Last week the Victoria Plus Programme, which helps students develop leadership, social responsibility and employability skills, invited the Sustainable Business Network and Conscious Consumers to talk to students. It was a good turn out…. and a very interesting session.
In our personal lives, places of study and at work, sustainability is a word you hear regularly, and no it is not about “green washing”. Organisations are taking this stuff seriously. SBN provide advice and support to help businesses succeed through becoming more sustainable and having some clear goals around four transformation areas. Conscious Consumers aim to create a global marketplace for sustainable products and services, and develop innovative tools and services to connect participants in this market. It struck a chord with me. Victoria graduate, Ben Gleisner, is starting to take his social enterprise wider and maybe even global. Their new app gives consumers a voice to influence business – especially the hospo sector – to make change for good. I am certainly keen to support Wellington cafes and restaurants who are fair trade, care about their workers, minimise waste and choose organic produce. As this quote from author and educator, Anna Lappé, adeptly explains, “Every time you spend money, you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” I feel ready to start sharing my sustainability views and through a bit of clever marketing Ben and his team are on the brink of a very good idea. The participants in the workshop certainly are up for registering with countmein.net.nz.
Students are looking at what goes on in this space at home and when they are considering applying to organisations. Employers are actively seeking graduates who can operate with business intellect around the big issues of sustainability. There are also more and more new degrees and postgraduate qualifications springing up with sustainability in their titles. At Victoria there are lots of ways University staff and students are working towards a sustainable future and a clean and green environment. Keep up to date with what’s going on where you study and have a view about this for your future.

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Career advice, Leadership, Opinion, Personal development, Skills development