What does sustainability mean for you ?


Sustainability can mean different things for different people. A small business like ours would mean keeping ourselves afloat. In my consulting career, it would mean sustainability reporting. Even for folks in the CSR space it largely refers to if projects can sustain the outcomes without the funding. Although I think Sustainable development goals by the UN kind of covers all the points in terms of the world one would like to imagine.

If you are following our blog, thank you for that. One may get a sense that we are married into CSR and have a few “green” products on our page. This is largely true. However, the desire to embrace sustainability ( wow I used the heading of Ashwidea as a blog) has always been part of actions small and big we take. The same we would like to see business small and big do as well. Fortunately in many cases, going green or being sustainable only brings you more value to the business. 

Carbon footprint

Currently, we are looking at two areas amidst the multitude of areas, one is CO2 emissions, measuring it and how you as a business can build sustainable solutions to bring it down. In case one needs to know why C02 emissions matter, you can read up on this. So when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint we can assist you in the following manner. 

Renewable Energy

Thanks to falling prices of renewable energy especially wind and solar power. There is a lot of economical sense for you to opt for it. These can be by either setting up solar power plants on your rooftop and buying renewable power from a solar / wind power plant. This will form a key element in both reducing the carbon footprint, for every 1000 units of power of renewable power you use you can save approx 750-800 Kg of C02 emissions.

If your organization has committed to carbon neutrality, which basically means your net carbon emissions is zero, then renewable energy has to be a key step to your carbon neutrality journey.

Community Carbon offsets

Once you are on this path to reducing carbon footprint, you will end up looking beyond scope of your organization. This could start from the communities you work with and start looking at ways in which you can assist the community. This can be schools, Anganwadi, livelihoods, cooking etc. These activities can be met via solar or any other less energy-intensive manner.  We also help in accounting for it correctly so you could demonstrate that these actions have resulted in reducing carbon emissions and help you further in your carbon neutrality journey.

Word of caution, we are not advocating that you take an easy path and buy carbon offsets and continue to release emissions. Also we don’t help organisations in monetizing carbon credits because that just creates a disincentive for companies to have high emissions while still claiming to be carbon neutral.

Waste footprint

The other area is managing the waste problem, which if you are aware also ties into the CO2 issue. So looking at the waste which any facility generates which can be plastic bottles, paper, food waste, sugar packets and anything else you can think of. Many of it despite best intent sits in a landfill ( which means problem, not in my backyard ) and it just sits, well and polluting water, air and soil.

We hope to bring solutions that exist and are economical which can either eliminate the waste in the first place or ensure that even if it is generated can be disposed of ( recycled / up-cycled/ down-cycled) most responsibly. It would also mean using sustainable materials such as natural fibre ones like jute, bamboo. This helps because these can get composted over time.

This also leads back to a question of a sustainable lifestyle where you reuse most of the materials, items you have. Typically packaging forms a big chunk of that so buying locally from grocer/ vegetable vendor in your own bags helps. Its a small step but it helps one to start thinking of community and environment.

Like with the pandemic we are all in together.