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Workplace Sustainability Through Compensating

    Young businesses throw the word ‘sustainability’ around like it’s a new chart-topping song. But what does it actually mean?

    We all know by now that the environment is our friend. A good friend. And as good friends take care of one another, that’s precisely what we intend to do. Easy enough as this may be for an individual living their own life. For businesses and organisations? It’s not so straight forward.

    Some businesses, particularly large businesses, being green isn’t so much about actually “being green” but instead being less “not green”. It’s difficult to get one’s head around but if you imagine you own a public transport company or an airline, fuel is still fuel, and combustion engines still produce waste gases.

    So, what do you do? Do you move to electric busses and planes? Good luck, as neither are even close to being invented, never mind implementable.

    Ok, so what about cutting down the amount of services you offer? Not bad, only now you have less income and the same outgoings. Not going to impress your accountant with those figures.

    So, what do we do? We know we can’t keep pumping harmful gases into the atmosphere. However, we need to make money for the people whose wellbeing and livelihoods depend on our giving them jobs. Not to mention the very important service we provide to the public and our customers.

    And so, enter. Compensation.

    If you imagine sustainability as an umbrella. And protecting the environment as a stiff wind. In order to keep your head dry you can compensate by holding the umbrella slightly upwind.

    To compensate is to “trick” the system into helping save the environment. Don’t let the term “trick” fool you into thinking it’s a con. It works. It’s basically shifting one’s position to allow others, who can, to save the environment on your behalf. Whilst, in the meantime, you do everything you can to become more and more green.

    And so. To answer the question of “What do we do?” As a large company, producing lots of harmful gases as a byproduct of business. We can do two things:

    1. Train our drivers, pilots, engineers to make the most out of every drop of fuel. Drive more economically, load planes with correct amounts of fuel to save weight. Apply baggage restrictions to save weight. Etc, etc…

    2. Fund organisations through our profits who develop more environmentally friendly transportation. Fund organisations who work towards reforestation of our planet. Fund organisations who invest into small green companies trying to make a difference. Fund renewable energy programmes. Etc, etc…

    This second step is called Compensation.

    Some large organisations can’t be more green. So instead they off load their profits to other companies who do their best to be carbon negative. Allotting themselves (as less dynamic companies) more time to change to a greener future.

    Okay, so you have probably pointed out that this does nothing to reduce greenhouse emissions. And you’re right. But for every trick, there’s a magician.

    This “funding” that can be offered up from big companies, comes with rights. Specifically the right to be slightly “less green”. However these rights are up for grabs on the open market. So it’s not just the big companies who can purchase these rights. Furthermore, these rights are capped at an increasingly restricted rate. This quite cleverly means that the small green companies who share the burden of the “greenness”, can themselves purchase these rights and further restrict the big companies from being “not so green”. This is a big kick up the a** for companies not trying so hard to change their ways. The fines for going over your allotted pollution quota are dangerously high. Therefore the system acts as a carrot and stick for the economy to shift direction towards… you guessed it. Sustainability.

    And so, despite being a cool new word, sustainability, actually has some great meaning. The reason it’s being thrown around like a new pop song is because a lot of new businesses depend on the funding. While a lot of older bigger businesses are being manipulated into better behaviour because of it.

    Xwander Nordic is one of these new companies.

    Xwander Nordic has big plans towards sustainable business and the environment. To see how Xwander Nordic is making a difference, follow this blog series…