Driving Sustainable Futures
April 01, 2021
Responsible Operations: A Driving Force for Sustainability
By Jason Scott, Program Director M&E & Global Director EH&S
Mounting environmental issues and pressure from consumers regulatory agencies have necessitated an increased focus from manufacturing companies on responsible operations in recent years. While Trinseo works each day to provide the materials necessary for our customers to reduce their environmental impact, we have also taken steps to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations. Through our ambitious 2030 sustainability goals, we are striving to not only create sustainable products, but also ensure that our sourcing, manufacturing, and production is environmentally responsible.
We have learned a lot over the years about what it takes to build a successful operations program and to meet ambitious, long-term goals. Here are three tips for gaining momentum, staying motivated, and finding the right people to achieve your sustainability goals.
Start Now, Start Small
For those looking to improve their responsible operations as part of their sustainability goals, the key is to start now. Even if the goals are long-term and seem out of reach, do not stand still. Take action and begin moving forward. When looking back at the sustainability evolution at Trinseo over the past 10 years, the key to our success has been continuous improvement. We are constantly evaluating our performance and searching for new ways to improve. We have a strong culture and management system, both of which have cultivated positive change and shaped our sustainability goals.
Though the process may be long and the progress incremental, take time to celebrate victories along the way. Yes, there will be challenges; so, it is important to remember the “why?”. Think about the reasons you are working toward these ambitious goals – to build a better, more sustainable tomorrow for current and future generations. Continuously communicate these to your employees. It is easy to get excited about responsible operations when you see results over time and celebrate these positive changes.
Our workforce has had a strong influence on our sustainable operations efforts. Many of our employees are incredibly passionate about energy optimization and reduction, and they are eager to lead the sustainability charge. This mentality starts at the leadership level and trickles down throughout the company.
As an organization, we try to find the right, passionate leader for a job. If a project or task sparks inspiration in an individual, they should have a hand in delivering the end result. No matter the industry, fostering passion in the workplace should be a priority for leadership. Not only does passion influence productivity, but it leads to mastery and success. It also provides the necessary motivation to work at a high level and make a difference.
In every product and decision you make, look for an opportunity to exhibit responsible operations and increase sustainability. It is a slow and steady process, but ultimately your responsible operations will leave a lasting impact on the communities and industries you serve.