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What Is Sustainability Training?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2016
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Sustainability training consists of classes, seminars, and literature that teaches business professionals how to behave in an environmentally responsible manner. The goal of most sustainability training is to help companies transition from environmentally destructive practices to neutral or even beneficial behaviors without damaging their profit margins or efficiency. Some business experts consider sustainability training a requirement for business operation in the 21st century; since all business requires a habitable environment, sustainable operating procedures are often considered a critical part of long-term business planning and success.

A business or individual can receive sustainability training through a variety of methods. There are dozens of general guides to sustainable business practices online and through environmental organizations. These guides may contain basic tips applicable to many different types of companies, such as moving toward a paperless office to starting up recycling drives. For small businesses, general guides may be sufficient to significantly reduce environmental impact.

Larger businesses may prefer to receive sustainability training tailored to their company or industry. Environmental consulting groups may offer sustainability training that allows certified professionals to analyze each individual business's sustainability strengths and weaknesses, and work with internal personnel to develop training programs and plans for the future. Industry-wide sustainability training may be available in the form of seminars and large training courses; a company may choose to send a few workers to receive this type of training and allow them to train the rest of the workforce.

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Ideally, sustainability training will help a company reduce its environmental impact without damaging business operations. Accomplishing this goal may require company-wide changes in a variety of areas, from material and supply ordering to building maintenance. Some of the topics addressed in sustainability management might include how to make the workplace environmentally friendly, how to improve supply chains to source recycled or environmentally-friendly harvested materials, and how to set sustainability goals for the entire company to achieve. In addition to incorporating sustainable practices into everyday business, training may also cover how to capitalize on these practices to improve a company's reputation, or even increase business.

In addition to purely humanistic impulses, some business leaders consider sustainability training to be an important way to protect a business investment. If raw materials are poorly managed, companies may fold as demand drives up prices or if extinction occurs. Similarly, if air, water, and soil become too polluted, business of any kind may become impossible. Ensuring a habitable environment is key to the long-term survival of humans, and thus, of business.

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