Key actions towards creating a more sustainable business

sustainable business

Sustainability in business is more than simply a catchphrase to wield or a bandwagon to jump onto these days.

Many countries have now built sustainability into statutory regulations that organisations have to commit to on a long term basis.

Whether it is running a fleet of electric vehicles, or looking at building more sustainability into its products, the move towards protecting the environment is more important now than ever.

There are two initiatives that drive this move.

ESG stands for environmental, social and governance and refers to a set of criteria for evaluating the non-financial impact and sustainability of organisations.

ESG provides the criteria by which investors assess a company to determine whether it is worth investing in.

CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility – is similarly focused on an organisation’s impact on the environment.

It provides a framework, around which companies can construct activities that directly help to improve their impact on the environment.

Unlike ESG, CSR is more self regulatory, and impacts the organisation’s own brand and image in front of its stakeholders, rather than being a precise method of measurement.

Whatever the driving force behind businesses going green, there are key issues that can be addressed that make a big impact with minimum changes.

Reassess Your Packaging

Packaging is probably one of the biggest areas in which a company can make a significant impact that will have a beneficial effect on its brand value as well.

If you consider beer bottle packaging, for example, for too long it was mired in controversy due to containing too much plastic.

By swapping the detrimental (and often dangerous) plastic for recycled and recyclable cardboard packaging, drinks companies were able to make massive reductions in the production of single use plastics ending up in landfill sites and also choking bird and animal life when not disposed of properly.

Be more selective in supply chain sourcing

No matter how much time and investment you put into your own sustainable endeavours, if you do not follow these through with the people you work with, your own attempts become isolated and therefore diluted.

Integrating a supply chain policy whereby you state you will only work with companies that fulfil your own stringent sustainability criteria will not only help you to create more collective and impactful environmental changes but will also massively impact your brand values and identity.

Running a fleet? Change to electric

If you are running a fleet of vehicles, then you will definitely want to look into changing it over to electric vehicles.

Many governments will be offering incentives and grants to encourage companies to make the switch, as well as schemes which act as a deterrent, such as the ULEZ scheme which charges vehicles a hefty £12.50 a day to drive through central London, unless they are ULEZ exempt which is specifically electric vehicles.

On a day to day basis you can encourage employees to use other forms of transportation to get into work, either by running a carpooling scheme, urging them to get onto bikes, or investing in EV charging stations at work to encourage them to upgrade their own cars to electric.

Overhaul your energy efficiency

With the volatility in energy prices still making itself felt across the world, carrying out an assessment of the energy efficiency of all areas of your business could actually save you thousands every year, as well as contributing to the reduction of your overall carbon footprint.

From simple steps like changing over to LED lighting, to increasing employee awareness of their individual consumption, to installing your own solar panels, an energy audit will help you plan an ongoing commitment to becoming more energy efficient and sustainable.

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