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Sustainability in Business Practices

April 5, 2019 / by Bill Miller

double exposure of hand drawn texture globe on wood table near note book and glasses

Sustainability: You’ve probably heard the term in relation to business principles and procedures. But do you truly understand what it means? According to the International Institute for Sustainable Development, sustainability is the process of adopting business strategies and activities that meet the immediate needs of a business and its stakeholders, while protecting, sustaining, and enhancing the human and natural resources that will be needed in the future.

Sustainability Principles

There are five core principles of sustainability.

  1. Material
  2. Economic
  3. Life
  4. Social
  5. Spiritual

Sustainability has been described as “a three-legged stool, involving people, the planet, and profits.” The ways businesses can and should incorporate sustainability principles into their own policies and procedures depend on the type of businesses they are. While the concrete sustainability steps will vary from business to business, there is one commonality across the board, regardless of what a business sells or produces. It’s important to embrace sustainability and make it a priority.

Why It’s Important to Adopt Sustainable Processes and Procedures

Embracing sustainable principles is the right thing to do for the planet and all living things. But, it’s more than the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do for businesses.

Today, thanks to technology and social media, business operations are more transparent than ever. There’s really no place to hide; people are watching and people are holding businesses accountable for things like contributing to air and water pollution, discriminating against groups of people, operating hazardous or unsafe workplaces, etc. It’s important for every business to incorporate sustainable practices. Such practices actually increase productivity and profits while benefiting employees and the environment at the same time.

Case Study: Office Furniture Manufacturer Embraces Sustainability

Swedish office furniture manufacturer Kinnarps Group – which includes Kinnarps, Drabert, Materia, Martin Stoll, NC Nordic Care and Skandiform -- made international headlines recently for reaching one of its targeted emissions goals sooner than planned. Committed to being a good corporate citizen and doing its part to contribute to United Nations global sustainability goals, Kinnarps initially set the goal of reducing emissions 22% between the years 2014 and 2020. In 2019, the company announced, it had already beaten that goal and reduced emissions 24%. Consequently, the company has set a new target for 2020: To reduce emissions 35% over its 2014 levels.

One of the biggest factors contributing to its ahead-of-schedule success is that it switched from a liquefied petroleum gas heating system to an environmentally friendlier heating alternative at one of its production facilities.

The company also upgraded its logistics system to be more efficient, which also contributed to decreased emissions. Although its vehicle fleet already accommodated a 50% higher load than the industry average, Kinnarps knew it could do even better. In 2018, it partnered with Volvo and the Swedish Transportation Industry to launch a high capacity transport project. It began using longer transport vehicles that could hold three transport boxes – one more than its prior vehicles had been able to hold. Carrying more product per load reduced its environmental impact – and increased efficiency and profits. Kinnarps is just one example illustrating that sustainability is a win-win-win for people, the planet, and profits.

Houston Installation Services: Committed to Sustainability

We have one earth; it’s in all of our best interests to do what we can to protect it. Fortunately, sustainability does not have to hinder profitability. In fact, embracing sustainability is smart business. Good environmental stewards prefer to do businesses with those who also embrace this important cause.

When you are in need of an office furniture installer, you can be confident that Houston Installation Services shares your commitment to sustainable practices. When we do work for you, most waste from your job site will be recycled or reused - not sent to a landfill. We participate in InstallNET’s EcoServ initiative (InstallNET is a national network of furniture installers, movers, liquidators, and recyclers.) Thanks to our EcoServ partnership, you can have peace of mind that your unwanted furniture will be donated to local charities, repurposed and sold, or recycled. Choose HIS with the confidence that we, too, are committed to reducing our carbon footprint.

Looking for ways to create a company culture that your employees will love?

Topics: Sustainability, Facility Managers, Managers

Written by Bill Miller

Bill Miller joined Houston Installation Services, Inc. as the Operations and Sales Manager in 1988 where he worked until he purchased the company in 1994. Under his leadership, Houston Installation has grown to a $4.5 million business with 50 employees all specialized in the best way to help companies move, remodel or add office space.