Business sustainability – Why should you care?


Guest Speaker: Ray Cansick – Greenpeace

Ray Cansick is a self-employed consultant and active member of Greenpeace, with considerable experience working at the global management level at EY (formerly Ernst & Young) for over 15 years. He volunteers with Greenpeace to help inform organizations about the issues facing the planet and actions they can take to help. On the 3rd of December at 7 PM, Ray will be discussing the changes that businesses and employees can make to reduce their impact on the environment as part of Virtway’s Business Coffee Chat series.

Our changing climate

In the 122-year period between 1880 and 2012, the average global temperature has increased by 0.85°C. Taken collectively, the past five years represent the warmest since modern records began.

We’re rapidly approaching several key thresholds within our climate system, which if broached could set the planet on a path to uncontrollable environmental change. Research undertaken by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that a global temperature rise of more than 1.5°C will lead to rising sea levels, impacted land, freshwater, and coastal ecosystems, increased ocean acidity, and decreased oceanic oxygen levels, reduced biodiversity, and serious risks to health, livelihoods, food and water supplies, human security, and economic growth. 

Willful ignorance is no longer an option. With the consequence of unhindered global warming being the catastrophic loss of life on Earth, it’s imperative that we now alter the way that we live. While much of this change will have to be carried through policy and at the governmental level, this doesn’t mean we can ignore the changes that can be easily embraced by individual businesses and people. 

Why should sustainability be at the top of my business’ priority list?

Implementing a sustainability strategy can have tangible benefits for your organization. 


The contemporary stakeholder now prioritizes sustainability for themselves, and this is driving a demand for businesses to operate sustainably too. Shareholders will now ask for sustainable business practices in addition to strong business performance. Employees will make career choices depending on the environmental credentials of the companies that they’re applying to. Consumers will choose where they spend their money on the same basis, and Governments now mandate that companies act more sustainably through regulation. 


As such, not only can businesses who act sustainably separate themselves from the crowd and increase their market share, but they may find that they become less prone to receiving regulatory sanctions and that they have gained a competitive advantage.


It’s also a myth that sustainability must come at the expense of business success. Many companies will also find that sustainable operations can also help to reduce operational costs. For example, reducing business travel will mean that a company saves on travel costs, and saving energy can help to slash your energy bills. Together, these will help to improve margins and drive profitability for your company.

What can I do as a business to become more sustainable?

There are a number of simple changes that your organization can make to become more sustainable, these include:

  • Changing to energy suppliers who generate their power from sustainable sources
  • Reducing unnecessary waste in the workplace
  • Implementing a flexible or remote working scheme
  • Making sure that your supply chain is eco-friendly

We need to make changes to the way we live for the good of all life on earth, and the time to do it is now. If you’re lost at where to start, then this blog should give you some pointers. But please join Ray on the 3rd of December at 7 PM where he’ll be giving out expert advice on how you can make your business more sustainable as part of Virtway Events’s Business Coffee Chat series. 

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Founded in 2014, Virtway provides virtual experiences such as conferences, fairs, webinars, escape rooms, and training sessions, held in a completely immersive 3D world. Providing an innovative way to connect businesses with their stakeholders, Virtway saves money, eliminates travel costs as well and reduces CO2 emissions.

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