Working with local suppliers and charging for plastic bags are some of the key requirements for increasing sustainable living in Guernsey, according to Waitrose branch manager Ian Burdekin.
In a recent talk given to the staff of EY Channel Islands, Mr Burdekin spoke about how we all must take responsibility for our island by minimising our environmental impact.
Taking your bag-for-life when you go shopping and supporting kerbside and bring bank recycling are just some of the first steps to changing people’s behaviour and encouraging ethical living. However Waitrose does not want to stop there.
Using Waitrose’s four pillars¬ – championing British, trading lightly, treating people fairly and living well – the business has taken on an active role to be sustainable within the communities in which it operates.
Discussing how to be sustainable in the competitive world of the supermarket, Mr Burdekin showed how Waitrose has established a relationship with local famers, working with and investing in them to produce and supply enough crops for its supermarkets. The ability to put money back into the community and sustain local industry is key to environmental protection.
Mr Burdekin said: “Sustainable living is not just about recycling. It’s a great start and we encourage this through our bring bank sites at the Rohais store as well as through kerbside recycling but we need to adjust our values and beliefs to enable a sustainable future for generations to come.
“It’s not just up to individuals to encourage change. As a business we have a responsibility to invest in sustainability and encourage others to follow us in this pursuit.”
The talk coincided with EY’s ‘Sustainability Day’, an initiative launched in 2012 throughout EY’s EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa) Financial Services network. The primary objectives of the day are to raise awareness of sustainability challenges in the workplace and beyond, support engagements in community initiatives and promote the existing work of the firm through its wider corporate sustainability programme.
Andrew Dann, EY’s Channel Islands managing partner, said the talk had been a great addition to the firm’s Sustainability Day activities.
“At EY we want to build a better working world through our own actions and by engaging with like-minded organisations and individuals. Ian’s presentation was very well received and it was interesting to hear about Waitrose’s sustainability efforts. Of particular relevance to our Sustainability Day was the connection between buying local produce and minimising climate change whilst also supporting our local community.
“We take our responsibility of managing our operations in a way that reduces our environmental footprint very seriously and we encourage our people to do the same at home too. We are committed to making a positive contribution to our local community through investing in our people so they can make a difference,” he said.