What is a sustainability policy?
Sustainability can be described as avoiding the depletion of natural resources to maintain an ecological balance. A sustainability policy is a statement explaining your business’s thinking and commitment to the aspects of sustainability that you can influence in your practice.
Why develop a sustainability policy?
Optical businesses are under more pressure than ever to meet environmental responsibilities. Patients have increasing expectations of businesses to reduce their waste, reduce their carbon footprint and to improve their sustainability performance. A sustainability policy demonstrates your commitment to an ethical and environment-friendly way of working
How a sustainability policy can help YOUR business
The design and implementation of a sustainability policy may require some initial investment – but there are advantages. A sustainability policy will help you to:
Want to know more? Read about how a sustainability policy can help your business, or refer to ISO 14001 certification for further information to help your business)
There is no standard layout for a sustainability policy as each business is different in size and with varying local issues and priorities. Here are some considerations for a balanced sustainability policy.
The vision statement concisely describes your ideal aims in 10 words or less.
Caring for the environment is an integral to our thinking.
Creating a list of principles helps you to decide what is most important.
At Green Opticians we recognise the harm caused to the local and global environment from continued use of non-recyclables and we commit to reduce this in our business.
At Green Opticians we will measure our impact on the environment and set targets to improve our performance.
Which challenge is most important to your business and colleagues? Waste? Recycling? Ethically sourced products?
Our business faces some real challenges, but there are also opportunities. We seek to reduce our Carbon Footprint by reducing waste, cutting unnecessary travel to meetings, and investing in an energy audit to reduce our consumption.
Your policy should cover areas that you can directly influence within the practice with the team, so you may need to establish boundaries.
We acknowledge that we have limited influence over our suppliers in the optical industry and beyond, but we commit to educate the wherever possible, and create a list of preferred suppliers who support our ideals.
These are best in the SMART format (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timed). Have an Indicator (what you measure) and a Target (level of performance). Make these realistic so that you achieve your targets and build on them to encourage your team.
We commit to:
Your stated intention to report your sustainability performance:
Download a Sustainability Template here and make a start on your own sustainability policy.