Many new business owners looking to form a company are becoming keenly aware of business sustainability and how it should be addressed in the early stages of any company.
Forming a sustainable limited company within the UK has become a hot topic in recent years and encompasses more than just considering the environmental impact of your business, it also allows you to be more resilient and successful over the long term.
Sustainability within various business sectors has become a key issue which should be addressed by any and all businesses in the UK.
This is in part thanks to a number of popular television shows such as Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II highlighting the importance of commercial industries doing their part in combatting climate change.
Sir David’s approach, which is being widely accepted within business circles, can be perfectly surmised with a sentence he said during an interview with Prince William at the World Economic Forum:
“If we damage the natural world, we damage ourselves”
This may be entwined to recent times and the greater focus placed on corporate responsibility with businesses being increasingly aware of the fact that their reputation depends on how socially and environmentally responsible they are perceived to be.
A study conducted last year by NatWest found that 58% of smaller medium-sized businesses, with an annual turnover ranging between £5m to £250, perceive sustainability to be ‘either extremely or very influential in their decision-making.’
This perception is further reinforced In fact, 90% of CEOs believe that sustainability is essential for business, and 66% of consumers would be willing to spend more money on a product if it came from a sustainable company.
It can also help to improve your company’s reputation, open the door to new opportunities, and lower costs.
Here at Seed Formations, we aim to help make the process of company formation much easier by leading you through a simple step-by-step online company application form whilst also contributing to a healthier environment.
We are the UK’s first green company formation agent and will plant a tree for every company formed on our website – this alone sets a strong precedent for moving forward in a sustainable manner.
Business Sustainability: A Definition
Business sustainability can be defined as a strategy that considers all of your operations as well as their long-term consequences.
Once you have identified your limitations, you may work on finding strategies to reduce your environmental impact, operating expenses, potential business hazards, and other deficiencies.
Reducing the use of plastic, having enough cash on hand to weather a slow sales period, and lowering the rate of employee turnover are all possible areas of concentration for businesses.
Every company is unique, but it is important to consider both your strengths and your limitations, as well as the areas in which you are most enthusiastic.
Why Are Sustainable Businesses So Important?
It is not unreasonable to claim that the current environmental state of the Earth is significantly worse than the majority of people are aware of or believe.
Despite the fact that we do not know when natural resources will be depleted fully, most experts believe that it will happen within the next 100 years.
It is vital for firms to recognize the following four critical factors:
- We can no longer maintain the false belief that there is an infinite quantity of natural resources.
- Renewable resources are not, by their nature, inexhaustible.
- There is no guarantee (in fact, it is quite doubtful) that we will be able to develop a scientific or technological solution that will provide us with an infinite supply of resources.
- As long as we continue on our current path, there is no way to assure the survival of humanity.
These facts make be jarring, but should be accepted. The importance of sustainability is growing in importance as one of the most important issues in the future of humanity.
Unless we want to face a future in which we are unable to support ourselves, businesses should begin implementing regulations that address the need to be more cautious with these resources.
What Are The Advantages Of Having A Sustainable Business?
Each and every business will have their own reasons for starting a sustainable business or pushing an environmentally friendly agenda, however, regardless of how you choose to approach this during your company formation, there are often a number of same benefits to take advantage of:
1. Improved Recruitment and Employee Retention Rates
More and more potential employees are concerned about the environment, and as a result, they choose to work for organizations that are proud of their environmental credentials.
A green drive is therefore essential for attracting new talent while also ensuring the retention of existing employees.
According to studies, as many as 52% of persons in the workforce believe that businesses should be actively working on measures to reduce their impact on the environment to increase their competitiveness.
When you demonstrate to your employees how seriously you are taking the green agenda, you will almost certainly see an increase in staff retention and recruitment.
2. Brand Enhancement and Competitive Advantage
This is frequently one of the primary motivating factors behind a company’s decision to implement environmentally friendly practices.
Research suggests that knowing a company is concerned about its environmental impact increases a consumer’s likelihood of using its products or services by 58%.
In fact, the green agenda has become a significant element in how customers make purchasing decisions.
Customers are willing to spend up to 20% extra on ecologically friendly items, and nine out of ten individuals consider themselves to be conscientious consumers.
3. Reducing your Business’ Carbon Footprint and Increasing Energy Efficiency
This is the primary rationale for adopting an environmentally conscious posture from an environmental standpoint.
Everything you do to improve or change your company will have an impact on the amount of carbon dioxide released.
It is CO2 that has such a detrimental effect on the environment, and sadly, both households and companies are major contributors to this problem.
Thus, the EU has tasked the UK government with lowering CO2 levels, and there are plans in place to reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 80% between now and 2050.
This is a significant goal that will only be achieved with the cooperation of both homeowners and business owners.
4. Lowering Business Overheads
As a business owner, one of the most critical difficulties you will encounter on a daily basis will be dealing with the costs of your company’s operations.
Because there are so many outgoings, it is critical to identify strategies of lowering spending and lowering the amount of money spent on bills.
Not only will this allow you to keep more money in your bank account, but it will also boost efficiencies and production throughout the organization.
There are numerous ways for your company to approach the topic of saving money through environmental practices as well, many of which will be covered more in this article. However, as a starting point for a group of ten, you can consider:
- Lighting options that are energy efficient can help you save money on your electricity bill.
- Insulation measures might help you save money on your winter heating expenditures.
- Renewable energy technology allows you to generate your own electricity throughout the year.
Guide On Making Forming A Sustainable Company
It is easier to implement sustainable measures from the outset of your company formation, however, it is still not a simple task. Below is a guidelines framework you can refer to:
1. Register Your Company Through Seed Formations
Seed Formations is the UK’s first green company formation agent and an excellent starting point for any environmentally conscientious business owner.
Not only will we plant a tree for your company forming on our website, but we also offer a number of affordable packages which can be delivered in under 24 hours.
We offer basic packages such as The Seed which will provide Company Documents via Email
And a free .co.uk or .com Domain up to a Non-Resident Company Formation Package.
This is a perfect fit for anyone based outside the UK who needs to form a company in the UK and create a professional UK brand presence.
We will also forward you 3-4 Online Business Bank Accounts where you can non-UK residents can apply without having to travel to the country.
2. Set Sustainable Goals
Following your formation, you want to set goals.
These will empower your team to have specific goals to strive for, allowing them to have a defined agenda and work together more effectively.
Once you’ve established these objectives, you should work to incorporate them into the company’s principles.
Be realistic about your abilities; it is preferable to set fewer goals and devote more time and effort to achieving them. You can always add more later if necessary.
The following are some examples of sustainability objectives:
- In order to promote entrepreneurial culture and serve as a mentor to budding entrepreneurs in your community.
- In order to promote employee development, we must give them with several opportunities to improve their job abilities.
- To place a high priority on energy efficiency in all aspects of business operations.
3. Conduct an Energy Audit
Hiring someone to perform an energy audit is arguably the most professional option to adopting a more environmentally friendly mindset, and it might have a long-term influence.
Finding out where you’re wasting energy will help you save both resources and money.
4. Engage your Employees
Employees are vital to achieving any sort of long-term environmental success.
It’s critical to get your senior workers on board immediately in order to achieve buy-in across the board.
Make sure they can see the value in attaining your objectives. The rest of the company will benefit from this. Consider appointing an internal advocate to lead each goal.
Their job is to push that aim forward, keep it in the forefront of the company’s consciousness, and spread the word in your area, industry, or among your consumers.
5. Address your Environmental Impact
You will not only benefit the environment by adopting renewables and being more energy efficient, but you will also save money and establish a reputation as a responsible business with your consumers.
Here are some basic modifications you can make:
- Make sure the recycling and reuse bins are appropriately labelled. Purchase recycled paper and ink carriers as well.
- Source local where possible: Try to buy things locally because the farther something travels, the greater impact it has on the environment. When looking for services or products to use in your business, keep in mind how environmentally friendly they are. From an environmental standpoint, relying on providers within a 10-15 mile radius is your best bet.
- Change your light bulbs – Replace your incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs. LED light bulbs consume significantly less energy and do not contain hazardous components such as mercury. They are initially more expensive, but they last roughly five times longer.
- Reduce the usage of plastic bottles by encouraging individuals to bring their own reusable bottles and providing easy access to drinking water.
- Encourage greener transportation – Consider encouraging your employees to ride their bikes to work, carpool, or start “Leave your car at home” days. This will limit the number of times your employees use a single vehicle while also pushing them to use healthier and more ecologically friendly modes of transportation.
- Replace outdated appliances with energy-efficient ones — When it’s time to replace your appliances, look for a more environmentally friendly option. Examine the product’s star ratings and compare it to its competitors.
6. Take Environmental Factors into Account while Making Business Decisions.
Consider the influence your decisions will have on the environment when making them.
Is it possible that what you’re doing will have a negative impact?
If that’s the case, don’t do it. If you actually want to make becoming green a top priority for your organization, you must regard these variables as seriously as any other business choice.
7. Create a position for a chief sustainability officer (and give them power)
Bring in someone who is solely responsible for monitoring and accounting for your global influence. You can either give this title to an existing employee or go out and recruit someone who is an expert in the field.
Perhaps most significantly, they cannot simply be a visual force; they must have legitimate authority to influence organizational decisions.
This should mostly revolve around financial planning. They can guarantee that funds are allocated to maintaining a more ecologically responsible attitude.
8. Promote and Showcase your Sustainable Achievements
Don’t keep your progress a secret – let everyone know how far you’ve come!
It’s important to let your customers and employees know about your environmental accomplishments.
This will demonstrate that you care about more than simply your bottom line, which will help you win over an audience that is increasingly drawn to ethical businesses.
Other companies may also be inspired to follow suit and become more sustainable as a result.