Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Sustainability and the Boomtown Rat



Life is like a flow chart. Every decision, however innocuous, sends you off in a different direction. Yes or no. Tea or coffee. In or out. We all make snap decisions that change the course of our lives all the time. We usually have no idea whether they were right or wrong. We simply have to live with the consequences of our choices.

Businesses are just the same. Good decisions can be made on the spur of the moment. Remember the guy from Decca Records in 1963. He decided that guitar bands were a thing of the past. He watched four chancers from Liverpool audition and told their manager he was not at all interested. So The Beatles signed for Parlophone instead and that funded EMI, who were one of the most successful music industry giants of all time, until the rise of iTunes.

He made up for it a year later though; he signed The Rolling Stones.

Not every decision is that important, but they all have consequences. Sustainability and the efficient reuse of our limited resources depends on us all making good decisions. Not everyone is green. Not in the campaigning sense at any rate. But given the right information, most people will separate their rubbish and put it in the right bins.

This makes a difference. Yes I know China has opened 22 coal-fired power stations since I started writing this post but that is not the point. If we all take personal responsibility for our own actions we will change things. We don’t all have to burn our bras but we do need to do our bit.

I do hate it when politicians or campaigners get preachy. They make it all sound so pious and I am sure that attitude turns as many people off as it turns on. I much preferred Bob Geldof’s fund raising style...’give some focking money’...to the Archbishop of Canterbury wittering on. That might just be me of course...

Electrical waste will become more of an issue, not less. Electronic devices are taking over. No sooner has the iPhone 6 been launched than iPhone 7 is being talked about...and that means upgrades and old kit being disposed of. According to latest figures there are now 7.19 BILLION ‘mobile devices’ in this world.

So we have to start being responsible. Not blasé, apathetic or mean-spirited, but truly responsible. I am not just talking about asset disposal either, although that is eReco’s own area of expertise and self-interest. From the manufacturers to the end user, we all have to think things through.

The cost of disposing of old kit is an irrelevance. It’s recycling is not. That does not mean a company like ours should charge you a fortune...far from it. And it does not mean that you should not be able to benefit from extending the lifecycle of equipment beyond your ownership. But it does mean that we should prioritise the recycling aspect above costs or cash back.

Price is not everything. We have all heard that before. It usually comes fourth or fifth in any survey mainly because we do not like to admit we are tight, I suspect. When buying any equipment, we should consider price but we should also consider lifecycle and sustainability.

Bob Geldof would put it rather succinctly I am sure. Paul McCartney would probably right a song about it, hopefully not with the Frog chorus. Forget about the Chinese and let’s get our own house in order.

Let’s put sustainability at the top of the agenda in 2015.