Trends for the Future: The Circular Economy

Keeping on top of your organisation’s sustainability goals means being in the loop when it comes to the emerging trends of the sector. As our most utilised resources start becoming scarce and current consumer preferences highlight the demand for transparency, there is a sense of urgency to dramatically alter the ways in which we produce and consume.

The term Circular Economy discusses a system that is regenerative in nature, shifting away from the traditional product cycle of ‘Take, Make Dispose,’ to a more environmental and economically beneficial model. Essentially, this model represents the changing perceptions around waste and, if done right, has the potential to provide endless resources.

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The World Bank has estimated that municipal waste will rise at an alarming rate over the next 7 years, increasing from 1.3 to 2.2 billion tonnes annually. There are a variety of models in use currently that companies can consider to assist with their sustainability agendas, while generating revenue and increasing customer satisfaction. These span circular supplies, resource recovery, product life extension, sharing platforms and using products as a service.

Whether it’s turning waste into Biofuels or creating sharing platforms to decrease the need for personal ownership of common goods, these new approaches to consumption are helping companies to not only maintain a market advantage but protect our precious resources.

CSR, On-Demand

It’s a millennial’s world, and with the generation comes a revolutionary wave of drive to contribute to something larger than the individual self.

So how does that position CSR in the current day? It’s no longer just another organisational requirement, but something representative of a workplace’s unique values. It’s a motivator to unite a workplace team, bringing a sense of purpose and morale to the work environment. Gone may be the days of spending a Friday in hairnets at the local soup kitchen, but ever-present is the dominant desire in young people to make a difference and deliver aid to the causes they resonate with.

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Though the era of social media has welcomed phenomena like “hashtag activism”, young people are still turning up to rallies, raising funds and finding tangible ways to engage with their communities.

L. Moffat’s 2011 research shows three distinct motives behind young people looking to volunteer – the first consisting of youths looking outward, wanting to make a difference and connect with others. Secondly, born out of a desire to improve their own skillsets or pursue a personal interest, and thirdly a combination of the two. These motives help us to understand the millennial mindset, and clearly show that any lack of activism from young people is not for lack of appeal. So what’s stopping them?

It’s no secret that much of how a workplace operates now is via a digitised, synchronised system – offices play collectively-managed Sonos playlists while they work, use a company Uber account to get to and from meetings, or send requests via Gmail calendars to schedule in calls. Our lunch breaks are filled with chatter about the latest release on Netflix. So why can’t CSR be a part of that world, too?

Collectively managing teams in the CSR space doesn’t need to be any more complicated than ordering a meal to your door via an app. Time restraints, commitments and geographical distances can make in-person volunteer work a lot less accessible to a large demographic – enter online volunteering.

By focusing on projects that can be completed in front of a computer or remotely, more and more individuals are exposed to the opportunity to give back to a not for profit in new and interesting ways.

With nearly 200 countries already engaged in online volunteering, the success of the venture speaks for itself with one study showing an impressive 94 percent of both organisations and volunteers reporting satisfaction. Whether it’s copywriting, data entry, research, video creation or admin work, the scope of opportunities grows as far as the imagination can reach –  and no matter the skillset or skill level of the volunteer, the likelihood of finding a project match is undeniably high.

Being that the nature of virtual volunteering is not location-specific, international opportunities to work with meaningful causes across the globe easily transforms from possibility to reality.

A 2016 study by researchers at Leeds University also notes that a significant number of their participants were motivated by “a desire for learning”, showing that online volunteering provides individuals not only with the incentive to contribute positively to important causes, but also the opportunity to learn or enhance their skills.

The future of volunteering is changing, and the ways we can give back to our communities are becoming more and more diverse by the day – as are the benefits to each of us as individuals.

It’s important that Australian not for profits don’t get left behind.

Written by Ellie Nikakis

Source: Pro Bono News

Online tool aims to make sourcing sustainable seafood easier

Businesses that trade in wild caught seafood can now access an online tool to help them determine the stock, environmental and management risks associated with the seafood they buy and sell.

Whichfish.com.au is a new website launched by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) specifically to assist seafood buyers make better informed decisions.

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“Whichfish will make it easier for businesses to determine which seafood to source by providing them an independent assessment of the risks associated with wild caught Australian seafood,” says FRDC’s Managing Director Patrick Hone.

Each assessment includes an outlook section to indicate whether risks are likely to lessen, remain stable or worsen. Risk assessment reports are available online or the entire list can be downloaded at the site for future reference.

Whichfish.com.au currently features the first twenty-six Australian species including Saddletail Snapper, Eastern King Prawn, Balmain bugs and Deepwater Flathead; with more species due to be added throughout the year.

“Coles recognises well-managed and responsible fishing is essential for future sustainability of our marine ecosystems which is why since 2015 all our Coles Brand Fresh, Frozen, Thawed and Canned Seafood has been responsibly sourced. We are delighted with the FRDC initiative which will help continue the sustainability journey in our industry,” said James Whittaker – Head of Quality and Responsible Sourcing, Coles.

Whichfish uses elements from the GSSI Benchmarked Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Standard version 2.0, but is neither a duplicate of it nor a substitute for it. The site does show seafood products (from fisheries) that have been third party certified by a scheme benchmarked to the Global Seafood Sustainable Initiative Criteria.

The FRDC are working to add more species throughout the year and welcomes feedback on the site as well as suggestions for additional species for inclusion.

 

Source: Food Mag

Announcing our B Corp Re-certification

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In February 2014, Talent Nation became the first recruitment company to achieve Certified B Corporation status as one of the 42 Founding B Corps in Australia and New Zealand.

If you’re unfamiliar with what exactly a B Corporation is, it defines an emerging movement of companies who are using the power of business to create positive social and environmental impact. In doing so, they make a commitment to hold themselves to a high level of accountability, transparency and performance. The rigorous B Impact Assessment requires a score of at least 80, measuring a company’s impact across a variety of categories. The purpose of this is to work towards redefining what success means within the business sector, allowing organisations to shift from competing to simply be the best, instead being the best for the world.

The re-certification process continues to become more comprehensive and detailed every year. It involved the resubmission of our B Impact Assessment, an onsite review by the U.S Standards team and regular communication with the International and Australian B Lab teams. While it can be difficult and time-consuming, this serves as further re-assurance that only those dedicated to creating real positive impact are successful. We found the process rewarding, as it confirmed for us that our commitment to operating as a sustainable and ethical business over the last 5 years has paid off.

We are very proud to be members of the B Corp community. It has allowed us to meet so many individuals whose long-term, sustainable visions for the future align with ours, as well be at the forefront of a global movement highlighting our responsibility to the community and the planet. Today, there are over 2400 B Corporations in over 50 countries and 130 industries working towards 1 unifying goal; to redefine success in business.

About B Lab

B Lab is a non-profit organisation that serves a worldwide movement of people using business as a force for good. Its vision is that one day all companies will compete to be Best for the World and as a result society enjoys a shared and durable prosperity. B Lab drives this systemic change through a number of interrelated initiatives: 1) Building a global community of Certified B Corporations who meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability. They make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and “good marketing”; 2) promoting mission alignment, using innovative corporate structures to align the interests of business with those of society and to help high impact businesses be built to last; 3) helping tens of thousands of businesses, investors and institutions ‘Measure What Matters’, by using the B Impact Assessment and B Analytics to manage their impact and the impact of the businesses with whom they work—with as much rigor as their profits; 4) inspiring millions to join the movement through storytelling on B the Change.

Check out our feature ‘Better Know a B’ article on the B Lab website to learn more about how we incorporate B Corp principles into our organisation.

For more advice on becoming a B Corp, click here.