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Sustainability champion inspires business audience

Business is prospering by placing a greater emphasis on staff, the community, ecosystems and other resources.

A CleanBiz business lunch in Hobart was told a "people-planet-profit" model was being adopted in preference to the "take-make-waste" mentality.

International guest speaker Gary Langenwalter, a partner with ConfluencePoint (a sustainability consultancy based in Portland, Oregon), spoke passionately about the global business movement.

Gary’s audience included fishing, agriculture, building and environmental consulting industry representatives as well as local and state government staff.

Gary’s key messages were:

• Companies that respect and apply a balanced approach to the planet-people-profit model outperform on most social, environmental and economic indicators. Lower business risk is responsible for part of this out-performance.

• There are over 1,000,000 organisations across the world working towards a more sustainable future for the planet. Gary believes that the next great social movement will be the "sustainability movement".

• Companies can no longer afford to believe that their actions only affect a limited group of stakeholders. Businesses must show more appreciation for and engagement with their local communities, to enable better decision making for a more sustainable future.

Gary emphasised the corporate community can improve sustainability, not only for their business but other stakeholders as well by:

• Networking;
• Having access to and application of appropriate sustainability tools; and
• "Organising for success" by embracing values, vision, commitment and trust, celebrating mistakes and challenging assumptions.

He said business could improve stakeholder value through higher productivity, reduced expenses, greater revenue, lower risk and easier financing.

CleanBiz Industry Liaison Officer Damien Blackwell said he was pleased with the degree of engagement shown by attendees at the business lunch and presentation.

"It’s always a great opportunity to host such engaging and world-knowing people as Gary to inform and inspire our local businesses," Damien said.

"We hope our local business audience finds value in Gary’s messages and can use them to affirm their commitment to sustainability or as a springboard to a better future".

For further information about Gary’s Tasmanian visit, please contact Helen Peters or Damien Blackwell on 6233 6518 or CleanBiz@environment.tas.gov.au