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Business Sustainability. Adapt your services to benefit others

There are more and more alternatives to manage your day to day. From productive applications to sharing applications. These are important, available assets you could use to help improve business sustainability.

Tackling climate change and maintaining your corporate social responsibility delves deeper than just saving on your energy & cutting back on your bills. Start looking towards the wider environment.

Think innovatively. Did you know that the value of all transactions in the UK’s sharing economy is around £7.4 billion? This presents confidence when you consider making a change & moving towards sustainability. For instance, if you’re willing to share (use someone else’s property), then why not recycle or use recyclables too.

 Your sustainable practices should be defined as:

  • Something that does not harm people or the planet
  • Have the intention to improve environmental & social performance throughout all levels of your business, from sales to operations & supply chain

The HBR report’s main conclusion was that business sustainability should be held in the highest regard by Executives. They can no longer afford to take a back seat. Furthermore, concluding that by making sustainability a core element of your policy. Then employees, shareholders & customers will become more confident and enthusiastic.

In today’s article, we’ll explain the key influencers in any Corporate Social Responsibility strategy. After reviewing Whelen & Fink’s research, we’ve had a look at how it can be used to assist smaller businesses and how you can implement or create a strategy to improve business sustainability.

In order to improve sustainability, these indicators need consideration:

  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Product Development
  • Financial risk management
  • Customer loyalty
  • Employee engagement

Whelen & Fink’s research was performed on a wider scale focusing on organisations obtaining the highest market share. Including Coca-Cola, Nike, Unilever and Procter & Gamble. For instance, Unilever developed more sustainable products under the line, “brands for the purpose.” From observing these larger organisations, we’ve derived a number of similar suggestions to help you on your way to sustainability.

Factors to create more sustainable businesses

Empowering people

Most importantly, communicating your sustainability strategy in office-wide meetings, training sessions & promotionally set’s out the foundations to empower your people and instigate an environmental & social change.

“Stakeholder engagement isn’t just corporate social responsibility. But enlightened self-interest” (Heinsz et al, 2014). From this statement, we’re able to understand how communication across your entire network remains pivotal.

Moreover, create shared value, similar to Nestle who changed their coffee procurement methods, to work with impoverished farmers, in order to offer something back to the community. They offered farming advice & they supplied fertilisers & other materials. This caused the farm’s environmental impact to drop, whilst the coffee quality increased. Therefore, explaining how extending stakeholder relationships present a clear understanding of what exactly is needed to create a sustainable product & abstain a positive environmental impact.

Developing products

Product development also adds to your business sustainability. Consider adapting your products or services for positive environmental and social implications. Here’s a few example of sustainable products:

  • 3M — created the Pollution Prevention Pays scheme. Which involved redesigning equipment, recycling and modifying their products to reduce waste and avoid pollution.
  • Nike — they came up with the FlyKnit line a yarn system that actually started to reduce 3.5m pounds of waste throughout its duration.
  • Procter & Gamble — They discovered that too much energy was wasted from heating water. Therefore, they launched cold water detergents that require 50% less energy than warm water washing.

Furthermore, adding fair trade to your products and making a change to your supply chain, could also present an opportunity to present a “premium offering.” Taking the cosmetics industry into account, Lush create bespoke bath bombs, lotions etc. With a prime focus on clean testing, saving animals and preventing animal testing. By taking an ethically conscious decision when manufacturing, show off where it came from and make it exclusive.

Providing a cash boost

As well as being able to provide a higher markup and launch a more competitive product. There are numerous financial benefits to maintain a low carbon, sustainable business plan. It has been discovered that companies can experience a rate of return of 17=80% from low carbon investments (Whelen & Fink). Furthermore, to express another example, General Electric reduced their Greenhouse Gas emissions by 32% which accumulated to around $300m savings.

Emphasising that by —

Recycling,

Consuming efficiently,

Diversifying your products,

And engaging with stakeholders

Offers you an opportunity to make more than just a saving. But also boost your brand as a positive influence on your customers and community.

Furthermore, in terms of energy there are a number of financial incentives to involved to encourage consumers to cut down on their carbon emissions.

Crown Gas & Power are a gas supplier to the commercial world. We currently do not supply electricity. This post is based on research to inform and provide an opinion to support UK businesses. Please ensure you research and ensure you’ve fully understood the benefits and implications to you, before making any changes.

If you’d like any information about Crown Gas & Power’s commercial gas supply contracts or Site Works services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team on 0161 762 7744.

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Heap Bridge,
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