An increased demand for sustainable goods, practices and services has been accelerated by the pandemic. While sustainability has been part of business for several years, the effects of putting sustainability measures into practice economically and strategically have made it an indispensable part of business. Consumers have become more interested in making their lives and businesses more sustainable. According to a study by Deloitte in 2021, 32% of consumers were recorded as being highly engaged with adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. 2020 saw a record 7% decrease in global carbon emissions due to decreased fossil fuel usage which was directly related to the pandemic. As a result, the pandemic has made us acutely aware that our planet and its people can’t be neglected.
Expectations of businesses have changed rapidly over the last two years and now there is a greater degree of urgency to address sustainability issues. More transparency is expected and more ethical behaviours on the part of a business are expected. Consumers are far more aware of sustainable practices and now expect them as standard, often being able to spot greenwashing or lip service only initiatives. Additionally, consumers are highly engaged with adopting a sustainable lifestyle (Deloitte 2021). How and where we work is part of our lifestyle, and consequently, a more sustainable experience of the workplace is the future. The challenges of implementing sustainability within facilities management is an area we’ve touched on before. As a result, meeting these changing consumer expectations and meeting the challenges of sustainable facilities management is part of the background of our Evergreen Initiative
Our Acacia Evergreen Initiative: What is it and why now?
We have for the last few years been implementing sustainability practices in our business including making our supply chain more sustainable, choosing energy providers that offer the cleanest energy possible and applying for external validation for our sustainability commitments like the Eco Vadis awards. However, it has become clear that an integrated approach to sustainability across our business through setting sustainability goals and measuring our progress was becoming increasingly necessary. Last year, we collaborated with external experts to build our sustainability plan. We needed to find out what our carbon output was and then set goals based on that. In measuring our current carbon footprint, it has given us a starting point and a focus on which areas need the most improvement.
Our new Acacia Evergreen Initiative fully addresses the expansion and measurement of our sustainability efforts. We have aligned our Responsible Business efforts with The UN Sustainable Development Goals, and we have chosen those most relevant to our business and set our goals accordingly.
In alignment with the UN SDGs as listed above, the four pillars of our new Acacia Evergreen initiative are based on these. The four pillars of our Responsible Business Framework include our people, our planet, our value chain, and our innovation. Our purpose as a business aligns with each of these areas. We strive to create a fair, equitable and inclusive workplace for our employees. In our treatment of the environment, we are aiming to minimise our impact as much as possible. The value chain of our organisation will ensure that the sourcing of products and services is as sustainable and ethical as possible. Finally, technology in facilities management is the future. We will focus our use of technology in ways that maximises the energy efficiency and benefits the environment.
Measuring our decarbonisation improvements in 2022 will be done using recognized Science Based Targets. The use of SBT’s allows us to set targets, identify KPIs and measure our sustainability metrics. As we align our sustainability efforts with The measurability of these will help us to align and implement our plan by showing our progress in a quantifiable way and create transparency.
The effects of implementing our Acacia Evergreen Initiative will mean engaging our suppliers, clients, and employees and making them aware of our decarbonisation plan. We aim to align our sustainability efforts with Science Based Targets and working towards them. Additionally, we will endeavour to creating sustainability champions within Acacia through education and participation.
Sustainability has become a verb. The positive effects of our new initiative will help unearth new and better ways of serving our clients and meeting their needs. Acacia Evergreen will help us support our clients more conclusively as we can show what is working and why it is working. Documenting our progress will take time, but if you would like to learn more about Acacia Evergreen, how we’re putting our plan into action and how this supports our clients, click here or you can contact us to discuss it in more detail.