Hallam is an award-winning digital marketing agency with offices in Nottingham & London, UK. They’re making a fundamental shift from being a profit-led to a purpose-driven business, and joining the huge, global B Corp movement in the process. Green Small Business certification was a key part of their efforts to achieve B Corp status.
Issues addressed in their Green Small Business action plan included: energy use, homeworking, business travel, design & delivery of projects and company administration.
“We believe businesses have a role to play in creating a future that works for everyone. And for us that’s meant shifting from a shareholder approach to business – where profits are prioritised above all else – to a stakeholder approach to business.
We want to have a positive impact on people – our employees, our clients and our communities – as well as on the planet. And if we do those things right, we believe the profit will follow. That’s why we’ve decided to apply for B Corp certification.
Putting in place a robust Environmental Management System (EMS) is a key part of our commitment to minimising our impact on the environment. As a small business with limited time and resources, it didn’t make sense for us to pursue the ISO 14001 certification. But when our B Leader recommended Green Small Business as a way to follow the principles of ISO 14001 but tailor it to our size and where we are on our journey, it made complete sense.
Tim’s audit was comprehensive and our EMS action plan covers everything from running and cleaning our office to providing employee snacks to business and commuting travel to company administration. With our hybrid working model, we even have a section about encouraging staff to consider the environment in their home office set-ups.
Many of the areas covered by the EMS were new to me personally as well as to the company, so working with Tim at Green Small Business gave us a structured framework with clear steps we can follow to better manage our environmental impacts as well as ideas on how to reduce our carbon footprint.
Having a third party certification also signals to the marketplace that we are taking our responsibility to do business better seriously.”
We hae meat may well be be one of the most sustainable meat manufacturers in the UK. Owned and managed by husband and wife team Alex and Carlyn Paton, the business has been on a committed drive to reduce their carbon and wider environmental footprint for many years. Meat is sourced locally from their own farm, where regenerative practices are being applied, and heat & power is provided from an on-site biomass plant.
Issues addressed in their Green Small Business action plan include: energy use, water use, renewables, packaging, meat sourcing, transportation and company administration.
“The Green Small Business process has been practical and helpful. The certification allows us to shout more loudly about all our efforts on sustainability.”
Tucked away in the picturesque streets of Pimlico in Central London, Georgian House combines townhouse chic with quintessential Victorian charm. By contrast, Victorian House is located in the idyllic village of Grasmere, providing a base from which to explore the delights of the Lake District. Bespoke action plans were developed to provide a roadmap for addressing the environmental impacts of the two hotels.
Issues addressed in their Green Small Business action plans include: carbon footprinting, energy use, food sourcing, waste, transportation & company administration.
“Green Small Business has helped us to understand how to get started and progress on our sustainability journey. Taking the carbon consumption out of our business seems a huge and daunting task and now we have a plan I feel much more confident in making a real difference.”
Fika are a new breed of caterer. Marrying social enterprise and ethical business practice with wellness, Fika are, as their strapline suggests ‘A Fresh Force for Good’. Fika are starting on their journey towards becoming a B Corp. They sought Green Small Business certification to support their B Corp application process and to ensure that environmental responsibility was built into all aspects of the business.
Issues addressed in their Green Small Business action plan include: carbon footprinting, food sourcing, waste, transportation & company administration.
“We want to help our clients improve their own social footprint simply by using us as their catering partner. Being a certified Green Small Business supports our own credentials, and has helped us focus on certain aspects that we hadn’t considered previously.”
With a mission is to make plant-based cooking more convenient and accessible without costing the earth, Grubby is the UK’s first 100% plant-based recipe kit. They sought Green Small Business certification as part of their B Corp application process and to ensure that environmental responsibility was built into all aspects of the business.
Issues addressed in their Green Small Business action plan include: carbon footprinting, food sourcing, packaging, transportation & company administration.
“We are building a responsible business and needed to develop an environmental management system as part of our B Corp application. We loved the combination of simplicity and integrity in the Green Small Business process. It has helped support and certify our efforts to do the right thing.”
Surrounded by breath-taking scenery and some of the finest biking, walking and climbing locations in the country, the staff at the Langdale Estate holiday resort understand that the stunning environment on their doorstep is integral to the success of their business. Historically the senior management team has taken progressive action on environmental issues. However a recent change in personnel saw their sustainability champion moving on and the loss of knowledge, skills and experience left the team without direction. Green Small Business was commissioned to work with their staff via a series of interactive workshops, to develop a new environmental action plan and a clear approach to the challenge of delivering net zero.
Issues addressed in their environmental action plan include: on-site energy use and low carbon/renewable energy generation, staff and guest travel, food and drink, carbon sequestration and much, much more.
“Tim has given us the focus, structure and coordination that we needed to understand what net-zero is, how we are going to get there, and what our plan is. We hope to continue to work with him into the future.”
For more on the story of our work with Langdale Estate, click here.
Hart Jackson provide legal a wide range of legal services to their local community in northern England. Founded more than 150 years ago (1858 to be precise), they are increasingly conscious of the impacts of climate change on the environment around them. Seeking Green Small Business certification was a mechanism not simply for ‘getting their own house in order’ but also for inspiring change in others.
Issues addressed in their Green Small Business action plan: energy efficiency & the potential for renewable energy generation; transportation and waste.
“Being certified as a Green Small Business has helped us to review our practices and make many small changes which we hope will make a difference. Tim has also helped us to consider some of the bigger challenges with regard to running a business in a large Victorian building. Our action plan allows us to work towards some more ambitious improvements in the longer term which may impact on our energy usage. In addition, as people are increasingly aware of environmental issues, we hope that our clients will notice our accreditation and be inspired themselves to make changes in their own businesses, place of work or personal lives.”
The Cottage in the Wood is a Michelin Star Restaurant with Rooms in the heart of Whinlatter Forest in the English Lake District. As well as holding the coveted Michelin star, the Cottage in the Wood is also an Editor’s Choice in the Good Hotel Guide. Being a sustainable restaurant is core to their business goals and the strategic plan for the business is built around the three themes of people, planet and profit. The Green Small Business process provided a mechanism for them to reflect on their impacts on the planet and identify areas for improvement.
Issues addressed in their Green Small Business action plan: carbon footprinting, renewable energy; transport emissions; food sourcing; company administration.
“Environmental responsibility has always been part of our ethos as a business and our strategic plan is built on the themes of people, planet and profit. The Green Small Business process provided us with a clear structure for identifying ways in which we can better manage our environmental impacts. The environmental policy and certification helps us to tell our story and convey our values and beliefs to our staff, customers and suppliers.”
Storycatchers catch and tell stories that matter. They are an independent agency bringing together a wealth of diverse brand, marketing, behavioural science and storytelling expertise. Storycatchers came to Green Small Business because they needed small business environmental accreditation. They were finding that tendering requirements were increasingly including environmental aspects, including references to ‘ISO 14001 accreditation or equivalent‘.
We managed a very rapid turnaround on this one in order to meet the deadline for a new tender submission. The tender requirements included the company having an environmental management system in place.
Issues addressed in their Green Small Business action plan: carbon footprint; transport emissions; energy use in main office & home offices; company administration.
“We are finding it’s becoming increasingly important for our business to have green credentials. Tender opportunities for new business are now including entire sections of questions on environmental responsibilities, and many ask whether we are ISO14001 accredited. ISO accreditation is expensive and difficult to achieve for small businesses like ours so Green Small Business was the perfect fit for us. We had our environmental management system in place within a few days of contacting them and this will make future tender documents much easier to complete. Tim also provided us with a ton of advice on how to measure our carbon footprint and reduce it, giving me some concrete things to work on in the coming year.”
Pearson Web Services provide eco-friendly SEO, consultancy and web design. When they say eco-friendly, they really mean it. As with so many certified Green Small Businesses, the owners are working hard to ensure that their business practices reflect their personal environmental commitment.
Issues addressed in their Green Small Business action plan: carbon footprinting, third party services, transportation and company administration.
“The Green Small Business process validated that we’re on the right track and helped us to formalise our activities. We hope that by demonstrating a proactive approach and formalising our environmental roadmap, we’re seen as practicing what we preach.”
Lovingly Artisan bake incredible sourdough which is rightly celebrated. What fewer folk appreciate is their commitment to environmental sustainability. They use only British certified organic flour, are busy replacing their electric baking oven with a super-efficient wood pellet alternative and use only re-usable and recyclable packaging.
Issues addressed in their Green Small Business action plan: Carbon footprinting, energy use, waste and company administration.
“The customers, and those we serve will be proud to work with us, we believe it’s a recruitment bonus too. It makes the overall business far more alert”.
Inspire Alpine, led by Everest summiteer Ricky Munday, is a certified social enterprise which is focused on closing the attainment gap between young people from the richest and poorest backgrounds. As well as providing inspirational talks to schools and businesses, Inspire Alpine offers UK adventures, overseas expeditions, outdoor skills course and virtual challenges.
Issues address in their Green Small Business action plan: transportation, environmental education & awareness-raising, company administration.
“The impacts of human activity on the mountain environments in which we work are increasingly evident. We recognise our own contribution to this and our need to act as responsibly as possible, and to use our platform to bring about change. Getting Green Small Business certification enables us to approach this in a systematic way and provides a number of benefits, including: credibility in the eyes of stakeholders; getting Board buy-in for actions & budget; and as consumers become more selective, it’s an easy way for us to demonstrate our own environmental credentials and approach to caring for the planet.”
Lil’ Creative Studio is an ethical design studio specialising in visual and communication design for brand, print, web and display. They considered mainstream environmental certifications, such as ISO 14001, to be too costly and time-consuming for a business of their size.
Issues address in their Green Small Business action plan: client base (avoiding those involved, directly or indirectly, in fossil fuel extraction); transportation; energy use; company administration.
“As a micro office based business there is very few qualifications that I can achieve to showcase green credentials. It gives weight to our policies and approach.”
St Mary’s Hospice provides care and comfort for patients living with any life-shortening illness or long term condition and their family. The hospice has a growing awareness of their need to have a positive impact, responding to growing environmental awareness among the general public.
Issues address in their Green Small Business action plan: energy & water use; food & drink purchasing; transportation; waste; company administration.
“The Green Small Business process has prompted us to think about areas we may have ignored. I think it is useful for getting us on to the right track to take our environmental footprint seriously. It will also enhance our reputation with those for whom green is important. I believe that increasingly the public will be attentive to those companies who don’t take a proactive green stance”
Vegan Supplements supplies ethically produced, plant-based vitamin supplements and sports nutrition. Trading started in 2021, with concern for the planet being one of their principal drivers. Green Small Business provided some trust-based credentials to show their customers they were acting responsibly.
Issues address in their Green Small Business action plan: sourcing of products; product packaging; company administration.
“The Green Small Business process was well structured, went through the ins and outs of my business in a methodical fashion, and provided some useful challenges on topics I hadn’t considered before. I wouldn’t be buying the certification if I didn’t think it would have some business benefit!! For our customers, knowing that the business “walks the walk” on environmental issues is a critical selling point. Having an independent certification helps to demonstrate that we are focused on minimising our impact on the environment while providing a service for our customers.”
LMB Coaching, aka Lauren Munro-Bennett, provides personal coaching in running, swimming, cycling and triathlon, all in the beautiful English Lake District. Lauren saw Green Small Business certification as a way of ensuring her business practices consistently align with her passion for the environment.
Issues address in their Green Small Business action plan: transportation; education & awareness-raising; equipment purchasing; company administration.
“Green Small Business aligns with the deep rooted values I want to build my business on, and allows me to clearly see in written format how I can apply these practically in the everyday running of my business.”
Coniston Stonecraft create locally quarried slate products from the English Lake District
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Energy, packaging, company administration
“Becoming a certified Green Small Business enables us to be recognised for our efforts to do the right thing. It validates us in our customer’s eyes”
Chroma Marketing provides sustainable marketing services to small and medium-sized businesses throughout Yorkshire and the north of England.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Transport, energy, paper, company administration (banking, insurance etc).
“Becoming a certified Green Small Business aligns perfectly with my plans for being a sustainable business”
Ventorq is an ecommerce consultancy creating and executing ecommerce solutions and digital marketing strategies.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Client relationships (avoiding those involved in fossil fuel extraction), transport, energy, company administration.
“Primarily, the Green Small Business process provides us with a clear plan of action to improve the sustainability of the business. Having a live action plan means that you can continue to consider and improve on your efforts. The discussion with Tim raised issues I’d not thought of before and introduced resources that would have taken me time to find. Hopefully the certification will encourage other businesses and clients to consider their environmental impacts further and position Ventorq as a trustworthy and responsible business that doesn’t place profit above ethics.”
Mossford Construction is a do-it-all, Essex-based construction company.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: energy use, water use, sourcing of materials, vehicle emissions, waste & recycling, advice to clients, banking & company pension scheme
“The Green Small Business process really helped me concentrate my mind on the essentials of documenting all the thoughts and processes that we currently do or would like to do in three clear documents. It made the whole thing much more straightforward than the big company options. It’s also good to have a third party look at what we do and give feedback and advice. Money well spent and look forward to continuing our association.”
Frankly Delicious is making the world better one sustainable chocolate bar at a time.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Sourcing of ingredients, packaging, energy use, company administration.
“The certification will provide a talking point and will back up the environmental values of Frankly Delicious. No planet = no chocolate!”
Rothay Manor is a beautiful, rural, English hotel that provides luxury accommodation and fine dining in a stunning setting.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Energy use, water consumption, waste management, company administration, customer transport emissions
“We now have clear and concise actions so we know exactly how to make the right changes”
Land and Sky Media is a unique specialist production company, producing innovative documentary film, photography and remote location media.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Energy management, company administration, travel emissions, promotion of environmental causes
“The whole process was really smooth and simple and we are delighted with the results. It was really reassuring to find that we are already doing many of the things we can to mitigate our environmental impact. To have an environmental policy drawn up for us and a clear EMS developed has saved us a lot of time and given us really achievable targets to work towards. Having a Green Small Business accreditation in place gives us increased credibility and allows us to show to clients and collaborators that we can deliver on our values.”
Rubix Construction and Development is a dynamic and forward-thinking construction company focusing on delivering high quality residential projects across South London.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Construction materials, site waste, emissions from vehicles, company administration.
“Green Small Business has given us a clear and achievable plan on how to be more ‘green’. It is making us think more carefully about how we do things, and has given us a framework on how to make improvements. This will not only benefit the environment but also hopefully make the business more efficient and cost effective. It also helps us to meet the requirements of Considerate Constructors.”
St Mark’s Stays offers inspired days & bespoke stays for pet-friendly, group accommodation in Cumbria.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Energy use for lighting & heating, emissions from guests’ travel, waste & recycling.
“The Green Small Business approach gives us a structure to work with and aim for, rather than feeling the task of being green feeling too big to achieve and beyond our finances. Our customers will appreciate the changes we are making by being able to show the certification and it will attract like minded collaborators into our business. It was a very straight forward process and we are so glad we invested in this.”
Right 2 Work is a Community Interest Company (CIC) offering a diverse range of work, learning and opportunities for people across Cumbria & Lancashire. With a dedicated staff team that work with over 200 people each year, they began more than two decades ago and over that time have supported over 2,000 people into training or work.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Energy use for lighting & heating, sourcing of ingredients, waste and recycling.
“A truly inspirational and deeply green organisation, demonstrating their commitment to go even more deeply green!” (Tim Maiden, Green Small Business)
Shed 1 Distillery produces small-batch, classically distilled, award-winning craft gin with a contemporary-style.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Sourcing of ingredients; Packaging; Water & energy use; Company administration
“It was great to get some affirmation for our efforts up to this point. What we found useful was the extra research that Green Small Business did for us and pointing us in the right direction. I feel if I need some advice in the future, I can get in touch with them and discuss.”
The Boathouse Design Studio is based in a Grade II listed building next to Teddington Lock Footbridge. Originally designed for building and maintaining boats, the space now offers a unique office experience for the companies who work here, with its natural light, stunning view over the Thames and carefully restored and converted interiors.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Energy use, waste, vehicle emissions.
“Green Small Business provides us with an incentive to go greener and is a good promotional tool, setting us apart from other co-working spaces.”
Abbey Office Solutions is an office and business solutions provider, based in Totton and near Southampton, Hampshire, UK. They were looking for a way to stand out from their competitors on the environmental side of things but found the ISO14001 route too costly and time consuming and a lot of the detail irrelevant to a business of their size.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Energy use; Paper use; Office waste; Packaging; Vehicle emissions; Company Administration.
“We developed the EMS ourselves using the Green Small Business handbook. It was a very clear and easy process. We needed this to know where to start. Green Small Business certification will show our customers that we care about our environmental impact and that we have been certified by a reputable company. Tim was a great help in advising me on some of the sections. I would definitely recommend Green Small Business.”
Outerspace create stunning and meaningful landscape architecture. Creating spaces that balance the needs of people and biodiversity.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Energy use, company administration, specification of materials for clients.
“Thank you so much for the policy and environmental action plan. They are great and show an understanding of our business and the realities of running a business. The process was very good. In the space of a 40 minute phone call we went through all key aspects of the business. It will work as a great way of keeping us in check with our own environmental plans and a way of letting clients know about our plans and aims.”
Providing experience, expertise and enthusiasm, Properly is an estate agency based in London, co-founded by Mariel Roe and Michael Whittaker.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Vehicle emissions, office supplies, waste.
“I am hopeful that being associated with Green Small Business will lead to extra credibility and recognition within our industry and from clients. I am also pleased that we can contribute to sustainability and hopefully can inspire others within our industry to follow suit, as it certainly isn’t prominent at the moment.”
Ginger Bakers are creators of all things cake whose aim is to bring you great products using the best ingredients whilst contributing as much as they can to helping the environment.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Sourcing of ingredients, packaging, packaging waste and energy use.
“We decided to do it because it’s a good thing for the business and help save on costs. The process is really simple, straightforward and convenient a good starting point for businesses to make changes in how we do things. Time is really precious and this didn’t take up much of our time. It’s given us a prompt to look into things like heat systems further. The report also highlights the good things businesses are already doing – there is no criticism and it is a very supportive document for the business.”
Wave is a design co-operative working in print and digital media. They work with people who do inspirational, positive things.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Advice to clients, energy use, paper use.
“The policy and action plan have been very useful. The Green Small Business logo is now proudly on our website”
Miller Clear are a small design-led architectural practice, specialising in residential and mixed-use projects. They have a passion for providing practical, inspiring solutions which are as ‘green’ as possible.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Advice to clients, specification of materials, energy use.
“Tim put together an easy to manage action plan that breaks down the different aspects of our business practice into manageable and achievable targets. We can concentrate on achieving small things, such as choosing the right kind of recycled paper, whilst maintaining our overall ambition of running an ethical green business. The action plan is a fantastic way for small businesses with limited resources to achieve an ambitious green business plan that has an integrity rooted in establishing key green and ethical principles”.
Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, is a world-leading policy institute, with a mission to help governments and societies build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world.
Key issues addressed in the Green Small Business action plan: Energy & water use, transport emissions, company administration.
“Our Green Small Business EMS allows us to more clearly demonstrate that we adequately address the environmental impact that we have, help us formalise more clearly our environmental credentials as well as demonstrate to our members, stakeholders and suppliers that we are serious about this important area.”