Sustainable Business booklet of London RCE on ESD


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'A profit-making sustainable business for a Sustainable London' - a gudence booklet on Sustainable Business for businesses in and out of London.
London RCE (Regional Centre of Expertise) on ESD (Education for Sustainable Development),

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Sustainable Business booklet of London RCE on ESD

  1. 1. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docx A profit-making sustainable business for a Sustainable London London RCE (Regional Centre of Expertise) on ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) A Sustainability Guide for the Business Sector Why you should make your business more sustainable, how to do it while enjoying larger profits, and how a sustainable business trading in London can help build a sustainable LondonThis sustainability guide will answer these questions: What is a sustainable business? How can we make our business sustainable and profit-making? Where can we seek support from? How do we benefit from a sustainable business? How can a sustainable business help build a Sustainable London? London Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Page 1 of 18
  2. 2. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docxCONTENTS1 A sustainable business: an introduction 31.1 What is a business? 31.2 Profit vs. Sustainability 31.3 A profit-making sustainable business 32 How to build a profit-making sustainable business 43 Understand and minimise impacts 53.1 Minimise impacts on people 5 Employees Local community Suppliers Customers3.2 Minimise impacts on the environment 5 Resource use and waste production Emissions Resource use and waste production, and emissions3.3 Minimise impacts on people and the environment 104 Harness sustainability opportunities 114.1 Sustainable innovation 114.2 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) 11 Workplace Local community Marketplace Environment5 Communicate sustainability performance 145.1 Why communicate? 145.2 What to communicate? 145.3 How to communicate? 146 Support available for a sustainable business 157 Benefits of a sustainable business 167.1 Cost savings 167.2 Employee performance 167.3 Reputation 167.4 Business opportunities 177.5 A winning business 178 How a sustainable business helps build a Sustainable London 187.1 Socio-economic contribution 187.2 Environmental contribution 18Content & design: Asitha Jayawardena ( , Communications Intern, London RCE on ESD (2010)Guidance from and is gratefully acknowledged. Page 2 of 18
  3. 3. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docx1 A sustainable business: an introduction1.1 What is a business? 1.3 A profit-making sustainable businessA business provides products and/or services The question is: Can a sustainable businessto people who need or want them, i.e. its enjoy profits? Yes, it can!customers. A business has employees whowork for it. It purchases resources (e.g. rawmaterials) and services (e.g. transport) from Can a sustainable business enjoysuppliers. It operates from a location, profits? Yes, it can!surrounded by a local community, within a setof boundaries imposed by regulators. For But how?growth, it may need funds from financers andinvestors. Moreover, a business consumes Firstly, understand the adverse impacts of yournatural resources (material and energy) and business on people and the environment.produces pollution and waste. Secondly, minimise these impacts and communicate your sustainability performanceSo, in the process of making available products to gain the goodwill of the stakeholders andand services, a business impacts people and society, or the so-called ‘social licence tothe environment. operate.’1.2 Profit vs. Sustainability In fact, by building sustainable businesses, forward thinking innovative businesspeopleThe fundamental aim of most businesses is to are fast converting this ‘unsustainability’ threatearn profit in return for the work done and the into an opportunity, not only strengthening therisk taken. The profit increases the wealth of long term survival of their businesses but alsoits owners and contributes to the growth of increasing their profitability.the business itself. So profit and the impact onthe wider human and natural world are This booklet will reveal the secret of building aintegral parts of a business that are usually in profit-making sustainable business. In the nextconflict. In fact the negative image due to the three sections, it will describe:impact of a business on the wider world is How to make a business sustainable andincreasingly threatening the long term profit-makingexistence of the business itself – let alone its The support available for building aprofitability. sustainable business The benefits a sustainable business willBusinesses are experiencing increasing offerpressure to become more sustainable,especially from three fronts: government and Finally, it will show how a profit-makinglocal authority, local community, and existing sustainable business trading in London willand potential customers. help build a Sustainable London. If your business is outside London, this section will to a certain extent describe how your sustainable business will contribute to the sustainability of your locality and community. Page 3 of 18
  4. 4. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docx2 How to build a profit-making sustainable businessWhat is sustainability? It is being able to be in understanding and then minimising the impactbusiness indefinitely by minimising the impacts of your business on people and theof the business on people and the environment environment. And you can build a profit-while ensuring its financial stability. making sustainable business by taking one more step forward by harnessing the threats to opportunities and then communicating your Sustainability is not a cost. It is sustainability performance. really about saving costs, improving Therefore, building a profit-making sustainable the reputation, harnessing new business is a four-step ongoing process. business opportunities, and above all, building a winning business. A strategic approach to sustainability Elements of a strategic approach toSustainability is not a cost and is certainly sustainability:much more than merely complying with the Commitment of top managementcurrent environmental regulations. It is really Understand the adverse impacts of theabout saving costs, improving the reputation, business on people and theharnessing new business opportunities, and environment and the importance ofabove all, building a winning business. sustainability for long term viability of the businessIf you are genuinely interested in building a Talk with stakeholders, consider theirsustainable business, please remember this. viewpoints and involve them, especiallyOne-off projects have a limited impact on your employees and local communitybusiness’ sustainability performance and Embed sustainability principles into theimage. What you need is an in-depth, strategic way the business is run and developedapproach to sustainability (See BOX). Consider sustainability at all levels ofYou can build a sustainable business by decision-making Establish short term targets and long- term objectives, envisioning a One-off projects have a limited sustainable business impact on your business’s Develop an action plan to achieve them sustainability performance and image. Take a strategic approach to sustainability. Communicate performance Harness opportunities Minimise impacts Understand impacts Page 4 of 18
  5. 5. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docx3 Understand and minimise impactsTo build a sustainable business, firstly Local communityunderstand the full adverse impact of yourbusiness on people and the environment, Be a good neighbour. Respect the localembracing the entire lifecycle of your products community’s right to a quality life. Heavyacross the supply chain (i.e. from the traffic to and from your business or emissionsextraction of raw materials through to the from your factory may make them worry, quitedelivery to the end customer and then to the rightly.disposal of the product after use). Be an active partner to your local community. Employ local people. Purchase from local Understand the full adverse impact suppliers, helping their businesses. Support of your business on people and the local activities and organisations. Fund a local environment and minimise them. community programme, support a local charity, or allow free use of equipment for community programmes. Give paid time off to employeesUnderstand the impact on people: employees, to work on community initiatives.local community, customers, suppliers’stakeholders (especially suppliers’ employees This way, the community around your businessand local community) and finally society in will acknowledge you as a good neighbour –general. one of them. This brings benefits, especially lowered risk to your business.Understand the impact on the environment,too, namely depletion of natural resources, Suppliersdisturbances to ecological services due topollution, and piling up of waste. Deal with suppliers responsibly. Treat them fairly, especially the small scale suppliers. ThenSecondly, minimise these impacts on people they will be loyal to your business.and the environment as much as possible. Customers3.1 Minimise impacts on people Offer real value for money. Listen to themMake sure that your business does not because they can offer ideas on how toadversely affect the wellbeing – physical and improve your products and services as well asmental – of your employees, local community the business itself. Deal with your customersand customers, the stakeholders of your responsibly. In brochures tell the truth; don’tsuppliers (especially their employees and local hide anything in ‘small print’. If something goescommunities), and the society in general. wrong, acknowledge the problem and deal with it.Employees Such an approach will build a community ofBe a good employer. Treat your employees loyal customers.fairly, offer them opportunities fordevelopment and help them achieve a work- 3.2 Minimise impacts on the environmentlife balance. Then, they will be happy, loyal andmore productive. Minimise your business’s environmental impact, focusing mainly on two fronts: Resource use and waste production Emissions Page 5 of 18
  6. 6. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docxResource use and waste production Water is a material that you payEfficient use of materials and energy for twice – to receive clean waterThe amount of natural resources (material and and then to take away the is limited and it takes millions of yearsfor some of these resources to naturally form.By way of efficient use, the future generations use reduction. And water use has other hiddenas well as we can use them for a long time, costs, such as water treatment, pumping,allowing time for nature to recycle our waste maintenance, effluent treatment and discharge.back into useful natural resources. Top water saving tipsWaste is material of relatively low value.Efficient use of raw materials and other Water bills are a good place to start,materials (e.g. water, paper) reduces the but measure and monitor the amountamount of waste. This way, you will lower the of water used. Then you can identifyconsumption of materials, conserving the any unusual change in water use (e.g.natural resources for future generations. due to a leak) before the next bill and put it right without delay. Appoint a water monitor to take Resource efficiency is not just an periodic site-walks for water use environmental initiative but an minimisation ideas. important business process that Ensure pipes are well insulated to saves money. protect against frost damage. Replace conventional taps with spray taps (reduces water use by 60 to 70%, says costs money, and according to Use alternative water sources, such, up to 4% of business rainwater harvesting and grey-waterturnover. So resource efficiency is not just an reuseenvironmental initiative but an important Consider water efficiency whenbusiness process that saves money. It cuts purchasing new equipment.waste handling and disposal costs as well as Watch out for dripping taps. Accordingthe impact on the environment due to waste to, a 5mm driphandling and disposal. from a tap can cost over £900 a year in water and grey-water treatment costs.Water is a material that you pay for twice – toreceive clean water and then to take away thewaste. As claims, you Energy generation, especially from non-can cut your business’s water use by up to 30% renewable fossil fuels, has an adverse impactby adopting a systematic approach to water on the environment. For example, burning fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide, contributing to global warming. House rules for environmental sustainability Top energy saving tips Use natural resources efficiently Install energy efficient equipment Don’t disturb ecological services (e.g. by Switch off lights and equipment not in harmful emissions or overexploitation use of natural resources) Design improvements (windows close Don’t overwhelm nature’s waste firmly, plumbing not leaking) absorption capacity (e.g. by producing Practical improvements (in hot excessive waste or waste that cannot weather, use blinds not air be recycled, for example) conditioning) Page 6 of 18
  7. 7. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docx 110119.docxEfficient energy use will lower the demand for Recycle waste into the same type orenergy and also the need for energy different type of material (e.g. recyclegeneration, lowering the impact on the ation, waste paper into more paper or packing oreenvironment due to generation and use of, material)especially, fossil fuels. Recover from waste the energy and minerals embedded in it (e.g. recover theAll energy sources, renewable as well as non , non- energy embedded in waste plastics to fuelrenewable, have an effect on the environment, cement kilns)so clean technologies are not an excus to excuse Disposal of waste in sanitary landfillsoverlook energy efficiency. Look at the business site as a whole and identify areas where the business produces eas Clean technologies are not an most waste and prioritise them first. Put the excuse to overlook energy sustainable waste management hierarchy into efficiency. action. Look at the business site as a wholeSustainable waste management hierarchy able and identify areas where theFor sustainable waste management, first you business produces most waste andneed to measure the waste your businessproduces, in terms of quantity and cost. Useful prioritise them first.information sources include utility bills forwater, electricity and gas consumption and onsumptionsubcontractors for effluent treatment, skips Sustainable waste management hierarchyand landfill. Then only will you be able tobenchmark and monitor improvements. Reduce: Reduce waste at the source itself. Design, Reduce purchase, manufacture or use of produ products and materials that reduce the amount of (most preferred) waste generated. This will reduce the amount of raw materials used as well as the Reuse amount of resources discarded as waste. Reduce the amount of packaging and purchase material in bulk. Reduce off off-cuts Recycle and rejects. Send and store information electronically and think twice before printing. And use both sides of paper for Recover printing and writing. Disposal Reuse: (least preferred) Instead of throwing it away as waste, reuse a product for the same purpose or some other purpose. Reuse containers, dr drumsThen, rank the waste management options in and packaging boxes for other purposes,order of preference, considering the such as bins. Reuse paper from misprints asenvironmental impact: scrap paper. Donate reusable books, Reduce, or if possible, avoid waste furniture, textiles and electrical equipment generation (e.g. use a mug instead of to charities or waste exchange groups. For disposable cups) printer cartridges, choose a supplier with a Reuse waste for some other purpose (e.g. returns policy so that cartridges can be use jars as pen holders) refilled and reused. Continued ........... Page 7 of 18
  8. 8. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docx Sustainable waste management hierarchy (Continued from previous page) Recycle: Recycling either turns waste into a new version of the same product or creates an altogether different product out of waste. Recycling is an effective way of managing waste once it is generated. It is an increasing requirement through legislation. Recycling prevents materials from being disposed of as waste and put them into use, making the maximum use of the materials and energy gone into making the original product. Recyclable are a range of products and materials, such as glass, paper, plastics and metals. Glass, for example, can be recycled into other products ranging from glass bottles to filtration media for water utilities. Recycling waste glass utilizes the raw materials already consumed and requires less energy than to melt down the original raw materials when making glass from the very first step. Paper can be recycled into more paper or other uses, such as insulation, packing material and office supplies. In papermaking, the major share of the energy consumption is for pulping to turn wood into paper. In paper recycling, the input is not wood but waste paper, which saves a lot of energy. Plastics can be recycled into a wide range of products, such as carrier bags, PVC sewer pipes, flooring and window frames, compact disc cases, fencing and garden furniture. Recycling plastics saves energy and lowers emissions. Since oil is a raw material in plastic making, recycling plastics saves oil, too. If you are in manufacturing business, consider ‘Design for Recyclability’. Recover: Recover energy and minerals by using industrial waste as raw materials or fuel, usually in another industry (see Industrial Symbiosis in Benefits of a Sustainable Business). Co-processing is a widely adopted recovery method that uses the waste of one industry as alternative sources of energy or minerals (i.e., alternative raw materials) for the production process of another industry. While disposing of waste (of the first industry) in a safe manner, it lowers the need for fossil fuels and natural resources for manufacturing (in the second industry). Co-processing is applicable to many industries, such as steel cement, and glass. Disposal: Disposal is the least preferred option and there are two widely adopted methods, namely sanitary land filling and incineration. Land filling disposes of waste by way of storage of waste. If not handled carefully, land filling would cause groundwater pollution and emit carbon dioxide and methane, which contribute to global warming. A sanitary landfill is a site designed for the final disposal of waste in a safe and environmentally sound manner. However, landfill sites represent a finite resource and are rapidly diminishing. An incinerator is a furnace for burning waste under controlled conditions. Incineration produces acid gases, carbon dioxide and toxic chemicals that require treatment with air pollution control equipment. Ashes resulting from incineration should be disposed of, either at a landfill or, if toxic, at a hazardous waste facility. Page 8 of 18
  9. 9. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docxEmissions Non-renewable and renewable energyEmissions monitoring and control sourcesMonitor and control the emissions during rawmaterial extraction and transport, the Non-renewable energy sources:production process, and the distribution of Fossil fuels:products. Emissions due to heavy traffic to and o Coalfrom your factory as well as production-related o Oil and petroleum productsemissions will particularly attract wrath of the (including petrol, diesel,local community. propane) o Natural gasGoing local Nuclear fuels:Sourcing from local suppliers will shorten thetransport distances, cutting your business’s Renewable energy sources:carbon footprint. Employing local people will Biomasscut commuting distances, again lowering your Waterbusiness’s carbon emissions. Geothermal WindSustainable travel and green alternatives SolarTurn to green alternatives to transport. Forexample, replace business travel withconference calls. Use green vehicles, which donot solely rely on fossil-fuelled internal Use renewable energy efficiently,combustion engines. For example, hybrid cars too, because renewable energyand battery-powered vehicles use electric sources are part of ecosystemsmotors, which are more efficient. Encouragesustainable travel among employees by way ofvarious means such as cycle-to-work, cycle Resource use, waste production and emissionsstorage facilities, and public transport ticketsubsidies. And create and maintain an efficient Energy/resource-efficient, environment-distribution network. friendly equipment Switch to low-carbon, clean technologies, suchRenewable energy as biomass energy and micro-combined heatFossil fuels are non-renewable resources. That and power. They use renewable materials andis, it will take millions of years to form fossil energy sources – efficiently. When replacingfuels again. The existing resources are running heating equipment, select low carbonout fast. Moreover, fossil fuel production and alternatives, such as a biomass boiler or ause pollutes the environment. Burning fossil ground source heat pump. Reduce thefuels, for example, emit carbon dioxide, which consumption of natural resources (e.g. use acontributes to global warming. high proportion of recycled materials).Renewable energy sources, on the other hand, Customers on use and disposal of productsare not used up and energy generation from Consider the impact of product use andrenewable sources has far lower impact on the disposal, too. Ensure that your customersenvironment. So sign up for energy generated know how to use the product efficiently andfrom renewable sources. dispose of it in a safe and environment-friendly manner.However, use renewable energy efficiently, too,because renewable energy sources are part ofecosystems, so overexploitation will adversely Consider the impact of product useaffect the associated ecological services. and disposal, too. Page 9 of 18
  10. 10. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docxEnvironment Management System (EMS) Sustainable suppliersAn Environment Management System (EMS) Be vigilant about the sustainabilitywill provide you with a framework for performance of your suppliers, especially thosemonitoring, improving and controlling the from developing countries with sustainabilityenvironmental performance of your business. issues such as low wages, poor working conditions, child labour and environmental Environment Management System (EMS) irresponsibility. What an EMS may include: Source from Fairtrade-certified suppliers so Assessment of your business’s that you will ensure a fair deal to farmers, activities, products, processes and workers and their communities in developing services that might affect the countries. And try to work with your suppliers, environment helping them improve their sustainability Development of an environmental performance. If that fails, simply deal with policy more sustainable suppliers. An environmental improvement programme Fairtrade An awareness and training programme Procedures for controlling activities of Committed to tackling poverty and injustice significant environmental impact through trade, The Fairtrade Foundation Periodic auditing of the system works with businesses, civil society A formal review by senior management organisations and individuals to ensure a better deal for the producers in developing countries.3.3 Minimise impacts on people and theenvironment The FAIRTRADE mark on a UK product is a guarantee that the product has beenSustainable resources certified against internationally agreedUse sustainable resources, which impact Fairtrade standards. Although the markminimally on people and the environment. indicates a better deal to the producersConsider early stages of the supply chain. For involved, it is not an endorsement of anexample, irresponsible extraction methods in entire company’s business practices.developing countries adversely affect thewellbeing of local communities as well as the More from ecosystems. Page 10 of 18
  11. 11. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docx4 Harness sustainability opportunitiesA sustainable business presents a multitude of market them. This is a real opportunity tobusiness opportunities. That’s why forward outperform competitors.thinking businesses consider sustainability as abonus not a burden! Why not harness these Sales of sustainable productsopportunities while lowering your business’s continue to grow, often selling at a premium price. Forward thinking businesses consider sustainability as a bonus Reputation opportunities not a burden! Many people will like an environmentally friendly and socially responsible business.impact on people and the environment? Customers will be proud to patronise such a company; employees, to be part of such a4.1 Sustainable innovation company; suppliers, to do business with such a company; and the local community, toSustainable innovation means exploiting consider such a company as a member of theirenvironmentally friendly and socially community. Altogether, such a company willresponsible business ideas to generate benefits gradually build a strong brand, ensuringof three types. financial stability in the long run.Adaptation opportunities In order to harness these opportunities,Legislation increasingly encourages a integrate all your sustainability efforts under asustainable approach to business, so keep an CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)eye on environmental and social issues programme.currently media spotlight. Proactive changetowards sustainability anticipating futureregulation gives your business more time to Harness these opportunities byadapt, avoiding unnecessary costs of sudden integrating all your sustainabilityadaptation. efforts under a CSR programme. Legislation increasingly encourages a sustainable approach to business. 4.2 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Proactive change towards CSR, or Corporate Social Responsibility, is sustainability anticipating future understanding the impact of your business on regulation gives your business more the wider world and then using it in a positive time for adaptation. way by taking a responsible attitude. It is part of a continuous process of building long-term value, ultimately contributing to the business’sCommercial opportunities bottom-line and long term performance.Sales of sustainable products continue to grow,often selling at a premium price. By way of CSR cuts across almost everything you do andsustainable approaches to, for example, everyone you deal with. It mainly comprisesproduct design, production processes, four elements:packaging, distribution, product use, create Workplaceproducts, services and systems that lower Local communityimpact on people and the environment and Marketplace Environment Page 11 of 18
  12. 12. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docx Workplace Environment CSR Local community MarketplaceWorkplace Support charities chosen by employees, who will be grateful to the business for supportingInvolve employees actively in your their cause – whether it is environmentalsustainability endeavour. conservation or equal opportunities for education.Appoint sustainability champions, who willenlist more colleagues to the sustainable Strengthen your employees’ relationship withbusiness cause. Give employees the the local community. Give paid time off toopportunity to present ideas to improve employees to work on community activities ofbusiness sustainability, put good ideas into their choice. While improving the relationspractice and reward the innovators between employees (and therefore theappropriately. Such active participation in business) and the local community, suchbusiness improvement will increase their activities will develop their communication,productivity and they will feel good by doing teamwork and problem solving skills. Suchsomething good (e.g. recycling or energy employees could be considered as thesaving). Sustainability Ambassadors of the business. Local community Employees’ active participation in Develop close relations with the local business improvement will increase community and the local authority. their productivity and they will feel good by doing something good. Recruit from the local community and purchase from local suppliers. Show the human face of your business. For example, a restaurant can organise a quarterly ‘free food Page 12 of 18
  13. 13. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docxday’ for the local homeless people. Or a buildercan offer free labour and materials to a local ‘Industrial symbiosis,’ or using thecommunity project. Such local community industrial by-products of a businessinvolvement generates positive media as a raw material for anothercoverage. business, is an effective way forA healthy relationship with your local authority business-business collaboration inmakes it easier to do business. Some local sustainability.authorities, for example, prefer to awardcontracts to businesses with a local community in joint waste reduction initiatives (e.g.involvement. recycling). Considering the whole lifecycle from raw Recruit from the local community material sourcing to final product disposal, and purchase from local suppliers. develop sustainable products. Some used products can be remanufactured to a like-new condition, restoring their value. This processMarketplace cuts carbon emissions and the use of energy and natural resources, creates markets forCollaborate in sustainability initiatives and skilled employment and increases profitdevelop sustainable products. margins.Using the industrial by-products of a business Environmentas raw materials for another business,‘Industrial symbiosis,’ is an effective way for Initiatives at the workplace, in the localbusiness-business collaboration in community and at the market place focuses onsustainability. Moreover, involve your lowering the impact on the environment asstakeholders, such as suppliers and customers, well as on people. Therefore, they contribute to the environment dimension too. Page 13 of 18
  14. 14. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docx5 Communicate sustainability performanceTo make the most out of your business’s 5.2 What to communicate?sustainability efforts, communicate your Communicate how you have embedded sustainability principles in the heart of your To make the most out of your business, what you intend to achieve and how business’s sustainability efforts, you are planning to achieve them. Let others communicate! know the key players behind the initiative, such as sustainability champions, andsustainability performance. encourage others to approach them with new sustainability ideas.5.1 Why communicate? Once your sustainability drive is on for someCommunication is essential to keep the time, you can communicate the progressstakeholders (especially employees) engaged achieved, the drawbacks, the lessons learntin your sustainability drive and to enlist new from them and the revised plan together withmembers around the endeavour. It will also revised goals if relevant. Don’t forget to givehelp you improve your sustainable business credit to whom it is due.strategy and action plan. 5.3 How to communicate?Moreover, public reporting will maximise thebenefits arising from the sustainable Communicate on a regular basis. Engage inperformance of your business. More two-way communication, especially withcustomers will buy from you and investors and employees.regulators will notice that your business has asound approach to reduce business risks. Communicate on a regular basis. Investors and regulators will notice Ensure accuracy and credibility, and no ‘green- that your business has a sound washing’, please! Messages should be clear approach to reduce business risks. and coherent and the tone should be humble. Select media, such as a PDF newsletter, a webpage, a blog or a notice board, appropriate for the target groups. An annual sustainability review can review the progress annually. Page 14 of 18
  15. 15. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docx6 Support available for a sustainable businessBuilding a sustainable business is not as hard Will lower the use of natural resources oras you think and you will not be alone. There’s energy or the generation of wasteplenty of support out there in terms of Includes energy efficient materials or processes with early implementation opportunities There’s plenty of support out there in terms of financial support as well The Carbon Trust ( as advice. offers support in a number of ways, ranging from carbon surveys to 0% business loans (upfinancial support as well as advice. to £100,000!) to help organisations finance and invest in energy saving projects.Useful and comprehensive advice can be foundfrom two UK government websites: Moreover, you can benefit from the government-sponsored Knowledge Transfer Networks, which help businesses, universities and government to work together to developYou can apply for grants for financial support innovative sustainable solutions and newfrom Sustainable Technology Fund if your technology.innovation: Page 15 of 18
  16. 16. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docx 110119.docx7 Benefits of a sustainable b businessA sustainable business will offer a variety ofbenefits. A sustainable business can save on environmental taxes, such as climate change levy and landfill tax. Cost savings A sustainable business is more likely to r retain Employee performance the current employees, lowering unnecessary recruitment costs. Business opportunties 7.2 Employee performance Reputation A sustainable business will attract competent people. A winning business At such a business, all employees will be more productive due to: Better work environment7.1 Cost savings Being active players in company’s sustainability endeavourA sustainable business will generate cost Being proud about their affiliation to asavings, mainly in three ways: responsible company Efficiency Being secure due to lower risk of the Compliance business Recruitment 7.3 Business opportunitiesEfficient use of materials (e.g. raw materialsand water) and energy lowers the raw A sustainable business facilitates compliancematerials costs, the utility bills and the waste with current regulations and offers betterdisposal costs, bringing immediate cash mmediate adaptation to future changes in the regulatorybenefits. environment. So when the change actually comes into force, the sustainable business has more time for adaptation and can therefore Efficient use of materials and comfortably stay ahead of the competitors. energy brings immediate cash benefits. A sustainable business f facilitates compliance with current regulationsCompliance with regulations will avoid non- and offers better adaptation tocompliance penalties. Therefore, p . proactive future changes in the regulatorychange towards sustainability anticipating s environment.future regulation will give you more time toadapt, avoiding unnecessary costs of suddenadaptation. Moreover, a sustainable business . A strategic approach to sustainab sustainability will offercan save on environmental taxes, such as to businesses a host of opportunities forclimate change levy and landfill tax. developing sustainable products, which they ing can market before the others in order to maintain a competitive edge. ntain Page 16 of 18
  17. 17. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docx7.4 Reputation 7.5 A winning businessA sustainable business will enjoy reputation in A business powered by productive employees.the eye of all stakeholders, gaining a multitude A business that does not waste money butof benefits: instead innovatively exploits business Employees: attracts the best in opportunities that sustainability offers. A recruitment business that is seen as socially and Local community: improves relations with environmentally responsible by all its the local community, making doing stakeholders. business easier and less risky; easier to work with local authorities What else will that be, other than a WINNING Customers: attracts and retains customers business? Industry: earns respect in the industry as a solid business Financers and investors: attracts and What else will a sustainable business retains investors due to lower, well- be, other than a WINNING managed risk business? Society in general: earns respect as a good business Page 17 of 18
  18. 18. LRCE-SG-SusBusiness-laidout-110119.docx8 How a sustainable business helps build a Sustainable LondonBuilding a sustainable London requires London’s characteristics at a glancecountering the challenges that exist in socio-economic and environmental domains. A Socio-economic characteristicssustainable business can help London to facethese challenges successfully. London is one of the most diverse and culturally rich cities in the world. At least 50 non- indigenous communities with a population of A sustainable business can help over 10,000 live in London and its inhabitants London to face socio-economic and speak over 300 languages. environmental challenges Since 1965 Greater London has been successfully. administratively divided into 32 boroughs and the City of London and each borough is further divided into several districts. There are8.1 Socio-economic contribution particular districts that associate with particular ethnicities or cultures.London is a financial centre driving the globaleconomy but it also harbours worst levels of Turning to economic characteristics, London ispoverty in the UK. one of the world’s leading centres for international financial and business services. ItBusinesses in London – sustainable or is the headquarter base for many globalotherwise – benefit from the city’s premier status. A sustainable business, by Up to the 1970s London experienced ancontributing to the wellbeing of people in and extended period of decline due to the loss of itsoutside London will pay back for this gain while manufacturing base and obsolescence of itscontributing to build a sustainable London. A docklands. However, then it was heavilybusiness that engages in projects that strive to associated with and implicated in the neo-alleviate poverty in London is an example. liberal market reforms in the 1980s and 1990s,Another is a business that source Fairtrade raising the city’s status to a ‘global player’ in theproducts, which will guarantee a better deal international financial sector. It thus became afor producers in the developing countries. key driver of regional (South East), national (England and UK), European and global economy.8.2 Environmental contribution These reforms are however largely responsibleLondon is facing several environmental for generating or worsening the disparities bothchallenges. Like any other metropolis, London within and beyond London. For example, 26% ofsuffers from the ‘urban heat island effect,’ London’s neighbourhoods rank within the topwhich results in an air temperature higher than 20% of the most deprived neighbourhoods inthe surrounding rural regions. In summer this England and over 30% of its working agewill increase the energy consumption for population is unemployed.cooling. Moreover, London produces a massiveamount of waste and much of it is buried in Environmental characteristicslandfills outside London. And London’s air Punctuated with some rolling hills, London isquality is also poor. located within the River Thames’ low-lying land and much of it is floodplain. It thus dwells onA sustainable business that lowers its energy fertile agricultural land but a built environmentconsumption, emissions and waste production largely dominates its landscape. Still, it sportswill therefore help build a sustainable London. significant areas of open green spaces. Its climate is temperate but the urban heat island effect dominates in summer. Page 18 of 18