The necessity to improve the sustainability of a business is becoming increasingly important. Everyone is looking to do their part to address the climate emergency. It is now widely accepted that around 18% of the carbon emissions here in the UK are made by businesses. The UK government has committed to reaching a state of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Most of the large brands have already created their own sustainability strategies and put them in place in order to improve their operations and reduce their carbon output. However, there are still those smaller companies that have yet to complete their strategies. Getting your senior executives onboard isn’t always as easy as it could be. Therefore, the first part of any strategy must be focused on benchmarking. An environmental management system like ISO10441 may also be worth considering as this will offer assurance to everyone in the business, and your external stakeholders, that you are measuring and improving your impact.
Do some research
The very first thing that you will need to do is do some research within your company. This can be started by creating an organisational emissions inventory. List things from those which consume the most energy to those which are the least energy-consuming. By collecting this data, you will be able to identify those things that are the biggest issue.
Benchmark Your Sustainability
The next thing to do is create those benchmarks that will allow you to underpin your sustainability objectives and targets. Research within your industry to see what the best sustainability practices are, and see if you can find any case studies that will help you. Once you have done this, you will more easily be able to create a meaningful sustainability report.
Using the data that you have collected, you will be able to make an analysis that will help you to have a good look at the practices of your organisation. Site energy feasibility studies and audits will allow you to identify areas where you can improve.
The next step is to develop the criteria for your strategy to be assessed. These should include the SMART targets (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely). This will help you to build up all the other steps you have looked at and implement your plans.
Now you need to bring all your steps to reality and implement all of the different actions that you have identified to begin reducing your carbon emissions.
Staff engagement is critical, so you will need to ensure that you have measures in place to educate your staff on all of the measures you are implementing. Make sure that they understand all of the benefits. This will allow you to motivate their behaviour in this manner.
A monitoring framework should be implemented, and you should continually monitor and review this to look at your progress through the year. This will allow you to make adjustments where necessary. You will also need to evaluate your carbon reduction on an annual basis.
Once you have fully evaluated your carbon reductions, you will see those areas that you might wish to improve to reach your sustainability goals in the long term.