Over the last 10 years, sustainability has become more than just a fad or a buzz word. Putting your green commitments at the heart of strategic business plans and incorporating them into your business objectives provides real benefits, from the monetary to the reputational and beyond. A sustainable business has three bottom lines (the 3 Ps): people, planet and profit. You must create a culture within your business that encourages green thinking while having no negative impact on the environment or society and remaining financially sound.
Being sustainable goes beyond your four walls
Being a sustainable business doesn’t just involve taking responsibility for what happens at your premises; it means looking at your suppliers’ and your customers’ actions too. Your supply chain could be a large source of inefficiencies, particularly if you obtain materials from abroad.
Do you know how your products reached you and how they were produced? Likewise, can they be recycled? These are all key questions that you need to be asking yourself when embarking on your sustainable journey.
Businesses that incorporate sustainability into their strategy and long-term goals to successfully reduce their environmental impact can achieve the following benefits.
1. Enhanced reputation & increased brand image
According to HSBC’s Navigator report, 85% of businesses see the environment as the main concern and many organisations believe that sustainability is vital to their success.
Stakeholders now judge businesses by their corporate values with an increasing number of consumers, particularly millennials, now preferring to purchase products from an environmentally responsible business.
In the same respect, companies should also choose sustainable suppliers as part of their own commitment to the environment.
Many large organisations now report their annual Corporate Social Responsibility assessments and “doing good” has become one of the focal points of advertising campaigns.
2. Attract and improve staff retention
A good reputation can also help you attract and retain employees through an improved brand image within the community. Many employees, particularly the younger generations that have been brought up on a continuous regimen of environmental protection messages, want to work at companies that are proactive with their corporate environmental and social programmes.
3. Improved investor and client opportunities
As well as reduced costs, sustainability can help increase profits. Nowadays, investors don’t want to invest their hard-earned cash into a business that performs poorly due to the risk of public scrutiny.
4. Demonstrates credibility
Being transparent across the environmental, economic and social impact of your business activities is key in assuring stakeholders, employees and the public that you’re genuine about sustainability. Organisations that are open about what steps they’re taking, including reporting on their progress, will see more benefits than those that don’t.
5. Reduced costs
Cutting energy consumption reduces your emissions as well as leading to improved economic efficiency. Sustainable practices will help streamline processes, making a business more efficient through conserving resources and reducing your operational costs.
By focusing on your long-term sustainable goals and strategy, you’ll not only comply with regulations and avoid non-compliance costs, but you’ll also meet the criteria for reductions in environmental taxes such as the climate change levy.
There are also big savings to be made by using resources such as raw materials, energy and water more efficiently. It can be as simple as switching off the lights and electronic equipment at the end of the day or can be as complex as installing renewable energy sources such as solar panels. Although the larger installations will be more costly to install, they will have a greater overall impact with the end gains justifying the initial investment.
6. Get ahead of the curve
Sustainability helps you stay ahead of legislative requirements. With businesses expected to reduce 50-80% of their carbon emissions by 2050, this will affect both the availability and cost of energy.
In April 2019, the government created environmental taxes to encourage businesses to run in a more environmentally friendly way. There are different taxes and schemes that apply to different types and sizes of businesses.
You may also get reliefs or be exempt from taxes if:
- You’re a high energy user due to the nature of your business
- You’re a small business that uses minimal energy
- You use energy-efficient technology in your business
You can also pay less tax if you apply for schemes to help demonstrate that you’re improving your efficiency and producing less waste.
One of the easiest ways to immediately start reducing your environmental impact is to use a drop-in diesel alternative such as HVO fuel, which reduces CO2 greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%. HVO fuel reduces emissions and improves local air quality immediately, without needing to invest in new machinery or retrofitting existing vehicles.
Our range of sustainable fuels is invaluable in reviving the UK’s net zero carbon journey, providing a technically sound and cost-effective stopgap while paying the way for longer-term developments.
To find out more about our direct, drop-in diesel alternative or any of our other green fuels, call us today on 0330 123 1144.