A large portion of British businesses are making the shift to becoming a greener business, while placing sustainability at the forefront of their priorities. Companies are looking to recover from the effects of COVID-19 and grow their business, and sustainability is a driving force of this. It is more important than ever for businesses to become more eco-friendly and incorporate sustainable operations throughout their organisation.
'Five key areas for consideration when looking at a company's future sustainability potential include:'.
Where are the opportunities to go green?
Sustainability is key to a business saving money and helping the environment.
Initially, businesses should examine their supply chain and energy management to see how effectively they are managing this. Companies can then put the correct sustainable solutions in place, that can provide the most significant cost savings and not affect productivity.
Businesses should assess how eco-friendly the goods produced are and if there are ways to improve this. They can conduct an audit of those in the supply chain including suppliers and distributors. More sustainable alternatives can then be identified and used going forward.
Could new technology and automation reduce our carbon footprint?
Businesses should consider incorporating new technology into their business, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. This can help with improved decision making, improved cost-efficiencies and provide more visibility regarding energy consumption. These technology systems are helping businesses to increase productivity, while reducing their carbon footprint. These tools are also helping to predict the business future needs and respond more rapidly to changes in the market.
What does our future vision of the company look like?
Work life has adapted, and more people are experiencing hybrid and remote working styles - this is set to continue and be adopted more widely by organisations. Businesses should consider this when developing a sustainability plan and designing workplaces. As the working practices are being more widely adopted, there is less need for large office spaces. Companies should have more collaborative workspaces within offices, where teamwork can take place. It is important for companies to keep human elements as the focus when planning sustainably for the future.
What changes can be made in the short term?
There are a large number of benefits to becoming a more sustainable organisation. Here are some ways to help companies go green today:
- Use smart energy solutions that monitor and manage power usage, ensuring efficiency.
- Use more eco-friendly products and materials, such as recycled goods and sustainable office supplies.
- Introduce sustainability guidelines that both employees and suppliers should follow, making the supply chain as green as possible.
- Use more sustainable operations at all sites across the company.
- Encourage employees to use forms of public transport or electric vehicles to reduce the amount of fossil fuels used.
- Provide remote and hybrid working options to employees to reduce the carbon footprint of the firm.
How do we put this into action and begin the path to a more sustainable future?
The key is to look at the ultimate goals of the business regarding sustainability and then focus on each area to see how the business can go green. This will help organisations improve their sustainability and become more cost-effective.
If businesses improve and adopt more sustainable practices, this will help to reverse effects of climate change and resonate with customers.