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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Sustainability toolkit



Kirjoittanut: Tuuli-Emily Liivat - tiimistä SYNTRE.

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During the alumni week last semester, we had an amazing opportunity to discuss on the topic of sustainability among the Proakatemia community. The wide variation of topics with the primary focus on offering valid sustainable considerations into projects and entrepreneurship on a larger scale. From the discussions, a common question arose: would a sustainability toolkit be necessary for the community in Proakatemia to achieve better outcomes from the aspect of sustainable business making?

Thoughts arising from the training session.

The primary topics explored during the session could be summarized into following statements:

It is important for an enterprise to be frequently reminded of its roots and initial reasoning behind the creation of the company.

In short, a company’s identity should be relevant and constantly communicated with its vision and strategy, the brand and a combination of internal and external factors. The identity should be created so that a company has plenty of space to explore its vision while maintaining its value proposition. In the workshop, we were asked of our reasoning as to why we’re studying in Proakatemia and what is the relevance of creating sustainable projects to us personally, which helped set the tone for the meeting.

Great examples are all around us, it needs to be our goal to become inspired and create competition for advances and improvement in quality.
The participants also explored their motivations behind launching projects. A common answer for launching your own project is passion for the topic and wishing to improve living standards by creating value for others. It was highlighted that an entrepreneur should not be afraid of launching a similar product to others but rather believe in its mission and competitive advantage. The guests of the session believed that due to its competitive edge, incorporating sustainable aspects into business should be more accessible and self-explanatory for the business students in order to achieve sustainability as a core part in business DNA and strategy.

Digital waste.
Every generation has its skeleton in the closet. In terms of sustainability, millennials may have had issues with growing animals in inhumane conditions solely for food. As a woman born in 1999, we grew up with fast fashion, inhumane working conditions, plastic straws and a floating island of trash in the ocean. The key words for the generation after me may include digital waste.

Digital waste consists of data management, where raw, processed, idle or in use data is poorly managed and stored, contributing to the digital footprint, which in turn contributes to carbon emissions around the world (2030 Builders).

Digital waste is created with any and every digital engagement that is executed as it creates data and uses energy. With the growing demand and development of cloud-based services and artificial intelligence, our digital footprint will only increase.

A way to be mindful of the digital waste created by yourself is by reducing streaming content, using low carbon websites, cleaning the stored digital content on your devices such as photos on phone and unimportant e-mails and unplugging your devices when not in use. Another concept discussed was the experiment of closing digital e-commerce stores for ‘night-time’, when the statistics of online shoppers is the lowest and the energy consumption exceeds the return on value and sales.

Need for a sustainability assessment.
which took us to the following question: Would there be demand for a sustainability toolkit for companies and what would include in it?

The discussion brought out that a service providing consulting for projects on being more mindful on the products and services used within projects or businesses could be of use to raise awareness. Additionally, project could take quizzes and assessments on how sustainable their projects are and larger projects could pay taxes or earth tax to aid the damage created.

What are your thoughts on the sustainability toolkit and what should belong there? Drop a comment below!

Conclusion

Sustainability is here to stay and is deep-rooted within our values, which is why I’m particularly pleased to have attended the training session and written an essay on the subject. I believe discussions on being more mindful of the resources we spend is a discussion worth having and to raise awareness on such a big topic will inspire and create more awareness around us.

Sources:
Article. Negru, G. 5 Ways For Businesses to Minimise Digital Waste. 2022. 2030 Builders. Read on 3.2.2023. https://2030.builders/5-ways-for-businesses-to-minimise-digital-waste/#:~:text=What%20Is%20Digital%20Waste%3F,can%20lead%20to%20environmental%20consequences.

 

Alumni week, sustainability toolkit training session. Autumn 2022.

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