their business. I think it’s a great way of reporting – very easy to quickly understand what’s happening.
One of their reports contained graphs showing progress against 16 key performance indicators. Another was used as their business planning tool.
What information could you fit onto an A3 report, that would give an easily digestible, visual representation of key issues?

How can you use trees to boost wellbeing?

There’s a growing body of evidence that being near trees boosts well-being. Trees also take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and turn it into oxygen, shelter buildings from wind and extreme temperatures and provide habitats for a wide range of birds, insects and mammals.

Do you have a patch of ground near your place of work that you could plant some trees on?Tree planting

Plan Do Check Act – do you use the whole cycle?

The importance of the whole of the Plan Do Check Act cycle in achieving desired results was illustrated to me the other day while learning to paddleboard.

One of our group knelt on the board as we had been shown, adjusted their position so that their feet would be in the right place when they stood up (plan), and stood up slowly (do). This allowed them to make adjustments as the board wobbled (check & act), and very soon they were happily paddling along.

Another started off by kneeling in the same way. They then leapt onto the board (do), sending it flying – and them splashing into the water at great speed. Once the board was retrieved, this process was repeated a number of times (do), with marginal improvements. That person didn’t enjoy the experience and quickly gave up.

It was a classic example of ‘doing’ before ‘planning’, not learning from the experience and repeating the same mistake.

If you have had any unsuccessful environmental initiatives, is it possible that, with improved planning, there could have been an improved result? That identifying ‘wobbles’ early on might have allowed you to make an adjustment and nudged the project to success?