The following article was written by Dr. Wayne Bates and Julie Muszalski, who lead AIM Sustainability Roundtables in Milford and Whatley. Bates is vice president at Capaccio Environmental Engineering Inc. and an adjunct professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Muszalski, MA, is a sustainability professional at Capaccio, and adjunct professor at Mount Wachusett Community College.
Capaccio Environmental Engineering recently surveyed industrial manufacturing firms regarding their current and future sustainability practices. More than 100 environmental, health and safety, and facilities managers from 28 industries responded to the survey. The results shed light on how various industries define sustainability, what their current and future initiatives are, and the various challenges associated with implementing a sustainability program.
One of the most telling results was that managers from nearly 80 percent of companies expect their organizations to increase focus on sustainability during the next two years, but 56 percent do not expect their company to increase the number of resources or amount of funding for sustainability projects. This poses the question that if sustainability continuea to be an agenda item, how will companies address sustainability without additional funding?
Sustainability initiatives must be “woven” into the “fabric” of your company, rather than just another random thread on a “to-do” list. The field of environmental, health and safety has evolved over the years to the point where systems have been developed to manage environmental aspects. It is imperative that the systems in place be capable of identifying and weaving new sustainability “threads” into the organizational fabric.
How does your company define sustainability? What challenges does your company currently face? Are you prepared going forward for 2013? We invite you to join one of our upcoming AIM Sustainability Roundtables to find out how your colleagues throughout Massachusetts are approaching this new business requirement.