9. SPII’s Charter of Values – #Sustainability
There can be no future without personal, environmental, social and economic sustainability.
Here we go, we know what you are thinking: “here comes another buzzword“, just like you thought of our second Value, #Inclusion.
But if you have read some of the articles we wrote about our Charter of Values, you should know by now that we didn’t choose ours based on what’s fashionable or convenient.
Sustainability is exactly the same: yes, everyone is talking about it. Yes, there can be no Charter of Value without a mention of this topic. But our point of view is different from the mainstream.
How? Well, to start…because we are not (only) talking about environmental sustainability.
Sustainability in SPII: more than a buzzword
In today’s world, the term “sustainability” is thrown around quite frequently, but have you ever stopped to think about what it really means?
Because sustainability is not just another buzzword; it is a crucial element of our future. Without sustainability, we cannot move forward as a society.
Sustainability is about being able to sustain something over time, ideally indefinitely.
So sustainability is first and foremost a matter of Vision. It is important to have a long-term approach when it comes to it.
Our actions today will have consequences for tomorrow, the day after, the following year, and so on. We have to look forward, and even consider the impact that our actions will have on future generations.
Ultimately, sustainability means that we must think before we act and consider the implications of our actions, indefinitely.
The next question then is (or should be): which actions?
The interconnectedness of personal, environmental, social, and economic sustainability
When someone says “sustainability”, we immediately think about the environment.
Environmental sustainability is perhaps the most well-known aspect of sustainability. It refers to the responsible use of natural resources and the protection of our planet.
And this is a really important part of the equation, indeed: we are constantly reminded of the impact that our lives have on the planet. We must take action to reduce our carbon footprint and preserve our natural resources.
Companies are especially required to think and act upon it: a business that doesn’t act sustainably can cause infinitely more damage than a single person, or, on the other side, an exponentially greater benefit to the environment if it does.
This is why we, at SPII, have embraced this kind of approach for many years. We have banned plastic bottles for a long time, we use LED lights and sustainable packaging. Our efforts toward environmental sustainability have been recognized by Ecovadis, and the whole Schaltbau Group is involved in the global movement for an electric mobility transition.
But we need to remember that it is just ONE part of the equation.
An equation that is made of the interconnectedness of environmental, personal, social, and economic sustainability.
1. Personal Sustainability:
Personal sustainability is about balancing our needs with those of others.
It means taking care of our physical and mental health, fostering healthy relationships, and finding meaning and purpose in our lives. Personal sustainability also involves taking responsibility for our actions and making conscious choices that align with our values.
We need to recognize that our daily choices impact not only our personal sustainability, but also that of our communities and the planet.
We said that sustainability is about being able to sustain something over time, indefinitely. The same goes for its personal side: this means that we need to begin having sustainable habits.
If we work long hours every day, without allowing ourselves to rest and recharge, we may be able to sustain it for a short time, but it is not sustainable in the long run.
This is something we are slowly getting to understand. Thirty years ago, the average successful manager was someone who was willing to sacrifice everything, even their family, for work and success. Even today, some people fall into this trap…ending up totally burned out.
In the last decade, the focus has commonly been put on “finding the right balance“. We believe it’s not even about achieving a perfect balance, but rather about finding a virtuous circle, where there is tension for improvement that leads to positive results in all areas.
Balance is static, still, it doesn’t really go anywhere. Instead, we ne need to be moving toward something.
Something sustainable for us, for our loved ones, for our job, and for the planet.
In SPII, we strive to offer a working environment that allows everyone’s personal sustainability: we embraced smart working, flexible working hours, etc. We offer spaces for leisure time and socialization within the Company and encourage our people to practice sports in the park near our headquarters in Saronno.
2. Social Sustainability:
Social sustainability refers to our ability to create vibrant and resilient communities.
It involves creating a sense of belonging, promoting social justice, and supporting the wellbeing of all members of society. This includes fostering inclusivity, diversity, and equity.
We need to build communities, or teams, that are safe, supportive, and offer opportunities for growth and development.
It’s the Value of Trust we’ve seen in our most recent article, to ensure that everyone has access to the resources they need to thrive.
We could say it’s similar to personal sustainability, but it is applied to society as a whole.
For example, creating a society in which people are discouraged to have children is not sustainable in the long run. We must find a way to balance our individual desires with the needs of the whole society.
We have already talked about #Inclusion and how important it is for us in SPII, so we support our super-women in every way we can. We believe in the role of education, and this is why we cooperate with different schools in our area. Most of all, we believe in our Vision for accessibility and we sponsor Companies that are trying to achieve the same goal, such as Avanchair.
3. Economic Sustainability:
Finally, economic sustainability is crucial.
Economic sustainability involves building a robust and resilient economy that supports the needs of people and society, without compromising the planet’s health.
It means creating jobs, generating income, and promoting prosperity without degrading natural resources, but also supporting businesses that prioritize sustainability, and promoting sustainable consumption.
If we make a profit today but go bankrupt tomorrow, we are not sustainable.
In a downturn, it may be tempting to lay off all of your sales staff, but this is not a sustainable solution: it would end up destroying your company. The sustainable solution is to find ways to weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side.
SPII is an established Company that just celebrated its 75th birthday: the way we achieved it is exactly by applying these ideas, and following our long-term Vision.
Building a sustainable future requires us to recognize that environmental, personal, social, and economic sustainability are all interconnected. We cannot address one without considering the impact on the others.
We need to embrace sustainable practices, invest in sustainable solutions, and take responsibility for our actions. By doing so, we can create a world that will thrive for generations to come.
This is what #Sustainability means for SPII. It’s not an action taken today, or tomorrow: it’s a path, a decision, a commitment.
One we decided to make long before we wrote down our Charter of Values – and now it’s written in stone.
Had you ever considered the interconnectedness of #sustainability? What do you think of it?
See you next time,