Tamara Fenech, Founder of Cosie Studio – which helps solopreneurs and small businesses to build sustainable business models – leads the charge in fostering more positive social and environmental impacts through business activities. She explains, “we are currently living through very uncertain and unstable times,” necessitating a new approach in business. “Sustainability in business is essentially about futureproofing your company to not only survive the turmoil, but become more resilient towards it and thrive, despite it.”

Tamara highlights the importance of tailored sustainability strategies: “there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to sustainability, especially when it comes to business.” Her go-to approaches, however, are to adopt circular business models, “which are based on the principles of the circular economy. This strategy essentially designs out waste by considering the endof-life stage from the start.”

Giving a product-based business example, Tamara explains, “we would look at things like material inputs and how those materials will be treated at the end of the product’s life. Can the materials biodegrade safely back into the earth? Or can the materials be reused or refurbished? Can we use a material that already exists, avoiding the use of virgin material altogether?”

Illustrating how sustainability can be integrated effectively into business operations, Tamara recalls how one of her first clients was able to recycle 40kg of silver to produce their first collection. “We then set out long-term plans to integrate a ‘return resource’ system whereby customers could bring in their unwanted silver for the brand to recycle and use for further collections, giving the customer a credit note to spend at the shop.”

For emerging trends, she highlights the concept of ‘Regenerative by Design’. “We need to move beyond the idea of ‘doing less harm’, or simply aiming for net zero, which means balancing out a business’s impact by offsetting it. The Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) skyscrapers in Milan are a perfect example: a few years after its construction, the Vertical Forest has given birth to a habitat colonised by numerous animal species (including about 1,600 specimens of birds and butterflies), establishing an output of spontaneous flora and fauna recolonisation in the city, regenerating the biodiversity of the urban space.”

But sustainability is quite overwhelming, Tamara admits – and yet, owning our own behaviour is a good place to start. “This allows us to show up to the collective more authentically – and the importance of collective actions can’t be stressed enough,” she says. “Collaboration over competition. No one person or company can achieve the shifts that sustainable transitions set out to do.”

This feature was first carried on the 2024 edition of the annual print publication MaltaCEOs, the sister brand to MaltaCEOs.mt, both produced by Content House Group.

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