Our Mission: Accessible Sustainability Solutions

Impact Sustainability is a boutique consultancy that assists business from the creation of sustainability strategy right through to measurement and communication of performance. Our services are supported by a state-of-the-art measurement and reporting software.

 

Our services and solutions are designed to up-skill your employees to ensure your sustainability strategy is internalised. We focus on helping you communicate your unique message to key stakeholders to ensure your investment in sustainability creates value for your business. We’ll help you to:  

 

Develop a strategy and tell the story:

 

  • Define sustainability for your business
  • Develop and implement your strategy
  • Establish senior buy-in
  • Build your staff capacity
  • Collaborate with your supply chain
  • Communicate and engage your stakeholders

 

Keep you on the right track:

 

  • Track your projects + data with cloud-based software
  • Select your indicators
  • Analyse your data

 

10 Steps to Sustainability is our flagship service, supported by our free eBook the Groundwork Guidebook

 

We look forward to hearing from you 

Capitalism with a conscience

Buy, consume, dispose – such is the widely accepted framework that we consumers accept and operate within.  But turning this framework on its head is a steadily growing, global movement known as “collaborative consumption”.

 

Also known as the “sharing economy”, a business operating within this movement does not sell a product or service, but instead provides a framework that allows mutually beneficial “sharing” or “exchanging” to take place among individuals.  Collaborative consumption businesses make use of the increased connectivity provided by the online world, creating opportunities between people that would otherwise have been missed or wasted.

 

At its heart, collaborative consumption takes what we might call excess inventory – a spare room, an unused car, idle capital – and provides a return for it. That’s clearly a very disruptive idea. 

 

The good news for business owners is that the collaborative consumption model and the traditional buy/sell model don’t have to be mutually exclusive.  A number of traditional business owners have adopted the concept as part over their overall business, a move that has increased their ‘eco-cred’ and provided a new avenue for continuous engagement with customers.

 

As environmental awareness grows, consumers are increasingly conscious of the impact of creating new products and services. Collaborative consumption reduces waste and encourages the reuse of items rather than the creation of new ones. 

 

Even when people don’t buy into the philosophy of collaborative consumption, the insights transferable to a broader productivity debate are valuable. Above all, the main reason this movement will succeed is because of the opportunity to save money. Quite simply, it allows you to get something you want more cheaply. 

 

Suppose you are presented with two services.  The first option is better for the environment, connects you with real people and costs you less.  The second option is the opposite… which would you choose?

 

This is an abridged version of an article by Hayley Morris first published on ANZ BlueNotes. Read the full text here.

End-of-life warranty

 

Sustainability strategy is becoming more innovative as supply chain issues become more apparent. It is important to consider potential second (and third, fourth and so on) lives for products – recycling is one thing, but designing products so that they are reusable or easily able to be repurposed is even more responsible.

                   

The ‘cradle to cradle’ view of a product’s life-cycle has emerged, seeing companies working with suppliers throughout the chain to ensure a life to their products and packaging beyond their primary use. An obvious way forward is proper recycling, however this requires behaviour change from companies, suppliers and consumers alike and so poses a challenge.

 

It’s a sad fact that companies cannot rely on consumers to recycle their products and packaging. The upshot of the general population’s laziness, however, is that companies themselves must take more responsibility for where their products end up or move on to once ‘used up’. The idea is that they never become ‘used up’ but rather have the same use again and again, or move on to having another use that holds just as much value.

 

Experts are coming out and saying that sustainability and resource scarcity are questions of design. For many, sustainable design solutions are a lot more attractive than reduction of output. Rather than just tackling the problem of doing more with less, why not design products to provide nourishment for something new – biological or industrial. Take a look at this great TED talk on Biomimicry to see how designers and scientists are taking cues from nature in their innovations.

 

William McDonough and Michael Braungart, authors of The Upcycle, write about everyday objects that are being imagined not just to sustain life but to grow it, envisioning a future where our role is not just to protect the planet from human impact but to redesign our activity to improve the environment.

 

Here are a few of our favourite upcyclers (let us prove that upcycling not all handbags made from soda can pull tabs!).

 

  • Icestone – a US company making durable and attractive surfaces from recycled glass and Portland cement.
  • ReKindle – a social enterprise in New Zealand transforming waste wood into covetable furniture, a creative response to the Christchurch earthquake of February 2012.
  • Terracycle, a company which repurposes waste of just about any kind that is sent in from individuals and collected from companies. The brands that partner with Terracycle are even paid for their trash. Australia is the latest in the 26 strong list of companies in which TerraCycle has a base; the focus here is on recycling cigarette stubs.

 

While some critics of upcycling say it only postpones the inevitable – the rising popularity of this waste strategy is raising people’s awareness of the issue and motivating companies to develop more eco-friendly products and services.