This November we would like to introduce you to our Ecogesa partner, Jordi Martínez.
ECOGESA has been committed to the responsible management of organisations for more than 25 years. Our efforts are focused on responding to those companies that consider that a project for the future is not only about balancing the profit and loss account, but also requires an efficient response to the new demands of society (good governance, sustainability, compliance, environment, etc.).
We are living through very complicated times. Is there a magic recipe for organisations to respond to this crisis? The pandemic is a great opportunity to build a fairer, more egalitarian and sustainable world. In this context, organisations must step forward and engage with society, reducing their negative impacts and enhancing those that are positive. We believe that positioning ourselves as a responsible and sustainable organisation is the best approach to respond to the great challenges of today and the future. In this regard, the 2030 Agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an excellent roadmap. Each organisation should identify the SDGs to which it can most actively contribute and set goals, measurable targets and concrete actions to achieve them.
You have said that sustainability should be one of the key pillars of the strategy of organisations Our extensive experience in helping organisations to become more sustainable allows us to conclude that many companies are already carrying out very interesting projects in the economic, social and/or environmental fields. We need only recall, for example, the multitude of solidarity initiatives that have been launched in recent months. However, in the vast majority of cases, these are isolated, one-off and unstructured actions. Therefore, SMEs still have a long way to go to integrate sustainability into their organisation’s strategy and differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Jordi, I am convinced. My organisation must commit to sustainability. What should I do to start? It is essential to stop our engines, isolate ourselves from the day-to-day maelstrom and take some time to analyse the state of our organisation and reflect on what our future priorities in the field of sustainability should be. To this end, as mentioned above, the SDGs are a great guide to consider. In the end, it is a matter of each organisation having a sustainability plan that clearly sets out the vision for the future, with realistic and ambitious objectives that allow the efforts of all employees to be aligned in their achievement.
What specific projects are clients requesting more from you in relation to the environmental dimension of sustainability? In recent years, organisations have been particularly concerned to ensure that they are up to date with their legal obligations and, in some cases, have gone further and have implemented and certified environmental management systems according to ISO 14001 and/or the European EMAS Regulation. Although clients continue to ask us for these services, we are observing that, at the moment, concerns are more focused on the development of projects that respond to the specific problems of each organisation as well as to the requirements of public administrations in their tenders. Thus, we find that companies are increasingly aware of how they can contribute to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and, indirectly, reduce costs. In this case, the quantification, reduction and offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions (the famous “carbon footprint”) is of particular interest. Another major focus is on actions in the field of circular economy or how to prevent and reduce waste generation, all articulated under the concept of circular economy. Very interesting schemes have been developed here, such as “Zero Waste”.
And on the social level, what are the current priorities? On the one hand, in these months many organisations are working to reduce labour inequalities between women and men through the development of equality plans. But we are also seeing very interesting projects related to good governance, information transparency or stakeholder reporting (sustainability reports, non-financial information reports), regulatory compliance programmes, solidarity or social action projects, etc. As mentioned above, each organisation must decide which aspects to promote, allocate resources to achieve them, implement the projects and report the results obtained to its stakeholders. In short, acting responsibly.