Workplace Policy And Procedure For Sustainability MacVille

Question:

What is the meaning of sustainable practices and their importance in preserving the ecology.
Answer:

Introduction

Concept of sustainable business practices has gained momentum in the last three decades though the concept can be traced back to the advent of the 20th Century. This is mainly because of the fallouts from irresponsible business practices and operations that were in defiance with the ecology and the environment. MacVille enterprise is located in Melbourne and was established in 2009. The mission of the company is to provide distinctive and compelling café services that incorporate premium quality, fair trade coffee, other hot and cold food and beverages coupled with quick and friendly in house services. The aim of the business plan of the entity aims to promote it as one of the leading coffee retailers and café within a span of five years. The report will analyse the operations of the company and analyse the use of resources with subsequent comparison of sustainable work practices (Aras and Crowther, 2008). The report also highlights the triple bottom line approach linked with environment, economy and socio-political factors.

MacVille sustainability initiatives

Within the coffee industry MacVille has developed the vision to be the leading retailer of coffee beverages and other hot and cold gourmets. Sustainability reporting helps organisations to evaluate their operations and to consider the ramifications such operations have on a diverse range of areas like the economy, environment and the society. Focus of sustainability report is also on illustrating organisational value and model for governance. Thus it may be stated that sustainability reporting provides a link between the strategy and its real life application with special emphasis on pledge for a worldwide sustainable economy (Baumgartner and Ebner, 2010). The same holds true for MacVille as well. At the time of its establishment the company had outlined strategic plan for developing the brand and to promote sustainable practices. Apart from the ambitious plan to expand the business to every state in Australia it was also planned to implement a number of eco-friendly measures for bolstering the sustainable practices that will make the operations concurrent with national standards. Again costs and benefits for the organisation also needs to be analysed so as to understand the impact of sustainability initiatives over a short and long term period (Aras and Crowther, 2009).

The policies and practices as developed by the company have been examined by the business manager. Subsequently several discrepancies have been found prime among which is the use of resources. It has been observed that usage of resources in the head office and at the shops is not in congruence with the sustainable work practices exercised by the Sustainability team. The usage of water and electricity has been classified as low cost expenses as a result of which they have not received any special attention.  However within the area of sustainability water and electricity uses have special role since they are considered basic elements within the modern society. The HVAC system of the entity has also come under scanner as a result of manual modus operandi. Other areas where improvements can be carried out include usage of glass, cardboards, paper, and plastic bags (Bebbington et al, 2014). It has also been evaluated that the old refrigeration system in the organisation has also hampered sustainable practices as they consume significant amount of energy.

Other than water and electricity usage sustainability issues for MacVille revolve around the issues of sourcing the raw materials, waste management and prevention of pollution. It can be opined that the process of sustainable management is a continuous process. On a closer look it was observed that waste management process envisaged a recycling programme for all their stores and to launch a recycling test programme. However no such practices have taken place at the ground level. MacVille promotes itself as a ‘zero footprint’ environmentally friendly company but there are scopes for improvement (Bebchuk et al, 2009). Aspect of waste management assumes a crucial role in sound operations and sustainable operations. The extent of workplace sustainability policy includes green office programme, green purchasing life cycle analyses, supply chain management and adhering to ISO 14001: Environmental management systems. On a closer look it was observed that an integrated approach to sustainability was missing within the activities of MacVille. An integrated approach looks to combine environment, economy and the society and to develop strategies that addresses each of this three areas simultaneously or separately. Thus it may be stated that the sustainability initiatives being undertaken at MacVille needs further amendments and involve the stakeholders to be successful (Bos‐Brouwers, 2010). The existing policy and procedure being followed at MacVille are partly responsible for such ineffective sustainable policy being followed by the organisation.

Best Practice Models

There are numerous opinions about the link between sustainable practices and business operations. Concept of CSR and their subsequent application is still not adhered by numerous organisations since their only aim is on profit making. In a nutshell CSR approaches seek to empower an organisation to give back the benefits to the end users and the society in which it is operating (Gray, 2006).  In other words concern of the entities should not only be on profit making but also include the environment and the society. Moreover there is a need for the companies to adhere to other pertinent stakeholders like the NGOS and right groups. The concept of CSR can be understood effectively by analysing the triple bottom line approach. As the name suggests, this approach looks to amalgamate the three facets of environment, economy and society for the holistic development (Kolk, 2008). The concept has been illustrated by the diagram below:

From the above diagram it may be seen that social, economic and environemental plartforms are overlapping areas forming berable, sustanable and equitable spheres. When these spheres further coincide formation of sustanable practices are said to have dveloped successfully. Aim of the compsnies have transcended eco-efficiency policies to areas of resource production and  products so as to maintain the rtiple bottom line appraoch. The triple bottom line methodology is effectively a reporitng tool that itself does not impact the environemtn or the people. However this approach can be implemnted so as to propel improvemnts and make a difference to the society (Hahn et al, 2010).

For Macville, application of triple bottom line approach can mean procuring beans from farmers who grow coffe beans in an eco friendly manner. Moreover the companby can also ensure that the different workers are treated properly with due consideration on pay and wages. Again, adherence to triple bottom line approach for the company may also be in the practices of developing strategies that reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 10 % over the span of the next five years. Plans for cutting down wastages are also veritable strategies that can be incorporated within best practice models (Lee and Faff, 2009). Other areas for sustainable practice involve effective waste management strategies. This can include conventional as well as contemporary strategies. Some of the best practices include recycling programme that involves the processes of source separation, recycling and composting. Offering discount to customers who use reusable cups or mugs can also prove to be handy. Again options of using bone china/ ceramic mugs and plates when dining in-store are also viable alternatives for reducing the impact on the environment and helping in achieving a clean and green planet (Linnenluecke and Griffiths, 2010).

Sustainability and triple bottom line approach have received greater attention in the past decade owing to greater awareness among the consumer base. People, Planet and Profit are the focus of the firms when they are operating and the policies and objectives are responsible in shaping the way in activities are carried out by an organisation.   Coffee has been dubbed as the second most tradable commodity after oil. This has led it to become one of the rapidly growing sectors and contributed to the overwhelming success for some of the coffee franchisees. Owing to the complexities involved in the supply chain of coffee production this industry has largely remained exclusive (Milne and Gray, 2013). In other words the farmers and cultivators of coffee have not been able to reap the profit that coffee franchisees enjoy. It has been observed that these farmers receive only 10 % of the retail price. With greater competition witnessed among coffee growers bulk of the coffee growers have been affected by the volatility in the coffee industry. The increased demand for coffee consumption has also lead to practices of mono cropping and sun grown coffee. In view of the fact that most of the coffee producing regions in the earth are ecologically delicate there is a potential for significant damage to these areas. Coffee consumption in Australia has almost quadrupled over the last decade (Schaltegger et al, 2012).  As per the report by WWF 37 of the 50 countries with highest rates of deforestation are also producers of coffee. Aim of MacVille needs to be on tying up with organisations like Fair Trade Foundation or Rainforest Alliance so that sustainability can be achieved. Fair Trade Foundation evaluates the ethical angle of coffee production whereas aim of Rainforest Alliance is on ensuring environmental issues.

Shortfalls of current policies

While the organisation strives to maintain sustainability on paper there is a little evidence of the same in actual scenario. There are definite shortfalls of the policies that are in place in MacVille. Presently the organisation does not have any definite code of conduct that has led to unsustainable and greater usage of resources and increased consumption of electricity. There is ample evidence of non adherence to standards that have necessitated inking of policies and code so as to maintain sustainability in the activities. It can be seen that for implementing and upholding sustainable policies there is a need to educate the different human capital of an organisation (Simnett et al, 2009). This can start from internal stakeholders like the directors, officers and employees to consumers as well as vendors and suppliers. In case of MacVille it can be opined that there is dearth of step undertaken by the authorities as a result of which the organisation has failed to discharge the roles related to sustainability.

Deficit in formulating policies of sustainability has also been reflected in the way MacVille treats the waste generated. The company does not have in place a concrete recycling programme and there is no facility for compositing. The decision to procure raw materials and coffee beans are often taken with the sole aim of profit generation (Kolk, 2008). The organisation can make better use of purchasing decision by entering into alliance with organisations like Fair Trade Foundation and Rainforest Alliance. Moreover the cups, plates and straws that are used by the various outlets of the company are non-biodegradable that has impacted the sustainable policies and procedures. The top leadership has to be more innovative while deciding on sustainable approaches so as to deliver the intended practices at the ground level. The managers and officers within the organisation have to be the front runner in devising and executing strategies that will act as a catalyst for other stakeholders to follow suit (Bos‐Brouwers, 2010). The report of expenses as provided in the case study highlights the areas of high cost that can be pruned for maintaining sustainability. It is also evident that the HVAC system presently in place are manually operated that can be replaced for minimising electric consumption and ensure sustainability.

New Policy and Procedure

The new policy and procedures that will be developed will encompass the different stakeholders like the employees, managers, suppliers and vendors. Tying up with local organic farmers is also a viable option for the entity. Sustainable practices can also be implemented by using compostable products like compostable and biodegradable cups, plates and straws. These products have become more affordable and available as a result of which these composite products can be used for maintaining sustainability (Baumgartner and Ebner, 2010). The increased use of resources has been one of the main concerns in adopting a sustainable policy and as such there have been inflated electricity bills affecting the company’s financial resources as well as hampering sustainable policies.

Plans and code of conducts need to be formulated that stipulates and directs every employee to use dual-flush capability toilets. Other policy formed will educate the employees to switch off lights and air conditioners in case the company stick to manual operating procedure. While choosing suppliers of coffee beans it has to be emphasised that the raw materials i.e. the coffee beans be procured from suppliers associated with Fair Trade Foundation or Rainforest Alliance. In order to decrease energy consumption limit of 10kW per person has to be implemented and subsequent awareness campaign within the organisation has to be carried out (Bos‐Brouwers, 2010).

Personnel Requirements and implementation plan

The personnel requirements section highlights who are the potential personnel that can be included in the sustainability drive and to bridge the gap in sustainable practices. Dealing with sustainability issues first need to be deplored by analysing the area within the entity where it applies. This means whether the entire organisation, one department or one site needs to be included in such programmes. Personnel requirements are also in the form of individuals within the organisation who has to implement and monitor sustainable practices as outlined above once they have been implemented (Schaltegger et al, 2012). It can be the Chief Executive Officer who takes the onus to drive new policies related with sustainable practices or departmental managers who will implement such policies in their specific department and report the same to the higher authorities.

Employees have to be constantly imparted the value of sustainable practices for them to be motivated enough in engaging such healthy practices. Thus identifying the personal requirements for such initiatives have to be made primarily.  It requires establishing proper communication channels with the prime stakeholders like the financial sector, employees, the different right groups, the customers, employees. It may be further opined that MacVille has to pay special attention on training and development so as to develop the key personnel associated with the plans of sustainability (Aras and Crowther , 2008). The implementation plan will also seek to assign deadlines within which specific training and targets have to be accomplished like increase waste recycling by 10% after the end of six months.

Conclusion

The above paper has identified the meaning of sustainable practices and their importance in preserving the ecology. The importance of sustainable practices is more applicable in the business of coffee since there is wide scale damage to the ecology while developing this particular beverage. The report has discussed the sustainable practices present within MacVille Enterprises. Based on the case study certain grey areas within this organisation related to sustainable practices have been identified. Best practice models within the industry have been ascertained and their efficacy in upholding sustauinable practices has been identified (Linnenluecke and Griffiths, 2010). Concept of Triple Bottom line Approach has also been discussed with special focus on MacVille Enterprises. The paper has summed up the whole process of the new drive of sustainable policies within the organisation by identifying the key personnel and illustrating the implementation plan and the continuous improvement.

References: 

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