Collaboration is Key for a Sustainable Future

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By Published On: March 6, 20240 Comments

Heather Bone, Director of ESG at Team Global Express deep dives into setting realistic and authentic ESG goals in the latest Power Talks episode.

For Heather Bone, sustainability is not only a passion, but a key part of her role as Director of ESG at Team Global Express. “It’s only through collaboration that we’re really going to be able to overcome some of our sustainability issues,” she told Power Retail in the latest episode of Power Talks for an International Women’s Day special podcast series developed in collaboration with Team Global Express. 

We spoke about social responsibility, accessible sustainability, and Heather gave her advice for ensuring your ESG goals are authentic and realistic. 

ESG spans across a huge range of corporate governance across environment and social areas. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) comprises the central ‘S’ in ESG. There can be no successful ESG without a honed focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day Campaign is Inspiring Inclusion. 

The World Fair Trade Organization, the global community and verifier of enterprises that fully practise Fair Trade, is advocating for a sustainable world and released a statement through the International Women’s Day campaign that explains this concept in relation to sustainability and inclusion.

Leida Rijnhout, Chief Executive, World Fair Trade Organisation states that “gender justice isn’t just about doing what’s right; but also about doing what works. The World Fair Trade Organisation understands gender justice as a strategic necessity to unlock sustainable development, more resilient communities, and create a fair world for all. They see women as crucial actors in the transitioning of the present unsustainable economies into fair and green ones.”

Heather studied sustainable development and corporate governance as her honours for law back in the mid 90s. Sustainability is something that she has always been very passionate about.

She has held a variety of roles related to renewable energy, environment and sustainable development throughout her career, making a real difference. Currently, Heather is the Director of ESG at Team Global Express.

Power Retail asked Heather: What are some areas where sustainable changes are a lot easier than retailers might actually think?

“I think we need to remember that sustainability in itself is a very broad topic,” replied Heather.  “So it’s not just about carbon and reducing emissions. And I think that people often zero in on that rather than think about the full topic. So there are areas that retailers can make a difference, for example, around waste and recycling. That are really quite straightforward to do, they’re easy to do, they’re not that costly to do. So that might be making sure that a retailer’s packaging, when a product goes out to market, that packaging can be recycled. It also means that you are using recycled items in that packaging. So there’s two sides of the recycling spectrum there in itself. So I think waste and recycling is an area that retailers can really get into.”

“When you think about reducing emissions, that’s when it starts to get pretty hard, because there is a cost involved in that. Now, whether that’s reducing emissions in the packaging, or whether that’s reducing emissions in the manufacturing of that good, or indeed in the transporting of that good, which is where an entity like Team Global Express comes in, we’re trying to lower the emissions in the transport, but that’s incredibly expensive for us to do.”

“I’d really like to see in future that the retailers are working hand in glove with the transport operators so that we’re both bearing a bit of that pain and both winning a bit of the gain as well. It’s only through that collaboration that we’re really going to be able to overcome some of our sustainability issues.”

Heather emphasises the importance of making genuine claims when it comes to sustainability. While the ACCC has guidance outlined, Heather also notes that when in doubt, reach out to other sustainability experts for advice. 

“That collaboration is critical.” 

Stream and download the full episode on Apple Podcasts and Spotify to find out more about setting ESG goals, whats in the works at Team Global Express, and the women who inspire Heather.

About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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