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What is a Sustainability Strategy and Does My Business Need One?

It has never been so important for organisations to address their environmental impact and move towards a carefully considered sustainability strategy. As environmental awareness increases, customers, stakeholders and potential investors are now expecting businesses to engage in sustainability practices, playing a key role in helping to overcome current societal and environmental challenges.

Global temperatures have been steadily rising due to the increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by human actions such as fossil fuel use, deforestation and mass farming since records began, around 150 years ago. We only need to look at the current hot weather in the UK, a September record temperature of 32.6 Degrees Celsius was recorded. Climate change, natural resource depletion,  biodiversity loss and water scarcity have prompted the UK government to declare a national climate emergency and work towards Net Zero by 2050.

Commercial activity has a large environmental impact, in fact, over 18% of the UK’s carbon emissions are due to business activities. It is important to address this in order to understand how a business can mitigate their impacts on society and the environment by conducting business responsibly.   

One of the most important ways of doing this is by implementing a clear and well developed sustainability strategy. Having a strategy in place enables a business to visualise goals and focus on sustainability objectives. In addition, it facilitates the process of implementing  prioritised tasks that help the organisation to achieve their sustainability goals.  With a clear vision, organisations can make key sustainability decisions that not only benefit the environment but also benefit the business.

There are a range of considerations for a sustainability strategy however, some of the following may be included depending on business requirements. These include; CO2 emissions, energy use, travel, waste, recycling, circular economy, biodiversity, supply chain impacts, green investment, procurement and social value to name a few. Although these areas seem large,  having a strategy and action plan in place can help the business to assess which areas should be included and how an action plan can be utilised. Breaking down the goals into small steps can help businesses to address key tasks efficiently and effectively. The use of an action plan also allows each task to be monitored, and facilitates transparency so that the wider organisation can see improvements. Monitoring outputs is a crucial part of strategy implementation as it helps business to see where they are now and the progress they are making towards the end goal. In relation to this, it is also important to build in some flexibility with tasks and goals in order to be able to adapt if required as business needs change.

The benefits of having a sustainability strategy in place are significant. It can help businesses to cost save, reduce energy use, decrease reliance on raw materials, reduce waste and increase value from waste streams, comply with legislation, work towards net zero ahead of time and increase supply chain resilience.  Being at the forefront of sustainability practice with a clear and successfully implemented strategy can help businesses to become key competitors in their sector, making cost savings whilst mitigating environmental impacts.

Credibly Green provide technical advice to clients on all things carbon and sustainability. See or call 01746 552423 or email