Sustainability means business
Being sustainable can bring business benefits beyond doing something good for the environment. We look at the reasons why businesses should go green and how we can help.
Article published date- 06/01/2020
Read time -14 mins
UK businesses currently produce a fifth (18%) of the nation’s greenhouse gases. But with the drive towards zero net carbon emissions by 2050, many are already putting in the work to reduce their impact on the environment –and reaping the added benefits it can bring.
As well as the obvious environmental impact, making efforts to become more sustainable can have added benefits for businesses, including:
- Innovation and being more competitive
- Improved efficiency and increased productivity
- Recruitment and retention of talent
- Regulatory compliance
- Motivated and engaged employees
- Consumer choice and brand value
- Cost savings from a reduction in the use of resources
- Improved reputation among stakeholders and shareholders.
Tips for becoming more sustainable
Getting started with sustainability can be challenging: 90% of companies could still benefit from putting a proactive strategy in place to reduce waste and become more efficient. These tips can help your clients, and you, take steps to become greener:
- Carry out energy audits on your business premises to see where energy is being wasted. This can help you focus your energy-saving initiatives for maximum impact.
- Create clear targets of what you want to achieve and by when –make sure they are realistic and clearly communicated to the full team.
- Appoint sustainability champions –members of the team who can help spread the sustainability message at all levels and help manage green schemes.
- Cut down on business travel, where possible. Make use of video conferencing rather than face-to-face meetings and encourage staff to work from home some of the time to cut down on commuting.
- Review your suppliers –and make sure you’re working with companies who can help you identify ways to reduce packaging and waste.
- Update your equipment –make sure it’s as energy and water efficient as possible.
- Ban single-use plastic and invest in reusable water bottles and coffee cups for staff.
How we can help businesses be more sustainable
We’re committed to helping businesses of all shapes and sizes become more sustainable. We’re supporting the shift towards sustainable business models and operations, and to pursue new clean growth opportunities.
As part of these efforts we’ve made sustainability one of our key decision-making criteria for all lending applications to ensure that relevant risks and opportunities are considered. We also provide useful guidance aimed at helping businesses become more sustainable.