But isn’t sustainability hard?
Interested in the sustainability journey, but not sure how to start? No matter what stage you are at personally or professionally regarding sustainability, just being aware empowers you to be making change in a positive direction. But there are some myths out there can create barriers to businesses starting the journey – it’s costly, it’s scary, it’s too hard, it’s overwhelming. Our board members share some words of encouragement.
- It’s not hard “It’s just about rolling your sleeves up and getting into it. I don’t think it’s a frightening thing at all, not for steel businesses. I firmly believe that we’ve got the bare bones there and it’s just about promoting that and getting people to recognise they are doing the right things.” Darren O’Riley, General Manager, Steel Construction New Zealand.
- Every bit counts “I have been able to witness the world change for the worse and essentially destroy itself. I think it’s important if anyone could even do a little part to help guide people in the right direction towards thinking about circularity and sustainability. I also believe metals are fantastic materials to use and can be recycled.” Stuart Hayman, Consultant, Metal Roofing Members New Zealand
- You’ll reap dividends “Sustainability and economic benefit go hand in hand. The sustainability journey is not a cost journey it’s a profit journey and the more you do in sustainability the more you’ll see profit.” – Scott Morrison, Marketing and Innovation Manager Fletcher Steel.
- New niche markets “In NZ, it’s critical to identify the things we do really well and then invest in those areas for the long term. It is especially important for smaller businesses to look at niches where we can excel as a cluster of businesses. This can open up opportunities overseas as potential customers others will hear how well something in NZ is done in NZ, and they will want to adopt products and processes we have developed.” Campbell Batts, Managing Director, Spiraweld Stainless Ltd
- Lead positive change “In order to bring about change, especially with sustainability, you must be willing to change yourself from the top down. If you’ve got senior management changing, then so will a team, then the entire organisation, and then you will influence others in the industry. It needs good leadership to be on board. Once that’s achieved, it doesn’t take long to infiltrate the rest of the organisation.” Matthew Black, Head of Product and Innovation NZ Steel
- A progressive industry “As a female who is under 40, I think it’s a great industry to join and is changing and progressing for the better quickly. You can be a part of helping create that change. From a sustainability point of view, as an industry I don’t see us straying from this path” – Laura Coffey Market Development and Key Accounts Manager, Pacific Steel.
- Make a difference “I think that absolutely it’s the right thing to do in terms of social responsibility but also what’s right from a business perspective. Business leaders have a duty to direct change towards improved sustainability and intergenerational wellbeing. In all of history, there’s never been another time where it’s been more urgent for us to take on the responsibility for making significant changes in our personal lives, our business lives and our consumer behaviour. We need to be ensuring that we are mitigating some of the changes that are looking increasingly inevitable. If we stay on the same path, the changes both environmentally and socially will be so massive that, in my science-based opinion, it’s going to make the lives of our children dramatically less “well” than our own. I don’t want to live in a climate stressed world, and I think most of us don’t. But not everyone is accepting the increasing evidence for climate change or the personal obligations we each have to respond to this by making changes in our own lives. If we don’t actively change, business as usual is just not going to see us through. There won’t be any businesses who cannot get beyond business as usual, who will be able to survive catastrophic environmental changes and, as an outcome of that, the responding social change.” – Troy Coyle, Chair SSC and CEO HERA
Start the journey