Why Irish businesses should make sustainability a priority

At Ricoh Ireland, our mantra is “love your neighbor, love your country, love your work” because we understand how important it is for our people to share the same principles, feel empowered by the work environment, be engaged by the culture and be motivated to propel the business forward.

An area that is arguably overlooked in creating a workplace such as this is sustainability. Increasingly, prospective employees and potential customers are choosing organisations that are ethical and sustainable. That’s not to mention that this kind of approach also makes financial sense for companies and helps them stand out from the crowd.

Here’s why sustainability ought to be high on the list of priorities for business leaders…

Leading by example

Being more sustainable helps to protect our collective future and is a great way for like-minded organisations to come together to share knowledge and develop new ways of doing business that benefit everyone.

We are proactive in this regard, having recently signed the Low Carbon Pledge.  Powered by the Leaders Group on Sustainability (launched by Business in the Community), this initiative strives to improve the sustainability of the Irish business sector.

As part of the pledge, Ricoh has committed to becoming more energy-efficient and aims to reduce our greenhouse gas emission intensity by 50% by 2030. We will also target improving the energy usage of clients and our own operations.

As one of a number of leading Irish businesses that have pledged to adopt practices to reach a lower carbon economy, this sets us apart and allows us to review and revamp processes which also benefits our customers.

Creating a positive culture

Establishing a positive culture, defined by transparency and sustainability, adds an invaluable layer of cohesion to an organisation; as well as building trust, it fosters employee wellbeing and can boost productivity.

In fact, our recent Economy of People study revealed that maintaining ethical values has a knock-on effect with 83% of respondents agreeing that culture, when effective, improves employee motivation. A positive company culture has also become a deciding factor for prospective employees on whether they will work for an organisation.

Moreover, the research revealed that 97% of business leaders said a commitment to ethical business practices, including transparency and sustainability, has a strong influence on employee and company performance.

In other words, an ethical and sustainable work culture has a direct impact on not only talent attraction and retention, but also on employee attitude and business performance; it is therefore both environmentally and financially beneficial.

Promoting a more efficient environment

As well as benefiting wider society, a sustainable approach can also help to streamline work processes and empower people whilst increasing overall efficiency and innovation within the workplace.

Providing technology that enables flexible and mobile working allows people to work where and when they want, thus reducing the amount of people travelling in cars and buses to work each day, as well as office upkeep costs like lighting and heating.

Similarly, within the office, multifunctional devices can assist in the reduction of paper consumption which has an impact on the environment, while unified communications systems prevent people from having to travel to meetings by enabling real-time collaboration across locations and time zones.

Ultimately, sustainability takes many forms – from the ways that people work within an organisation to the impact it can have outside of it. Not only does it cut costs, having a strong corporate responsibility directly impacts the culture of a company and technologies can also save employees time while also ensuring environmental sustainability on a larger scale. Whichever way you look at it, sustainability is not only good for the environment but also good for business.

To find out what Ricoh Ireland can do to help your company be more sustainable, visit the website.

Gary Hopwood

Managing Director At Ricoh UK & Ireland

Read all articles by Gary Hopwood