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.”
‘MarTech Consultancy’ was a new one on us but we soon realised it’s one of those things that most of businesses need these days – help with the technology that powers our marketing efforts. Fly are more than just another web development agency with marketing technology expertise though. They offer strategic, business thinking, backed with MBA-level marketing expertise.
This burgeoning and dynamic business have longer-term aspirations for B-Corp status and see Green Small Business certification as a first step in systematically addressing their environmental impacts. Founder and lead consultant, Tim De La Salle, is clear about the benefits:
“I see this as a great first step for us, in baking sensible and meaningful environmental policy into the business. It also allows us to demonstrate to our clients, particularly our not-for-profit audience, that we do mean what we say. In turn, this is a win, win, win; good for us, good for the planet and good for the bottom line”
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.
Shed 1 Gin is an award-winning distillery on the edge of the English Lake District. They produce ‘small batch, classically distilled gin with a contemporary style’. We normally provide all of our services remotely, but we took the time to go visit this ‘green distillery’ and we may have sampled some of their fare…
The pride in their gin-making was evident. Equally evident was their honest and committed approach to managing their environmental impacts. They work hard to ensure the most sustainable packaging, source all ingredients as locally as possible (including foraging for blackberries!), are re-jigging their distillery so that all cooling water is recycled in a closed loop system, have joined the Recorked UK scheme to encourage recycling of their corks and are working towards a bottle re-filling system for local customers. They really are a green distillery. For more, see their sustainability page.
Every Green Small Business is different. Some are just starting on their journey towards becoming more green. For others, like Shed 1 Gin, Green Small Business certification is as much about recognising and celebrating their efforts as it is about identifying new ways of improving environmental performance. See their case study for more details.
Gin-maker extraordinaire Zoe was delighted with the outcome of the process: It has always been important for us to be as sustainable as we could be. 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.
Surely one of the most beautiful workspaces in London, the Boathouse Design studio was originally designed for building and maintaining boats. The space now offers a unique office experience for the companies who work there, with its natural light, stunning view over the Thames and its carefully restored and converted interiors.
Amaze Property, the owners of the space, sought Green Small Business certification as a means of gaining recognition for, and adding structure to, their efforts to be environmentally responsible. It provided them with “an incentive to go greener” as well as being “a good promotional tool which sets us apart from other co-working spaces”.
Properly Partners, a start-up estate agency, found Green Small Business to be the perfect small business alternative to getting ISO 14001 certification. They hope to inspire others within their industry to take a principled approach to environmental sustainability.
Founder Michael Whittaker said “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.
We believe that as business owners we have a responsibility to do what we can to work in a sustainable way. Although we are a small business, there are still steps we can take to minimise our impact, and we wanted to have these in place from day one. We created our own bespoke Environmental management system and policy, which is unique to Properly, and has been certified by Green Small Business. Some of the larger certification schemes are harder to apply to a small business, but GSB’s criteria are easy to follow and very intuitive, we would highly recommend them to any small business owners looking to do something similar.”