Although environmentalists have called for companies to increase business sustainability for many years, there are now a number of pressing reasons for companies to increase sustainability in addition to environmental factors. The increase in fuel and energy costs as well as growing manufacturing and production costs means that companies are now looking for alternative operating methods which can enable them to operate effectively but also reduce running costs. In addition to this, regulations specifically aimed at limiting damage to the environment have forced companies to consider their impact on the environment. As public awareness regarding sustainability has grown, companies have faced increasing pressure to adopt sustainable policies. These factors have led to a rise in the number of firms adopting policies and attempts have been made by numerous companies to increase business sustainability.
In order to increase business sustainability, many companies rely on specialists to assist them in implementing new processes designed to increase sustainability. Although some companies are now building in-house teams, many still rely on external business consultants to assist in-house teams or to provide advice to companies without suitable internal staff.
When attempting to develop sustainable strategies for businesses, specialists often begin by conducting an audit. These are tailored depending on the needs of the client but often include an assessment of the company’s footprint with a solutions or energy and carbon audit. This enables sustainability experts to obtain data regarding the company’s current energy usage and highlight ways to reduce energy usage and cut costs. In addition to suggesting changes which bear no cost to the company, specialists undertake thorough analysis to provide a range of potential solutions. Where modifications to increase sustainability will require some investment, experts will generally provide forecasts so the management team are able to see the potential return of the investment, both in fiscal and environmental terms.
There are a range of additional sustainability services which are available to companies who are attempting to adopt a sustainable approach to business. By working with specialists, companies can ensure that they are implementing changes that have a genuine and measurable effort on both the company and the environment. In addition to providing advice regarding appropriate changes, business sustainability experts also offer assistance with implementing new sustainable business strategies. In order to effectively monitor the effects of the changes, specialists also assist companies in obtaining accurate data and measuring the effect of the changes they have implemented. This can be done in terms of the financial impact on the business and also by measuring the social return on investment and assessing the impact on the local area and the environment.
As awareness of sustainability grows, pressure on companies will continue to increase. In addition to pressure from the public, companies face pressure from the government and the introduction of new legislation aimed at increasing sustainability. The opportunity to reduce costs, increase profitability as well as limiting damage to the environment means that companies are responding to the need for change and are continuing to adopt new sustainable strategies designed to increase business sustainability in the long term.
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 services, focussing heavily on best practice, audits and strategies. For more information please visit http://www.hwfisher.co.uk/sustainability