Investing in sustainability: strategies for UK businesses


Sustainability is a topic that has gained traction over the past decade – and there are no signs of this slowing down. Terms like ‘ESG’ and ‘green economy’ are becoming the norm, with more business owners assessing the environmental and social impacts that their operations can have across the globe.

Incorporating sustainability into your business practices means you can help to make a difference. Plus, doing this holds many benefits you might not have considered. Here are some actionable strategies you could consider if you’re a business owner wanting to invest in and embrace sustainability initiatives.

Assessing Sustainability Goals and Priorities

Setting goals is an important first step. Establish what you want to achieve both in the short term and long term. You could take inspiration from the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which cover everything from air quality to water pollution. It’s important to take a genuine interest in the sustainability movement and keep up to date with the issue. Understanding why it’s so important to take these actions is key.

Take a look at your existing business practices and assess whether certain areas require more focus to be more environmentally friendly. After extensive research, you might want to look into small business loans to fund initiatives that require upfront investment.

Implementing Sustainable Practices Across Operations

Look across the entire supply chain to establish where improvements can be made. Do you feel comfortable offering full supply chain transparency to the public? If not, why is that? And what changes can you make?

Often, supply chains are so vast that it’s tricky to track whether there is exploitation in an environmental or social sense. The more visibility you have over your supply chain, the more this risk is reduced. Consider whether you should switch suppliers or switch up your operations for the better. Consider aspects like energy efficiency or waste reduction, as well as internal company schemes and processes you can implement. You might introduce a cycle-to-work scheme, for instance.

Engaging Stakeholders and Building Partnerships

Who you engage with is an extension of your image. Make sure you only liaise with businesses that align with your values, otherwise, customers will lose respect for you and may struggle to trust your true intentions.

Where possible, collaborate with other stakeholders that will help you in your mission to embrace more sustainable practices. You could work with small businesses, charities and local organisations that reflect your values, for instance.

Measuring Impact and Reporting Progress

The way you report on your progress will be a big part of holding yourself accountable. After forming goals, you can use more specific performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to assess your performance. You can then share your results with stakeholders and the public to instil trust and authenticity.


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