Nine ways your business can better consider the environment
Wilf Robinson, owner and co-founder of Certified Sustainable, offers his top nine tips on how businesses can better consider the environment.
A new international study conducted by Unilever has revealed that a third of consumers now favour brands which they feel are doing social or environmental ‘good’. Unsurprisingly, this trend is becoming poignant in the world of business too. Investing in companies with a vibrant green thumb has become an evident priority for potential clients, making this an important consideration for all businesses.
However, despite the many benefits which follow businesses who decide to ‘go green’, CitySprint has revealed that whilst 90% of SMEs said they thought sustainability is an important aspect of conducting business, over half of these businesses are failing to invest in any sustainability goals. It seems there is an equal number of businesses who pride themselves on fulfilling a greener agenda, for example by selecting suppliers and contractors who are known for sustainable conduct (31%), and businesses who dismiss green-oriented goals altogether. Essentially, the world of sustainability is at a loss; businesses are overpromising and under-delivering.
As influential companies continue to demonstrate an ‘all or nothing approach’, changes must be made. Meanwhile, it has been concluded that SMEs don’t feel confident enough to pursue greener agendas; they simply don’t understand how their businesses can become more sustainable. As it’s been found that 51% of businesses lack critical information regarding how efficient methods can be developed and maintained, this failure becomes more understandable.
To help you better understand how your business can successfully consider the environment, encouraging others to follow suit, here are nine ways that companies can better consider the environment.
Set a mission statement
If you want to determine whether a company is excelling sustainably, then the first thing to check is its mission statement. As a compilation of guiding principles, mission statements encompass the organisation’s values and goals.
Any company hoping to improve its sustainability efforts ought to incorporate this into its mission statement. Discuss with your team how you’d like to become more sustainable, for example by saving water or reducing waste and incorporate your revised values, creating a short, concise mission statement which reflects your green priorities.
Be mindful of your energy usage
There are many ways by which you can become more energy efficient, having a positive impact on the environment in turn. For example, you can use alternative energy resources; solar and wind power are just two examples of the many sustainable options which provide a greener alternative.
Consider also replacing old appliances with more energy efficient ones. Cost-cutting rarely benefits the environment, contributing to unnecessary energy wastage which certainly doesn’t portray your company in a favourable light. By investing in energy-efficient alternatives, you’ll create a sustainable working environment that’s long-lasting.
Becoming more sustainable as a company is an admirable goal and it’s equally important that you showcase your achievements. Being seen as a sustainable business means you need to highlight this in your branding, PR and marketing strategies. Certifications can support your sustainable image exponentially. These accreditations demonstrate that your achievements are recognised externally, as your processes are quality-approved by experts.
For example, the ‘Certified Sustainable’ accreditation provides a clear and visible means for UK manufacturers to showcase the company’s commitment to best-practice waste management and sustainability. Started by a team of independent waste management experts, the certification encourages manufacturers to operate in a truly sustainable manner. By becoming ‘Certified Sustainable’, these businesses better communicate the sustainability efforts, sharing achievements with clients, partners and employees alike.
Going paperless is an environmental saviour, whilst it’s also been said to enhance productivity. Findings suggest that employees spend one-third of their time looking for paper documents, an indisputable waste of their skill sets. Adopting a paperless strategy means that important information can’t be lost or misplaced easily, whilst allowing your employees to use their valued time more efficiently. Meanwhile, your business will proactively protect our trees, a commitment to be proud of.
Invest in sustainable projects
Companies who consider important causes are certainly favourable among consumers and clients. This purposeful image demonstrates your ability to support the wider world. As a consequence, you could consider investing in sustainable projects; for example, by supporting charities which proactively work to create a more sustainable planet, you’ll be seen as a ‘greener’ company, with the environment at the top of your priority list.
Assign a sustainability advocate
Creating sustainable plans might be simple, but their maintenance requires commitment and monitoring. I recommend having a sustainability leader who can act as an advocate for your business’ sustainability practices. The individual will work to bring your goals to fruition, communicating these with the rest of your team.
Become an environmental champion in your local area
Where possible, use your platform as a successful business professional to champion a local cause, contributing to a project which makes a difference close to home. This will encourage fellow members of your team to embrace a more sustainable and supportive lifestyle themselves, using their expertise for good. In turn, your company will consist of passionate employees who aim to live sustainably both professionally and personally.
There are numerous ways by which your business can conserve water. Start with a water audit; many companies underestimate how much water they’re using, however audits can help to uncover any leaks and unnecessary wastage. Once you know where your water’s being used, you can better educate your team. Encouraging them to become more water-aware will help to reduce the environmental impact your business is having, making gradual steps towards a more efficient and sustainable workplace.
Be wise with your waste
Every business will produce waste, regardless of how many changes you implement. It would be extremely difficult to avoid waste entirely. However, there are sustainable uses for your waste, putting your by-products to the best possible use. For example, you can reduce packaging, eliminate plastic water bottles, or contribute to local food banks. Above all else, ‘recycle and reuse’ should be values which lie at the core of your business.
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”