This week Ryanair had one of their ads banned by the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK and were accused of greenwashing. Also this week a certificate arrived in my post from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). I’m now the proud owner of this certificate having recently completed their Business Sustainability Management Course. This is quite a mouthful and also a big achievement for me. Coincidentally the news item about Ryanair connects with my own personal news!

What does it mean? 

CISL’s mission is to empower individuals and organisations to take leadership in tackling the global challenges presented by climate change and its effects. As part of the course each participant had to produce a sustainability plan for their organisation. Being a small business I chose Ryanair for my project. I was fascinated to learn more about the aviation industry and that there is such a thing as sustainable aviation fuel. I don’t suppose that Michael O’Leary would be interested in my take on their green credentials but it was fun to pretend that he might!

What did I learn? 

I learned the very fundamentals of climate change and how it affects not just our weather but has profound impacts on every aspect of our social and economic life. This course has opened my eyes and informed me in a measured way using credible sources for all the information imparted. It has also fed my curiosity to find out more and to question the “facts” as they are often presented in the media.  

How will I apply it in my work?

The most important thing I learned was this. In order to significantly reduce greenhouse gases/carbon emissions, everyone, businesses and individuals, must take a holistic and systemic approach to managing their work, output and activities. It’s not enough to change the disposable cups in the canteen or take the bus occasionally. If we are to contain global warming then more and better action must be taken. 

This course has shown me that I can be a leader in sustainability through my own personal life and in my work with retailers, businesses and not for profits. I’m looking forward to sharing what I’ve learned with businesses who are serious about sustainability. If you’d like to find out more about how your business can be more sustainable get in touch, especially if your name is Michael O’Leary!

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