This week is “Go Green Week”, an initiative run by People & Planet, a university student-led movement which tries to improve lives all over the world using a number of methods; one of which is to protect the environment. So, with that in mind…
The evidence highlighting the importance of climate change, global warming, and the environment as a whole is, like it or not, overwhelming. There are initiatives, policies and campaigns all over the world to help encourage sustainability, not just from a personal perspective, but also for businesses, both big and small. The focal point is small changes can have a collectively large, positive impact.
Increasing sustainability is paramount. No longer is the twisted reality of categorising everything as waste and sending it to landfill the norm. Recycling and reusing are viable, more sustainable options for large proportions of supposed waste. Even the phenomenon of “upcycling” is on the rise, where discarded materials are remade into new products; click here for The Guardian article link to read about Donna Fenn’s very interesting vision of seeing a business opportunity where everyone else saw “bin bag fodder”.
With the heightened concern for the environment comes more scrutiny directed towards businesses for how they are combatting climate change themselves. This scrutiny may come from governmental bodies, but also pressure groups. Some companies are genuine in their quest to be eco-friendly; companies such as J C Atkinsons, Liberty International and the Port of Dover all made the list for The Sunday Times’ UK’s 50 Best Green Companies in 2008. However, there are other companies who are indeed under scrutiny from one or more stakeholders about their environmental stance, but are only concerned about their image and profit margins. This is where “greenwashing”, a form of perceptive PR spin, has been known to occur. According to Greenpeace, greenwashing is “used to describe the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of the company or the environmental benefits of a product or service”.
It is understood that a key element of a company’s green marketing strategy is the credibility of said company; a number of organisations operating in the oil and airline industries, for example, have been caught greenwashing partially due to credibility issues. Despite being a more prevalent issues during the 1980s and 1990s, it is still around today, and has been called a crime against modern business ethics. Therefore, consumer scepticism is well-placed. Why should they trust and ultimately purchase from a greenwashing conglomerate, when realistically they should be setting the example themselves in regards to sustainability?
From a landscaping perspective, the environment plays a part just as it would for any other company in any other industry. From our perspective, Oakleigh Manor does its upmost to conduct sustainable business and reduce our environmental impact. Our environmental and waste policies can be found on our website, which includes working towards ISO14001 accreditation, a certified criteria for environmental management. Efforts by Oakleigh Manor to combat environmental issues include Cleanair UK, a subsidiary branch of the company that specialise in air, water and environmental services. Not only this, Oakleigh Manor has used only BSI PAS 100 compost for four years now, a recycled compost that is now the industry standard. Topsoil that is correctly treated, collected from an ethical and sustainable area with no invasive species present is also the only topsoil we use. In addition, the oak used in the construction of our garden rooms and car barns and garages are grown in Europe and acquired from sustainable sources, as opposed to being shipped from other parts of the world, which would only increase our carbon footprint.
Moreover, if you’re interested in eco-friendly landscaping, please see our publication about it on issuu.com; the link can be found here.
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This article was written by Lewis