Ventorq are as clear an example as you will find of the way in which the world of business is changing. In two ways:
Firstly, in terms of what they do. As an Ecommerce consultancy, they help their clients, from brewers to fashion houses, to thrive in the world of online business. They provide support and direction with establishing or improving an ecommerce presence, and how many businesses can thrive without that now?
Secondly, in terms of how they do it. Ventorq see environmental sustainability as a business imperative. They are committed to reducing their environmental impact and continually improving environmental performance as an integral part of their business strategy and operating methods. The Green Small Business process provided them with a structured approach to achieving these goals and a means of clearly differentiating their offer. Ventorq founder Richard Hatfield recognised the benefits:
“Primarily, the Green Small Business process provides 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.”
An increasing number of construction companies are getting Green Small Business certification, the latest of which is Rubix Construction – a residential construction company with a growing reputation for achieving stunning home transformations across South London.
As a member of the Considerate Constructors Scheme they are required, among other things, to:
- identify, manage and promote environmental issues
- seek sustainable solutions, minimise waste, the carbon footprint and resources
Green Small Business certification proved to be the ideal route to demonstrate their commitment to achieving these goals, providing them with a systematic and practical framework for managing their environmental impacts.
“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.”
Inspired by accommodation overseas, St Marks Stays provides a place where groups (and their pets) can have a place to stay and hang out together in beautiful Cumbria, whilst having things organised for them by live-in hosts Joanne and Damian Withers.
Joanne and Damian are committed to making their business as green as possible, particularly by wrestling with the challenges of lighting and heating a large 19th century ex-vicarage and school. Green Small Business has enabled them to think through all of their significant environmental impacts, both negative and positive, and provided them with a structured approach to managing these impacts in the short and longer term. Joanne envisages big benefits for their business:
“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.”
Green Small Business was established to enable all businesses to think about their environmental impacts, take steps to address them and maximise the business benefits from doing so.
Lots of businesses have now benefited from getting Green Small Business certified but plenty more have thought about doing so and not taken it any further. We don’t take it personally…
From talking to some of those who have downloaded our free guide or made enquiries, one of the barriers to taking the plunge is a fear that they are not ‘green’ enough and that going green could be too challenging.
We do want the process to be challenging. Being Green Small Business certified means something.
BUT we recognise that every business has to start where they are and to move forward at a pace they are comfortable with.
That’s why becoming a Green Small Business involves meeting only two criteria:
- You have an environmental policy and action plan that incorporates all of your significant environmental impacts.
- That the actions in your action plan demonstrate a commitment to addressing those impacts in some way.
The scale and the pace of change in becoming greener is up to you. All we look for is an honest and genuine commitment to continuous improvement.
You might well be an eco-warrior with a radical approach to doing business.
You might equally be a newcomer to thinking about the environmental impacts of your business and with unknown scope for change.
Either way, Green Small Business is ideal for your small business. Download our free guide or check out the rest of our website for more details.
Green Small Business has recently had the immense pleasure of working with six inspirational charities to help them meet Big Lottery and EU funding requirements. All six were part of a project funded through the Building Better Opportunities programme, run by the European Social Fund and Big Lottery Fund, which is seeking to tackle the root causes of poverty, promote social inclusion and drive local jobs and growth.
Working through the certification process for Green Small Business enabled all six charities to map out their environmental impacts, both positive and negative, and to clearly articulate their plans for addressing those impacts. For us, it was a real inspiration to hear about the work they do to support some of the most vulnerable people in our society. For them, we certainly hope it was an opportunity to appreciate their potential to make a difference in meeting the environmental challenges of our time.
Some are already blazing a trail. Right2Work provide learning and employment opportunities for a range of different people including those with learning disabilities and mental health conditions. They do so partly through an incredible re-use and recycling initiative, which is diverting huge amounts of local waste from landfill.
If you need an environmental policy or some form of environmental certification for your charity or small business, download our free guide or get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!