How Businesses Can Grow Through Sustainability

 

Why do you need to think about sustainability for your business?

 

What is net zero?

To put it simply, being net zero means adding no more greenhouse gases to the Earth’s atmosphere, by cutting carbon emissions to a small amount of residual emissions that can be absorbed and durably stored by nature.

Greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide is the main one, hence the term ‘carbon emissions’ – are detrimental in that they let sunlight pass through the atmosphere but stop the heat from going back out into space. This heat, that has been trapped over time, has contributed to global warming and climate change.

This is getting worse due to the carbon emissions from transportation, industry, and agriculture. The goal of net zero is to reduce these effects of climate change and keep global warming to levels that are safe for the majority of the world’s population.

 Carbon neutral vs net zero: what’s the difference?

The terms ‘carbon neutral’ and ‘net zero’ are often used as though they’re the same thing, but there is a slight difference.

If you’re a carbon neutral business, for example, you’re offsetting the carbon emissions you produce, perhaps by planting trees or supporting renewable energy programmes. This doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that you’re net zero, as you might not be reducing carbon emissions, only offsetting them.

What does net zero mean for my business?

Acting on climate change can help businesses grow, find new opportunities, create new jobs, encourage investment and adapt against the challenges of a changing planet.

By reducing emissions, businesses can:

  • lower their running costs – and save money as a result.
  • attract new customers and investors.
  • maintain a competitive advantage, both locally and globally
  • qualify for tax benefits.
  • build a better, more sustainable supply chain.

Every business produces carbon emissions, whether a freelancer or a corporation. Through their premises, the vehicles they use, or their supply chain.

How can my business move to net zero?

If you run a business, there are a number of measures you can put in place to begin cutting your carbon emissions. Some are quick and easy; some require a bit more planning and expense. One such is this really helpful resource from the British Chamber of Commerce Top ten things businesses can do now to lower their emissions – British Chambers of Commerce

Basic steps

  1. Recycle more – by recycling your paper, plastic, and other materials, you’re helping to reduce waste and lessen the impact on the environment.
  2. Reduce waste – by making less waste, or managing it more efficiently, there’s less of it going to landfill, which ultimately benefits the environment.
  3. Make it company policy – put a net zero plan in place, consult and train your staff, and promote your green achievements to customers and suppliers.

Further steps

  1. Use electricity from renewable sources – not only does this lower your carbon emissions, but it can help you prepare for environmental laws and regulations that may come into force in the future.
  2. Drive less, or switch to electric vehicles – given that over a quarter of the UK’s total carbon emissions are due to petrol- and diesel-powered transport, encouraging staff to walk, cycle or use public transport, and making the move to low-emissions company cars, can reduce your impact on the environment and save you money.
  3. Cut down on packaging – if you can avoid it altogether, great! If not, try to use natural, recyclable and recycled materials.
  4. Make your supply chain greener – by using suppliers that are lowering their own carbon emissions, and by buying products that take less energy to make, transport and use, you can reduce your business’s supply chain emissions.

If you want to learn more about sustainability and how you can help your business grow sustainably, keep an eye on Invest Chichester’s LinkedIn page over the next couple of months and visit the Green Business Support page on Invest Chichester

 

POSTED 01/05/2024