Sustainable development doesn’t mean using less energy and fewer raw materials, sustainable development means managing energy and raw materials more intelligently. Sustainable development also means making the “green issue” a part of policy decisions. According to consultant Marlies Meijer, it is not easy to gain well-founded insight into the “green issue,” nor is it easy to describe it. In Meijer’s opinion, sustainability is different for everyone, and the focus changes per sector. What many companies lack is insight into their own processes and the chain of processes. One single company is only a tiny link in this chain. The process does not begin and end at the company gates.
Meijer says, “A good way to gain insight into a chain is to carry out a Carbon Footprint Assessment or a Life Cycle Assessment. These studies make it clear how chains are intertwined and also show where it is possible to increase profit in a sustainable way. They can be carried out in terms of selective management issues as well as in terms of large and complex chains. It allows companies to consider environmental aspects when making decisions. The power of ARN lies in the practical approach and the thorough knowledge of the industry.
Field of tension
Sustainable development is on a par with searching for an integrated solution. The current environmental problems cannot be solved only by looking at environmentological or economic aspects. Sustainable development is a constant field of tension between profit, the environment, and social aspects. One does not preclude the other. In fact, they all need each other.
“As a consultant with ARN, I have seen that this systematic and interdisciplinary viewpoint is extremely valuable. There are many paths to the destination of a sustainable future. Anything is possible if we work together, combine techniques, and keep a fresh outlook on things. I believe in my contribution to a future where environmentological aspects are just as important as economic aspects.”
Want to know more? Get in touch with Marlies Meijer.