As public awareness of sustainability and has grown, businesses have been under increasing pressure to adopt more environmentally friendly policies and increase their sustainability. This, in conjunction with increasing fuel and energy prices, has led companies to become more aware of environmental issues and increase business sustainability. There are a wide range of services available which enable organisations to access the expertise they require in order to implement an effective sustainability strategy within the workplace.
In order to identify which service they require, businesses often undergo an audit. The content of a sustainability audit can depend on the company in question and often vary depending on company size, sector or industry. However, they generally include energy and carbon audits as well as solutions audits. An energy and carbon audit identifies the company’s carbon footprint and is often the first step in devising a strategy for the business. By accessing vital data, the carbon and energy audit detects areas of excessive energy consumption and enables business sustainability experts to determine how to reduce energy usage. A solutions audit focuses mainly upon the management and reduction of company emissions. By identifying problem areas, business sustainability consultants can determine the most appropriate and effective methodologies to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and instruct companies how to implement them.
In addition to undertaking an audit, specialists can offer valuable advice regarding how to increase business sustainability and what new processes should be introduced. There are a number of additional services available to businesses and many implement a mix of services depending on their need highlighted by the results of the audit. For example, business sustainability consultants often assist companies in drafting sustainability policies or setting up an in-house corporate social responsibility team. By implementing new processes based on the findings of a sustainability audit, companies can create a more sustainable business model and successfully enact permanent change.
In many instances, companies may require the sustainability services of a specialist to educate and advise current staff members regarding the need for a sustainable business and how the new processes and working methods will operate within the business. This training ensures that the whole workforce recognises the importance of sustainability and that they are aware of how to operate the new policies and procedures effectively.
Although many businesses initially adopted sustainable strategies in response to public pressure, many now recognise the economic benefit of incorporating sustainable practices within business. In addition to reducing damage to the environment, business can gain a fiscal advantage from implementing sustainable practices thus enabling them to increase overall business revenue. As public awareness of environmentalism and sustainability continues to grow the issue of business sustainability will continue to exert pressure on new and existing business. By committing to sustainability policies and strategies, companies can effectively reduce the environmental damage caused by operational processes, generate positive PR and reduce energy costs thus improving brand perception and increasing their overall profitability.
HW Fisher & Company is a commercially astute organisation – ranked as a mid-tier top 25 UK chartered accountancy firm, with a personal, partner-led service aimed at entrepreneurial small, medium enterprises (SMEs), large corporates and high-net worth individuals. HW Fisher specialises in Business Sustainability Strategies, Audits and Services. For more information please visit http://www.hwfisher.co.uk/sustainability