Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Sustained Pressure to be Sustainable



In an ideal world, life would be simple. We would all know what we have to do and just do it because it has to be done. No ducking and diving just a consensus view that we just get on with it and do the thing because it is the right thing to do.

Sustainability should be like that. It trends on Twitter quite often you know, because it is a right on thing to believe in, like not hunting whales and putting an end to poverty. But if you believe in it, you should walk the walk as well as talk the talk, shouldn’t you?

How many people consider sustainability when making any purchase? Do you even ask? No, me neither if I am honest. I changed phones for my lad last week and I just assumed. I do have some inside knowledge, so I am probably right, but I did not ask and I do not know for sure.

And at the other end of the lifecycle, we are probably just as bad. We all have WEEE items in a drawer or a cupboard at home, either because we cannot be bothered to take them down the tip or we are just bone idle. Or a bit of both. Maybe they are data bearing and we worry about that a little but the consumer is generally lazy at home, especially if it is me. We certainly don’t think ‘gosh I must recycle that toaster properly to help the electronics industry achieve sustainability’.

In business disposals, the same rules apply, with the addition of costs, budgets and regulations. Data is the risk, and whilst plenty of people ignore that risk or are ignorant of it, very few consider the green aspects of the process.

In May we may well get more Green Party MP’s. We have one, I think I think I am right in saying, in Brighton. I am not entirely sure the Green Party is winning over many new supporters (I am in the camp which believes the big three parties are driving people away rather than the other lot winning) but the trend is upwards so the issues ought to be more prominent.

But I spend very little time selling green. I always throw it in there but I end up talking a lot more about data security and the price of fish. I find this surprising and disappointing. Regular readers will know that I am not particularly green, but I buy into the sustainable argument. It makes perfect sense. Use what we have wisely. Make it last. Don’t burn up all our precious resources and then bury them in the ground. To me it is not about hugging the odd tree, it is about logical commonsense.

Big businesses have environmental managers of some description, and they often have all the power of the caretaker or the office administrator. I hope that is going to change. In general, demote elf and safety and promote the environment. But customers and members of staff have to make their feelings known. It is the up swell of pressure that changes behaviour.

Sustained pressure to be sustainable, that’s what we need!