Whilst living in the times of change, there’s no better time to discuss sustainability within businesses.
There is no universally agreed definition of sustainability but is a frequently used term. Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainability) describes it as an ability of a system to exist constantly at a cost. Sustainability is avoiding reduction of natural resources and reducing harm to the environment, without compromising future generations. Sustainability is made up of three main principles; economic, social and environment.
People globally are becoming more and more willing to embrace sustainability into their lives. There’s no better time for businesses to be mirroring the public’s efforts. The initial cost associated with becoming a sustainable business may be off putting for some. However, organisations that pride themselves with eco-friendly values and policies are continuously being set as market leaders.
With a market share of 73%, the award-winning ‘Innocent Drinks’ (https://www.speakerscorner.co.uk/speaker/jessica-sansom), has become the number one smoothie brand in the UK. After their £300 million turnover in 2017 (https://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/824543/Innocent-Drinks-smoothies-breaks-300-million-annual-sales-barrier) the business has continuously grown and sales increased. With their strong ethos of doing good for human-beings with eco-friendly products, we believe this a large contributor to their development and growth. With this in mind, we have seen many other businesses starting to ‘follow suit’. They’ve realised that sustainable development is great for business, creates a healthier work force, retains employees and creates larger investors!
According to HSBC’s Made for the Future Report (https://www.business.hsbc.com/navigator) in 2019, almost half of UK companies are planning on increasing their environment related spending. 69% will be focusing their budgets on manufacturing. 66% will be improving their internal practices and 57% say they plan to increase expenditure. As a business owner you don’t want to be left behind.
Here are some basic steps you could put into your business to get involved in creating a sustainable future;
- Think outside the box
Recycling is great. Recycle the paper, ink cartridges and dried up pens. But what about the working environment? An office interior is very important to your workforce. Research shows selecting the wrong workstations can make a significant difference to the health of your staff and your business. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/alankohll/2019/01/24/how-your-office-space-impacts-employee-wellbeing/#48cb996a64f3) Quality can come at a price. So why not look at second hand? Recycled Business Furniture (https://recycledbusinessfurniture.co.uk/) understands the struggle for business owners. They pride themselves on their huge choice of second hand desks and chairs with low price tags. Maybe its time for a quick and easy office renovation project!
- Zero waste to landfills
Careful planning and organization across a business can make this possible. In 2018 Brother UK (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/ready-and-enabled/sustainability/ways-to-make-your-business-more-sustainable/) announced that out of 133 tonnes of waste produced at their head office in Manchester, none of it went to landfill. By appointing a dedicated sustainability champion in their business, they were able to put their goals into action. They implemented several processes. These included (https://www.brother.co.uk/about-brother/corporate-social-responsibility-hub/environment) bamboo cutlery, recycled picnic benches and mandatory environmental training for staff each year. This has resulted in them being awarded the Best Brand in 2020 in Home and Business Printing. (https://www.brother.co.uk/about-brother/news/2020/pc-mag-best-brand-2020). This has given the brand an increase of credibility, a high staff morale and free advertisement. Another reason why businesses should be putting sustainability at the forefront of their plans and goals.
- Cloud Computing
Cloud computing reduces energy usage and paper waste. It offers cheaper running costs and flexibility for businesses. Only 40% of UK businesses are said to be on the cloud by 2021 (https://www.cbronline.com/news/cloud-only-infrastructure). Not only is it a simpler way of working but it is friendlier for the environment. Last years PwC study (https://www.pwc.co.uk/services/sustainability-climate-change/insights/how-ai-future-can-enable-sustainable-future.html) revealed that by using AI systems across business operations would reduce greenhouse gases by 4% worldwide by 2030. If you’re not already on the Cloud in your business, we highly recommend looking into it!
There is it; 3 simple steps to make your business sustainable. Great for business and the environment; what else could you want?