This report provides an assessment of Eagle Valley Health Foods’ problems to develop the most effective ways of ensuring sustainability. The report will identify the major problems deterring the company from reaching the desirable sustainability level. This will offers a clear guideline to solutions meant to eradicate these major challenges. From suggested solutions, the report will identify the most suitable options for the company seeking to succeed in the sustainability policy. It will outline the recommendations and provide the reasons for identification of these particular solutions. The conclusion will offer justification for these recommendations that will ensure achievement of the sustainability goals.
Eagle Valley Health Foods is a company that operates health-oriented snack bars in Western Australia for the past 3 years. The company has shifted focus on corporate sustainability to improve its reputation and financial position. Sustainability refers to observance of humanity needs without harming future generations (Xiao et al, 2016 p.716). This concept emerges from the scarcity of resources amidst the growing population and expanding trade and investment hence threatening the survival of future generations. In pursuit of sustainability, a business must address the economic, social, and environmental implications of its operations. This will benefit the company through cost reduction, improved reputation, and a raise in the profit margin. This report will use the analysis of theoretical concepts from previous works on sustainability to identify the best solutions for the corporation. Limitations of the report include over reliance on secondary information sources rather than conducting primary research. The report will assess the major problems faced by the corporation, offer solutions for each problem and offer recommendations for achieving the sustainability goal.
Findings and Discussions
Problem 1 (High Water Usage)
Eagle Valley Health Foods faces a major operational challenge that affects the amount of costs incurred at the health bars. Production at these bars consumes large amounts of water, which is necessary in preparation of meals. The water rates have risen drastically in the past 2 years making production very expensive for the corporation (Brown, 2008 p.17). Its management is therefore seeking sustainable solutions to curb the rising costs of production.
Solution 1 (Recycle)
The obvious solution for the company in relation to solving the rising cost of water usage is to recycle used water. This would require the installation of a recycling plant for the water used at the health bars to ensure its collection and purification. The advantage of this method is that it will save on the cost of water used in production (Brown, 2008 p.18). It is also beneficial to the environment since the company will save on water consumption and disposal into the surroundings. Despite the advantages, the method is expensive at the initial stages due to high installation costs of the recycling plant. It may also compromise the quality of water and the consumers’ confidence on the health standards of its consumption. It might therefore require additional costs in acquiring fresh amounts of water for drinking and food production to assure consumers. This has the potential of interfering with the company’s reputation that it is seeking to improve.
Solution 2 (Rainwater Tank)
The use of rainwater will save the company a lot of money by providing an alternative source of water (Brown, 2008 p.20). Collection of rainwater only requires installation of rainwater tanks and collection pipes to collect rainwater during rainy seasons. This solution is highly beneficial since rainwater is clean and fit for human consumption. Heavy rains will guarantee the company consistent water supply for a long period. This is also beneficial to the environment since the company commits itself to utilising available natural resources. However, rainwater is unreliable due to presence of dry seasons that subsequently affect the supply of water and the company may incur additional costs in acquiring more water.
Problem 2 (High Electricity Usage)
The company currently operates from a two-storey warehouse made of corrugated iron hence adverse environmental effects on workers in the factory and offices. The premises become extremely cold during cold seasons and extremely hot during hot seasons (Pimentel, 2000 p.540). This has raised electricity bills due to the high heating needs of the building constructed in the 60s with no history of renovation.
Solution 1 (Solar Panel)
Solar panels provide an alternative source of energy for the company to avoid spending a lot of money on electricity. Solar energy is a free source of energy since it only requires one to have solar panels to trap the energy for later usage. It is beneficial since it will save on electricity costs required by the company as well as help in conservation of natural energy (Pimentel, 2000 p.537). It is also a renewable source of energy hence will not experience depletion. On the other hand, solar energy is unreliable since it only works in the presence of the sun, which may not happen on a daily basis. Energy produced may be too low for the heating process requiring an alternative source of energy.
Solution 2 (Renovation)
Renovation may offer a valuable solution to the company by upgrading the old working premises to reduce the need for heavy amounts of electricity to heat the premises. Equipping the premises with energy saving equipment will reduce the amount of electricity (Pimentel, 2000 p.539). The advantage of this solution is that it will save the cost of electricity by reducing the amount of electricity required. It will also update the working environment hence improve the reputation of the corporation. The main disadvantage is that it is an expensive project requiring huge amounts of money. It will also interfere with the company’s operations to pave way for the renovation process.
Conclusion & Recommendations
The journey to sustainability involves saving available resources to prevent depletion hence ensure future generations enjoy these resources. Eagle Valley Health Foods faces major problems in relation to attaining sustainability. It experiences high water and electricity consumption in its production process that requires addressing. For the high water usage, the company should consider recycling as a sustainable solution as well as rainwater collection (Gleick, 2001 p.573). It could use rainwater for drinking and recycle water for other uses within the bars. Saving on the heavy electricity bills will occur if the company renovates its premises and adopts solar energy as an alternative source of energy. These recommendations are suitable for the organization since they will facilitate in saving operational costs. Saving energy and water will have a positive impact on the environment by ensuring utilisation of available resources and eliminating their depletion.
Brown L R 2008, ‘Draining our future: the growing shortage of freshwater’, The Futurist, pp.16-22.
Gleick P H 2001, ‘Water in crisis: paths to sustainable water use’, Ecological Applications, Vol 8, pp. 571-579.
Pimentel D 2000, ‘Renewable energy: economic and environmental issues’, Bioscience, Vol 44, pp.536-547.
Xiao Y, Yang S, Zhang L, & Kuo Y 2016, ‘Supply chain cooperation with price-sensitive demand and environmental impacts’, Sustainability, Vol 8, no.8, pp. 716.