Kingfisher Garden Centre is determined to make its all operations environmentally friendly and restore environmental integrity. We aim to introduce sustainable processes in our business operations to meet the needs and desires of our customers but without comprising the required resources that our future generations will need. These include natural as well as social and economic resources. For us, sustainability is the study of natural systems to comprehend their functionalities and utilize natural resources to meet the needs of our modern life in a way that it does not disturb the natural balance. This sustainability policy outlines our commitment to involve only those technologies and processes in our business operations that meet the internal standards of sustainable business procedures.
Stakeholder management is very critical for the project execution and sustainable growth of the company. Because they are a valuable source of accessing new tools and information that can help to improve and innovate business strategies (Clifton and Amran, 2010). Similarly, their constructive feedback on different actions of the company is also very useful for managers to make informed decisions and reduce any kind of financial or operational risk in the future. Therefore, we have opted to involve our stakeholders in deciding and implementing our sustainability policy that directly affects the society and environment. For our business, the key stakeholders are:
- Management team including owner, state managers, FB managers, store managers, finance manager, and supervisors
- Primary and secondary customers who will, directly and indirectly, benefit from the products
By applying stakeholder theory to sustainability management, Hörisch, Freeman, and Schaltegger (2014) concluded that managing stakeholder often come up with critical challenges. As they pointed out, developing the sustainability interests of stakeholders and getting them on board to make collective efforts for sustainable development is a key challenge for sustainability management. However, we have introduced proper education platforms, regulations, and sustainability-based value creation to earn the trust of our stakeholders. And after a detailed discussion with the stakeholders, it was agreed that environmental problems, social problems, and financial problems are the key challenges to address in our policy.
Therefore, to achieve the sustainable goals of our company, our stakeholders at all levels are committed to purchasing or consuming only those products that align with worldwide standards. Through our mutual efforts, we will be able to achieve a balance between social, economic, and environmental aspects. This will also ensure that we have sustainable economic growth without compromising on environmental safety.
There are various legal obligations as well related to environmental sustainability that we have to fulfill as an authorized corporation (Ashrafi et al., 2018). These includes:
- Protection of the Environment Legislation Amendment Act 2011: This legislation requires business management to implement certain measures to reduce the risk of pollution from hazardous accidents.
- Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001: The Act promotes resource recovery and waste avoidance to continuously reduce the waste generated during production. Furthermore, it also implements a state-wide strategy to support extended producer responsibility for the entire life-cycle of the product.
- Pesticides Act 1999: The Act limits the use of pesticides that can potentially harm people, plants, animals, and property.
- Ozone Protection Act 1989: This Act regulates the production strategies and substances that can deplete the ozone layer when they are released into the atmosphere.
- National Environment Protection Council (New South Wales) Act 1995: The Act provides legal authority to the National Environmental Protection Agency to introduce certain environmental protection measures including legislation in NSW.
We will strongly preserve the environment as per the requirements and guidelines of all these legislations in our production as well as the service sector.
We aim to become an organization that successfully embeds eternity and diversity to increase the value-added and sustain economic prosperity and environmental integrity.
We have a set of business objectives as:
- Developing a stronger market for sustainable products that meet the consumers’ demands.
- Provide proper training to employees to successfully implement sustainable strategies
- Continuously improve the sustainability policy to incorporate new challenges and requirements of the modern way of life.
Thus, our vision statement strongly reflects our sustainability engagement as we are equally concerned about the social and environmental aspects and economic aspects of our business.
We have a firm belief that when it comes to sustainability, everyone can play his part. Furthermore, to align and direct the efforts of our company, we have made determining certain values that will always be preserved when deciding on any matter. So we commit regarding:
- Waste management
- Water management
- Energy management
We have a strong determination to establish a sustainability program to not only reduce waste but also reduce emissions as well which will significantly improve the environmental conditions. This way we are focused on the economic advantage and environmental protection. Following are the values which we will observe:
- Professionalism, moral integrity, and honesty
- Teamwork and knowledge sharing
- Consistent development both at the organizational and staff level
- Creating and preventive culture while observing occupational health and safety
- A responsible attitude of the company towards economic, social, and environmental issues
- Ensuring maximum profits for our stakeholders and investors
Stakeholders are always concerned about the profit of the company and therefore, we will ensure that they perceive a company as a profitable business that does not involve any environmentally hazardous activities as well. So, after successful management of waste and reduced cost of business operations, they will find a company on the right track.
Dan O’Donnell established the Kingfisher Garden Centre in 2001 after being inspired by the love of his grandparents who enjoyed the garden where he first grew up. Soon after his degree in landscaping and sustainability, he adopted the profession of landscaping management to provide affordable gardening solutions to people. Keeping our passion for Dan alive, we are currently making our utmost efforts to assist our versatile customers in creating adorable and economical garden spaces in their homes. To achieve this, we only use the products that come from our trusted suppliers who are also actively engaged in sustainability efforts. What makes us different from our competitors is the ethical, responsible, and professional behavior that we observe in executing the range of gardening projects.
To make an environmental impact, we have also gathered a team of highly talented and professional individuals who belong to diverse backgrounds and help us achieve our goals in a very responsible and creative way. However, we mostly face issues from our customers, employees, managers, and stakeholders regarding preserving the sustainable approach in our business. These include:
- Lack of proper awareness among our customers regarding purchasing sustainable products that lead to their inconsistent behavior. Their response directly impacts the social, environmental, and economic aspects at personal, community, and social levels.
- Lack of enough motivation in employees to take and promote sustainability initiatives.
- Inconsistent and ineffective efforts of the managers to integrate sustainability at the workplace.
- Unavailability of the proper guidelines for stakeholders
However, all these challenges can easily be addressed by the collective efforts of managers and employees, especially those who are in the most effective position to recommend any changes (Biondi, Iraldo, and Meredith, 2002). For example, by announcing incentives for employees who promote sustainable practices, they can engage the employees efficiently. Similarly, they need to understand the sustainability issues at the local level as well such as bushfires to build a healthy relationship of the company with the community that will further help to align customers’ preferences with the sustainability policy of the company.
To effectively achieve the positive outcomes of the sustainability policy, all the above-mentioned issues and challenges must be properly addressed. In this regard, we have set certain goals and targets of the improvements as discussed below:
- Modification in the production process to reduce waste and emissions
- Implementation of conservation techniques to reduce energy and water usage
- Recycling the materials
- Reduction in the landscape water use
- Engaging employees in various activities that promote sustainability
- Installation of automatic light off system
- Educating consumers about the efficient use of energy
- To become the top garden and lifestyle center by 2022.
- Continuous improvement of the business to adopt the best sustainable practices
- Establishing essential leadership skills in managers and employees to lead the company towards sustainable growth
The first action towards implementing a sustainable policy is to utilize a policy development framework that helps the business in stating clear objectives based not only on economic indicators but on many social and environmental factors as well (Alhaddi, 2015). In this regard, we will utilize the triple bottom line framework to incorporate best practices in our business. By following the guidelines of this framework, we will deploy the following strategies to solve the environmental and social issues at the local level.
The primary objective of waste management is to promote the conservation of energy without having any environmental impact. To ensure this, we will deploy proper waste management strategies such as recycling and elimination by fully complying with the waste management legislation. We will also minimize the risk to health, safety, and the environment during all such activities.
Energy conservation is one of the most prominent sustainable practices. So, to optimize our energy usage, we will investigate all the potential areas where energy consumption can be decreased using alternative strategies. For example, LED lights instead of ordinary bulbs can provide a significant energy-saving advantage without compromising on the quality or amount of light. For this, a monthly energy consumption report will be prepared to analyze the energy usage and minimize it as possible.
Water management is an essential component for smooth operational activities. Therefore, we will ensure effective water management through:
- Purchasing water-efficient equipment and plants
- Efficiently consuming water by smart procurement, distribution and maintenance of water
- Spreading awareness at all levels regarding the efficient use of water
- Supporting relevant research in finding alternatives to water
- Funding water conservation measures
The more detailed actions are elaborated in the following action plan table.
Table 1: Action Plan
|Sr. No.||KPI||Target||Implementation Plan and Control||Responsible Members|
|1||Electricity (kWh) for air conditioning||Reduction of electricity consumption for air conditioning by 10% annually||Green Office Guide and accompanying plan||All staff|
|2||Electricity (kWh) for office lighting||Reduction of electricity consumption in office by 10% annually||Green Office guide and accompanying plan||All staff|
|3||Electricity kWh for computer and other office equipment||Reduction of electricity consumption in office equipment by 10% annually||Green Office Guide and accompanying plan||All staff|
|4||Air travel||Reduction of annual air travel per section manager by 10% annually||Department plan for reducing the environmental impact of travel||HR manager|
|5||Paper consumption||Reduction of annual paper consumption by 10%||Green Office Guide and accompanying plan||All staff|
|6||Kg of waste recycled and disposed to the landfill||Effective implementation of waste management strategies||Department of the waste management plan||Purchasing officer|
The responsibility matrix below enlists the duties of the staff members to achieve the policy targets related to sustainability.
Table 2: Responsibility Matrix
|Role||Responsibilities||Qualifications||Training needs||Planned date|
||Senior Business Administrator||Policy awareness (in-house)||June 2021|
|Environment committee members||– Assist in monitoring and management
– Provide training to staff
Full awareness of set goals and KPIs
|Certificate IV in Environmental Management||Waste minimization, management principles, and strategies (external)||June 2021|
|Environment project manager||Manage the implementation of the policy
Monitor and measure environmental performance
Implement programs for achieving goals and KPIs
|ISO 14001 Certification||Essential training of management systems||May 2021|
|Purchasing manager||– Purchase raw materials that comply with the environmental requirements||Green Procurement Management||In-house policy awareness||May
|Staff||– Awareness of relevant strategies and values||No certification is required||In-house policy awareness||May
The responsibility matrix above shows the competence and training requirements for the staff members to successfully make an environmental impact.
Communication is a very critical aspect of the effective implementation of the policy. Therefore, we will make sure that all the stakeholders are informed about the policy guidelines, and for this, we will utilize direct meetings, newsletters, posters, and the internet which will further enhance their interest in the company’s new directions. However, there may arise some challenges like ineffective communication in the form of misinformation, delay, etc. Therefore, to eliminate any kind of such issues, the internal and external stakeholders will be provided with information through the following means (Manetti and Toccafondi, 2011).
- Sustainability action employee groups
- Sending the report through the e-mails
- Annual sustainability report
The primary method to investigate the effectiveness of the policy is to compare the achieved outcomes with the desired outcomes. For this, we have already established our desired goals, and based on the results of our implementation, we will further revise the policy to make improvements accordingly. Moreover, we will try to enhance our organizational capacity to work on the areas highlighted after comparison to further work on. But it is also important that the information is collected rightly and compared efficiently to make the right comparison and analyze the positive and negative results of the policy.
To check the company’s ability to comply with the sustainability plan, it will be audited according to the set international standards and codes. Organizations have audited every three months or annually. Monitoring is done to check the performance of the company against established milestones and track the business progress (Spangenberg, 2002). Monitoring can provide information regarding several critical issues such as:
- Resource issues
- Staff resístanse
- Time delays
- Communication issues
- Benchmarking against financial goals
Once any of such key issues are identified, they will be shared with the stakeholders so that they can take timely actions. In this way, a company can ensure the continuous improvement of its business operations which plays a very important role to deliver quality products and services to the customers. Following steps will be taken to ensure that the right aspects of the business are monitored, and the relevant actions are taken.
- Step 1. Determination of the factors that need to be monitored
- Step 2. Establishment of different monitoring methods
- Step 3. Critical evaluation of the outcomes in comparison to the desired results
- Step 4. Device improvement strategies
- Step 5. Provide feedback.
- Step 6. Monitoring and review; is the final step in developing your sustainability policy.
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