Sustainable businesses have realised that it is not enough to ensure their practices are sustainable, they also must look to their supply chain and ensure they employ businesses that share their values.
Owners Corporations are major employers. Caretakers, plumbers, painters and much more all get engaged by owners corporations on a regular basis. However, few owners corporations consider the impact the services they employ have on the planet.
It is common for strata managers to obtain several quotes when work needs doing at a property. Most often we find the choice of who to engage comes down to price primarily, but what if there was other criteria committees could consider?
Sustainably minded committees can choose to engage contractors who share their values. For example, Miss V, a cleaning company that services owners corporations, uses only non toxic cleaning supplies and arrive on bicycle wherever possible. Another example is Wheelie Bin Cleaning Man who follow EPA law on recycled water. They use clean hot water to clean bins and retain the waste water and dispose of it via EPA guidelines and use environmentally friendly products.
Committees can even choose to engage a carbon neutral owners corporation management company. The Knight is Climate Active certified as carbon neutral and has made its internal practices more sustainable and assisted clients in their journey.
Sustainability also goes beyond just environmental standards. Cleaning & security are two of the most at-risk industries for modern slavery. Cleaners and security guards are also commonly employed by owners corporations. As a part of any contract or tender, committees can request the contractors quoting confirm they comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2018. Most owners do not want to employee a company that behaves unethically or mistreats its employees. Making it a part of the tender, ensures you do your due diligence and reduces the likelihood of unethical behaviour.
Looking at your supply chain goes beyond just employing the right people. For example, one Owners Corporation when replacing their carpet have asked the companies quoting to ensure they palletize the old carpet so it can be recycled and repurposed. Many contractors are willing to accommodate these requests. We know of a maintenance company who has worked to use recycled and environmentally friendly materials on request.
When you look at reducing your footprint, go beyond just looking at your own practices. If you are on a committee, consider how the choices your owners corporation makes may impact the planet.