When operations director Steve Pearce and finance chief Ed Eckhard returned to Jackson Workwear Rental in Lincoln from the TSA Spring Conference their feedback to managing director Michael Wilson included a key message.
It was that regardless of the topic, from HR and recruitment issues through to ‘round table’ discussions, one agenda item, sustainability, spanned all talk of the future.
COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow last autumn, highlighted worldwide challenges against a backdrop of Covid and has since had to share the news agenda with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a cost-of-living crisis. But there’s no getting away from UK government and international targets.
The message from speakers at the conference, particularly Alexandra Brennan, head of sustainability at Johnson Service Group, and Christoph Gebbert of Grain Sustainability, a consultancy which helps businesses become champions for the planet, is that this one is going to run and run, driven by outside forces, right from potential investors and existing shareholders.
And the fine detail will involve not just keeping an eye out for the dates of government edicts but focussing on what we as individuals do right now on a daily basis – as Brennan says: “The more we get ourselves into the right position it will help when it becomes mandatory within our own jobs.” Gebbert urged a co-operative approach and that our sector should ensure that businesses work together on sustainability – it didn’t need to be the same issues or products involved, the desired end result was the same.