How to get started on your sustainability journey

The Business Revolution Episode 3

Feeling overwhelmed by the need to embrace sustainability, but not sure where to begin? Join us as we tackle the “how to get started”-question with Evannah Jayne, founder of Terran Industries, a global ESG services firm.

Audio version:

Evannah Jayne shares her step-by-step approach to guide organisations through the green transition, emphasising the power of individual action and the importance of data-driven decision making.

Learn practical tips on identifying everyday plastic replacements, fostering a culture of sustainability within your company, and leveraging technology to drive climate action.

Evannah also highlights inspiring examples of businesses and individuals taking innovative steps towards a more sustainable future.

Whether you’re a business leader, an employee, or simply someone looking to make a difference, this episode will empower you to take the first step on your sustainability ladder.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Evannah’s ladder metaphor for sustainability progress
  • How to identify and replace everyday plastics
  • The importance of data and technology in sustainability
  • How to foster a culture of sustainability within your company


Inspiring examples of businesses and individuals taking action

Don’t forget to join our Book Club community to further explore the topics discussed in this episode!

Explore our website for more resources and past episodes.

About Evannah Jayne

Evannah Jayne is the Founder and CEO of Terran Industries, an ESG services firm with 30 employees focused on creating impact driven results by strategically implementing sustainability solutions within organisations. 

Terran Industries accelerates the green transition for businesses, by acting as their dedicated sustainability team. 

Evannah is a self taught academic in the sustainability and business sectors, collecting certificates from leading universities including The University of Cambridge and University of Copenhagen, as well as completing a course by the United Nations.

Evannah is the host of The Green Economy on Import Export TV, a show dedicated to promoting and showcasing sustainable solutions to the International Trade & Logistics sectors. 

About Terran Industries

Terran Industries offers tailored, full-circle ESG solutions to meet the unique needs of organisations and businesses. The company’s role extends beyond conventional strategy and reporting; they actively assist organisations in navigating the ever changing ESG landscape, and stand as a committed sustainability partner.

Terran Industries helps orchestrate and implement strategies that align with a company’s existing organisational goals and also contribute towards internationally recognised sustainability goals. They seek to empower their clients to drive innovation in their sector and future-proof their business by integrating sustainability and climate resilience into their core offering.

Episode 3 Transcript

Alan Taylor (00:00)

Welcome, revolutionaries. I’m Alan.

Mik Aidt (00:02)

And I’m Mik – and together we are the three Business Musketeers who will be guiding you through the evolving landscape of business and sustainability.

Cherry Ward (00:03)

And I’m Cherry.

Alan Taylor (00:15)

And in today’s episode, we’re delving into a daunting question that leaves people in varying states. From confusion, from frustration, to a feeling of being stuck, sort of like the metaphorical deer in a headlights. In other words, how do we begin?

Cherry Ward (00:31)

As businesses face increasing pressure to reduce emissions and adopt sustainable practices, understanding where to start is crucial and which actions can make an impact.

Mik Aidt (00:44)

We always explore in the business revolution how we can use effective communication strategies that can inspire action and drive meaningful change within our organisations.

Alan Taylor (00:56)

Plus, we hear from experts in the field and share real life stories that can prove sustainability isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for business too.

Cherry Ward (01:06)

So whether you’re a business owner, an environmental advocate, or simply curious about the future of our planet, you won’t want to miss this episode of The Business Revolution.

Alan Taylor (01:16)

Given the challenge about how to get started, we thought of Evannah Jayne. She is a fountain of knowledge and experience helping people and organisations adapt. So given that, Evannah is here today and I’d like to introduce Evannah, the CEO and founder of Terran Industries.

Evannah Jayne (01:44)

Thank you for having me, Alan. Yes, it can be a very confusing place where to start in a transition. There’s lots of confusing misinformation, propaganda from, I like to brand them as fossil fuel activists, lots of people trying to stop the transition, but the important thing to remember is that knowledge is power, and the best place to start is always to find that right piece of information and follow the science.

We like to think of progress and implementation as climbing a ladder. So just going, taking that process one step at a time. That way you’re not doing too many things at once. You’re not overcrowding yourself with potentially too much information. Just starting the process at the bottom of the ladder, learning what’s out there, getting an action plan in place, figuring out.

The next steps all one step at a time. Because if you jump from steps one to five, it’s too much information, too confusing at once. So always go for that one step approach and you’ll have a managed transition there.

Alan Taylor (02:53)

That sounds great, because I think when you say it one step at a time, it sort of makes it a bit safer for people. We want to get from A to B and want to be at the end, but we’re just a little bit, we can’t fall so far. So it should make it easier and safer to do that.

Evannah Jayne (03:09)

Yeah, absolutely. You can’t jump to the top of the ladder. That’s not how gravity works. Being able to take that process is a hugely important step. Not just for the general green transition itself, but taking it down to almost the micro level, if you will, looking at one cause at a time, one problem at a time. Primarily plastics, for example.

Having that transition in a way where you’re able to stop the flow of fossil fuel derived plastics entering not only the community or the consumer markets, but the oceans as well, is like having that step-by-step process, understanding what is made of plastic and what isn’t. There’s a lot out there that’s almost confusing. There’s things that are made of plastic that you don’t realise are made of plastic.

Clothing, for example, polyester, that’s plastic. This is almost plastic in everything you wear. Being aware of what is actually made of plastic is the first step. Awareness being that first step, like what is actually plastic? What are the names of plastic? And what are they made into? And what a great transition that we look at, or great…next step as you will once you’ve realised what is plastic, finding those alternatives. Looking around offices today, you’ve got lots of, like, pens on desk for example, they’re probably plastic, but hey there’s a bamboo version as well. So basic eco -friendly product replacements are a huge, huge thing. They’re almost so common that people skip over them.

So starting at that bottom and having those small things is a huge, huge step towards progress.

Alan Taylor (05:14)

There’s a topic for me there when I think about small things like pens. It reminds me of how often people feel, I can’t do anything. I’ve got no power. And sometimes they say they step over that because they think it’s too small. Don’t realise how much that adds up with all of the masses. How do you help people do that? And if you have any sort of suggestions?

Evannah Jayne (05:41)

Suggestions are an interesting one. Good question. Having a look around and seeing what is plastic is a good place to start. Once you quantify what’s out there and almost you have to self remove that psychological barrier of I can’t make an impact. And it reminds me of actually a comic I saw last year sometime, just someone throwing a, another single use coffee cup onto the pile. It’s just, it’s just one more coffee cup says 1 billion people. Everyone adds up and it’s just that attitude of realising that one small step or action taken by an individual is the most powerful step they can make. Every single action counts, no matter how small. Is it the end of the day?

The power is with the people in the markets. If you refuse to buy plastic, then they’ll have to stop making it.

Cherry Ward (06:44)

I agree with that, Evannah I think it’s just, you know, the power of individual action and how it can build up. When you are dealing with organisations and, you know, trying to get culture change, are there organisations that you’re working with understanding that? Because I think, you know, I’ve seen it in other areas like DEI and safety, you know, it’s…It’s understanding that we’ve got to make change at the individual level, not just policies and structures and procedures.

Evannah Jayne (07:18)

Absolutely. And it’s something that within businesses themselves, 99 per cent of businesses, it comes down to the bottom line. And that’s one thing that we like to look at in that respect is supply chain resilience when it comes to that culture’s change as well. Because it’s not just okay, plastic is cheap today, but it’s literally made of fossil fuels. And that is actually a finite resource.

One day, there’s not going to be anything more to dig up. So you have to find alternatives. So you just stick to what’s out there. That price is going to go up and up and up. And note, every business who uses plastic in their supply chain is going to price themselves out of the market. Looking into those alternatives today, creating a resilient supply chain with plastic alternatives. For example, anything that can be made out of plastic can be made out of seaweed, which is absolutely incredible. So think of going down to the supermarket and seeing all those bags of food and seaweed packaging. That’s my ideal world. I would love to see that across the world one day. It’s getting there. The movement is starting and we’re very, very excited to see it move forward.

Mik Aidt (08:34)

Evannah, tell us about your own journey with the company. How have you grown? What led you to where you are today? And how big are you? And what are your ambitions?

Evannah Jayne (09:06)

Well, the company we launched four years ago. I have a background in circular economy. That was my previous day job. The company I used to work for, I now refer to as Expert Greenwashers. So I was very motivated to get out and fix the problem firsthand. I knew what I needed to do. I knew I wanted to work in the sustainability sector. I had to build something that… was a gap in the market. I didn’t just want to create another platform or be another consultant. So, we realised the main gap in the market is accessibility. There’s thousands of existing solutions already out there, but the average business doesn’t know what they are, how to find them. Some of them are so niche that you have to know they exist to know how to search for them. So we really built our business model around that.

Now we’re a team of 35 people across four continents. We’re 100 % remote so we can service anywhere in the world. Our North Star, if you will, is accelerated climate action.

Alan Taylor (10:18)

I think that’s one thing you’ve many, one of the many things you’ve demonstrated there is for that intent to action. It’s not location, for example, you’ve covered the whole work well, you know, covering the world, the remote work and those things. So exemplifying another part of that. It’s not just the materials, it’s the travel, it’s all those things which you’re managing through, through our modern world. So it’s another example of the steps that people can take. It’s fantastic.

Cherry Ward (10:45)

I’m interested, Evannah, are you seeing… – I don’t know if Terran works in the technology space – but are you seeing emerging technologies and what role do they play in advancement of sustainable alternatives for organisations?

Evannah Jayne (11:03)

Technology, especially software technology, as an example, is a great data tool. You need to be able to collect and manage the data to know how to execute a transition. Without that data, you’re just a fish out of water. No one can remember everything and write it down by hand. From what I hear, it’s great to and helps your memory (writing it down by hand) but that’s a lot of paper to use.

So having the technology tools available is a great aid towards the transition. The only barrier, if you will, is the energy use. And that’s something that, well, we really want to use the adaptation of technology to be able to utilise that data to speed up the energy transition so we can use that technology more freely. One example that has happened.

Recently in the more negative space with the rise of AI happening this year. It’s certainly the buzzword of the decade. But unfortunately, fossil fuel companies are using the energy intensiveness of AI as an excuse to open more mines. So we really need to look at causes like that and put those in front of the decision makers that can speed up the renewable energy transition.

Alan Taylor (12:28)

It’s an interesting dilemma of paradox there, the way that they’re using it, as you say, and yet it can be such an amazing tool to help organisations take that first step, obviously back to the intent to action in your ladder. If they’ve got data that can see what can be done and actually start to see those changes happen with tracking that data, that sounds like it’s a big motivator. Do the companies that you work with use that in any way? I’m curious, and to motivate their staff and say, hey, look, this is what we are doing as a group.

Evannah Jayne (13:03)

Yeah, there are platforms available which do provide that employee to employer impact connectivity and inspiration. It’s amazing. It goes back to really, I guess, the tools out there in existence which are able to help bridge that connection and help the rise of the employees within the organisation, especially Big Tech, for example. They’re almost so big that you might not even know the person on the desk next to you.

But being able to have that community interaction, like I believe it was Google who had one employee stood up and said, this is it, I’m forming an employee organisation internally to drive climate action within the organisation. And he has done an absolutely amazing job to bring Google employees up to that next level of climate intent.

Cherry Ward (13:59)

That’s fantastic! Nothing comes back to what I was saying earlier. You need the policies and the systems up top, but the grassroots movement, you know, to push organisations. And we’re seeing more and more of that happen. So that’s what a wonderful story.

Evannah Jayne (14:15)

He’s a great guy. I believe he’s in the speaker circuit now, so you’ll probably be able to hear him speak somewhere about his work at Google and what he’s driven up, which is amazing. There’s another story I like just on the micro level even. One of our partners actually, one of those points that I touched on earlier, you don’t know what’s made of plastic and what isn’t. One of our partners basically decided that… everyday objects like sneakers. You wouldn’t expect plastic to be in your shoes and yet it is every day. He’s decided to go around that and develop the world’s first plastic-free sneakers. They’re an amazing Swedish company and I can confirm the sneakers are very comfortable. I own the only pair in Australia, which I’m very proud of.

So it’s called our choice fashion. It’s an absolutely amazing company. And he’s now spreading that action around the world. And that’s just another proof that an individual has decided that they’ve had enough of this problem, and they create their own solution.

Alan Taylor (15:30)

That sounds like, it’s a wonderful example when you say that you’ve got the only ones in Australia, it’s in the third world first. And I think that shows that that intent to you know, is the first company doing that, they’re leading the way. And that’s where the opportunities as a business are huge. So yeah, that’s wonderful.

Evannah Jayne (15:48)

One of my favourite things is seeing all the new innovations out there. There’s so many people who have decided to leave the corporate world, leave whatever job they’re doing today and just jump in and create a new company. And all those people are inspirations. We need more people like that in the world.

Alan Taylor (16:08)

And actually just thinking how that is real as well, sometimes what people think is that this isn’t even viable. There’s some research that’s published about a week or two ago about the belief of the CEOs in the US about their investments. And 70 % of the CEOs said that their investments in green and sustainable technology are going to see…positive ROI within five years. And half of those was, we’re gonna see that positive ROI within half of that, within three years. And so it’s not even a sunk cost, it’s a real return that businesses believe is real. So, yeah, taking those steps is a great way to be ahead of the curve. So that’s great.

Evannah Jayne (16:58)

Absolutely. And that comes back to it as well. Investing in your future is the best way of putting it. Anything that’s polluting today, pollution and plastics and everything that’s bad for the environment is also bad for human health. So you’re not just helping the economy, you’re helping people live a longer life.

Alan Taylor (17:24)

We have to remember that. That’s beautiful.

Cherry Ward (17:26)

You mentioned earlier about, you know, I love your analogy on the ladder, because I think, you know, often organisations just want to jump straight to the top rung and have all these aspirational statements, which is good. But what advice would you give to leaders and organisations who maybe haven’t even stepped on the ladder, but want to incorporate sustainability strategies into their business?

Evannah Jayne (17:50)

The main thing I would say about that is that you can’t do it alone. No one knows everything about sustainability. My background and main knowledge base is circular economy, for example, but I have team members who specialise in other areas. So it’s important to surround yourself with people who fill your knowledge gaps. And one of the things we do is we look after sustainability and ESG so a company can focus on what they know best, which is their industry. So…

Bringing in outside help if you don’t have an internal team is a really, really good step because that allows you to have that knowledge available to you to start that process. You can’t start if you don’t know where to begin. And that just means bringing in someone who knows.

Mik Aidt (18:40)

So Evannah, a last sort of take-away message from you? I hear you, that companies that are starting need advice, they need help and so on. What about those who are already have been on this journey for a while? What would be your advice in terms of stepping up ambition and really like trying the next, the harder bit?

Evannah Jayne (19:08)

Really showcase what they’re doing and lead by example would be probably the most powerful thing I could say there. If they’re already that far ahead, then they’re already a market leader. So bring that influence to the industry, bring it into your competitors and partners to be able to drive that transition forward and just don’t stop going for the top of the ladder.

Cherry Ward (19:37)

That was such a delightful conversation with Evannah and I loved hearing her, especially for me, what stood out for me was the ladder metaphor. You know, I think often businesses try to shoot for the moon and the stars and it’s great to have those aspirations and ambitions, but I think starting small, knowing where to make an impact is so crucial for any business who wants to make a change in sustainability.

Mik Aidt (20:04)

I agree. And also, I really take inspiration from the fact that we need leaders, you know, and leaders can be also people, you know, at floor level, we can all be leaders in this space. And we need to have the courage to step up and say, I will take a bit of leadership here.

Alan Taylor (20:21)

And she demonstrated that leadership in not only saying, yes, we can, and giving that inspirational talk, which of course was beautifully put in there, but she gave examples. Examples of some of the really simple things that we can do, which are small, but significant, that everybody can add bit by bit.

Cherry Ward (20:40)

Yes, and I think every organisation can encourage their employees to drive climate action, you know, within their own sphere of influence. And Ellen, as you said, you know, I love the examples and the stories that she’s shared. So we’ll put them in the show notes, especially, you know, the plastic free sneakers. I’m really excited about that and see if I can hunt down a pair for myself.

Mik Aidt (21:01)

And can I add that we are actually in the background also working in our company on making courses, e-learning courses to help CEOs and boards and management in how to educate and in how to inspire employees. Because sometimes what you need, especially if you have a large company, is something that is sweet and quick and gets people inspired. Get them excited about what this new change is.

Alan Taylor (21:34)

And I think that’s a really key point is getting that inspiration. And it sounds like a really easy one. Sometimes you get the change managers in and they are a crucial part. I won’t put them, I won’t say anything else, but there’s more to it than that. It’s about embodying it, enabling it. And that’s one of the things that Cherry and I do. We run courses around that with helping execs and key leaders in organisations bring that culture into the organisation, being part of the solution.

Cherry Ward (22:03)

Yeah, and if you’re looking for, if you’re not ready to take that step yet, you know, come join our book club where it’s a free community. Read a book and discuss and explore ideas of how you can make a difference and start a business revolution because each one of us truly matter in how we shape the future of tomorrow.

Mik Aidt (22:24)

I love that idea, Cherry and I think we should also in the Business Revolution podcast have a book club where we actually meet in physical terms. So have meetings in our respective cities and where we can discuss books and we can have talks with authors and so on. Because sometimes there’s a lot of gold hidden inside between the papers or in the PDF of a book.

Alan Taylor (22:49)

And I think this is just playing on this. It’s the fact that we’ve just got ideas, we bring them out and let’s actually just put those into action and take them forward. We need all of that. We need the ideas, we need to believe and put it in place. That’s what you can all be part of doing.

And that’s a wrap for today’s episode of the Business Revolution.

Cherry Ward (23:09)

We hope you enjoy diving deep into the world of business and sustainability with us.

Mik Aidt (23:15)

And remember, that revolution doesn’t end right here. It’s up to each of us to take that knowledge and that inspiration we got today in the episode today and turn that into real action in our workplaces.

Alan Taylor (23:29)

Whether it’s implementing sustainability practices in your own business or advocating for change in your community, every step counts towards building that better future.

Cherry Ward (23:39)

And don’t forget to visit our website for more resources, past episodes and ways that you can get involved.

Mik Aidt (23:48)

And if you enjoyed today’s episode, make sure to subscribe to the podcast. You can also rate it and review the business revolution on your favourite podcast platform on your phone. Your feedback helps us reach more listeners out there. And in that way, we can amplify our impact.

Alan Taylor (24:08)

Thanks for joining us on this journey of transformation. Together, we can revolutionise the way that we do business and create a world that’s sustainable for generations to come.

Mik Aidt (24:19)

Stay tuned for insights, inspiration and actionable steps to reshape the way we do business for a better tomorrow.

Cherry Ward (24:27)

Until next time, keep innovating, keep inspiring and keep pushing for positive change. This is Cherry

Mik Aidt (24:35)

My name is Mik.

Alan Taylor (24:36)

And I’m Alan, signing off. The business revolution starts with you.

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► Introduction – 8-minute trailer on Youtube:

The Business Revolution
The Business Revolution
Cherry, Alan and Mik

Podcast hosts Cherry, Alan and Mik are three consultants working independently in this field of transformation in Australia. In a series of interviews and segments they ask some of Australia’s leading experts, decision makers, sustainability officers, carbon accountants and employees how we make it happen - how we turn what is still just an idea, a mindset, into a genuine, serious and deep revolution and reinvention of how we do things in business.