How to write an environmental policy for small business

And that’s not the only reason your company needs a sustainable policy. You need a sustainable policy because it is the right thing to do.

After two weeks of tentative negotiations, last year’s COP26 turned into a global agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C.

“The 1.5C limit survives. We’ve brought it back from the edge. But its pulse remains weak.”

Alok Sharma, President of COP26 and Minister of State in the Cabinet Office of the United Kingdom

Delegates will meet in Cairo this year to discuss plans to invest in renewable energy and other initiatives to reduce global carbon emissions. As calls for further action have reached fever pitch, businesses are under scrutiny for further enhancing their environmental sustainability efforts.

What is a sustainable policy?

Outline a sustainable policy a The company promises to reduce its impact on future generations. These documents raise three area, economic, environmental, and social concerns by the organization’s activities.

Sustainable policies give companies a unique opportunity Declare internally and externally The strategies they are implementing to protect the economic and environmental effectiveness of their business. Embedding these principles in the leadership team ensures that key decisions are always kept in mind the principles of sustainability.

They also present an opportunity to showcase the values ​​of the organization that we see, can be an interesting response to the acquisition of both clients and candidates.

Does my company need a sustainable policy?

In short, yes! Sustainability is becoming an increasingly hot topic, and companies are coming under reasonable pressure to take action and do their part. But it’s not all sticks and no carrots.

There are multiple examples of small businesses that have benefited from taking a firm stand on sustainability. We have inspirational interviews Elephant genes, Those who started their company with a clean eco-friendly policy and have been growing stronger since then.

As concerns around the environment heat up, business and society are increasingly realizing that the effects of climate change are getting closer. Economic and social impacts cannot be underestimated, but sustainability is not about punishing or living the past. It’s about focusing on solutions and an opportunity to build a stronger, more efficient future.

Developing a sustainable policy allows small businesses to identify problems and come up with a clear plan for dealing with them. These checks reassure investors in place and allow companies to share their environmentally-conscious values ​​with other key stakeholders.

Failure to get the board with stability can be catastrophic. Studies have shown that 60% of Generation Z will choose to purchase them from the green business On competitors who provide little concern for their carbon footprint. What’s more, most candidates (65%) are more likely to take a role from an organization whose company policies include explicit steps regarding sustainability.

By creating and sustaining a sustainability policy, small businesses can differentiate themselves and gain a competitive advantage. As the public becomes increasingly attracted to eco-friendly initiatives, making your policy part of your marketing strategy can lead to huge rewards for keeping your business bottom line and employees.

An ultimate key incentive is to increase control around sustainable business practices. As governments around the world look for new ways to ramp up their responses to climate change, it cannot be included unless companies of all sizes face legal and ethical commitments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Small business owners who are moving forward with their sustainability plans can now benefit financially and earn better PR by working before regulatory obligations.

Wind turbine bird's eye view

What does a small business sustainability policy need to include?

It can be difficult for your small business to know where to start when dealing with sustainability. But you don’t have to be irresistible to start your environmental policy. Initiatives like Tech Zero provide resources to help technology businesses of all sizes cope with their emissions.

Although environmental principles vary in length, it is best to keep things small and sweet. About 2 pages are easy to digest and can be supplemented by additional documentation, for example, human rights or health and safety policy. Below we share an tried and tested template for drafting a meaningful and comprehensive sustainability policy.

Consider the broader context

A good sustainable policy should start by recognizing the climate crisis and local, national or international regulations subject to your business. Commitment to these broader goals and sustainable development goals will align your company’s efforts with the universal need to reduce the environmental impact of humanity.

Outline the key sustainable issues for your industry

As we mentioned earlier, analyzing the impact of sustainability of your business can be divided into three categories; Economic, environmental and social. Your sustainability policy includes the elements you want to consider;

  • A systematic analysis of your environmental issues, highlighting key industry concerns and championing a preventative approach with measures to address the root causes of these problems rather than minimizing the underlying effects.
  • Address how you will test whether a partnership is committed to the same sustainable values.
  • Answer any animal welfare concerns if applicable.
  • Provide provisions for anti-corruption, anti-fraud and other aspects of good governance that protect society at large.
  • Ensuring respect for human rights throughout all aspects of business. It can cover everything from anti-trafficking assurances to occupational health and safety.
  • Commitment to listening and resolving the concerns of any party adversely affected by the organization or those working for you.

Depending on the nature of your business, there are several factors that need to be considered for sustainability. If you are a retailer, you need to audit your entire supply chain, from the materials you use and the waste to packaging and delivery services.

On the other hand, software or service-oriented businesses need to focus more on energy costs and take steps to ensure more green supply. If sustainable auditing of your business seems difficult, don’t worry. There are professional services that can help.

Wind and clouds of color

Set clear goals

The next step is to establish clear company-wide commitments to address these issues. They need to be outlined as clearly as possible to show that business needs have been balanced with real efforts to make meaningful changes.

Details of measurable targets can gain the trust of customers and stakeholders, but be sure to discuss how you will report performance. Include a timeline of when and where you want to update interested parties about your progress.

Consistent with your company’s culture

When formulating your sustainability policy, it is important to consider the broader values ​​of your organization. Take the time to read another company’s policy or SOPs to identify any conflicts that may arise from your new environmental goals.

Highlight high-level approval

Any company-wide policy needs to be backed up. Signing the names of the board of directors or top executives in the sustainability policy is important to demonstrate the organization’s commitment to the changes described internally. This seemingly small gesture is important to convey to internal and external stakeholders that you are serious about creating a sustainable future for your business.

So now you have a sustainable policy, what next?

Share sustainable policies with your stakeholders

For any sustainable policy to succeed, it must reach the right people. Shaking an intranet site and forgetting is a way to complain about greenwashing. Distributing your policy to employees, consolidating it into contracts, and organizing regular workshops and discussions can help you make real progress toward your intended goals.

Business partners, including suppliers, must also receive a copy and be committed to the content of your policy for any future partnerships. Training relevant staff and auditing potential suppliers or contractors will be key to successful implementation of these negotiations.

Making your environmental policy public makes it a great way to reach out to all relevant stakeholders and ensure that your business position is well-known in terms of sustainability.

Promote your progress

As we have seen, small businesses can use their sustainable initiatives to win over new clients and promote their company culture to potential candidates. As you go through your goals, celebrate key milestones with your team and share your progress in your marketing strategy.

The plane is flying over the forest

Checklist for a successful sustainable policy

  1. Identify the root problem – Share the key concerns of your industry and how they relate to a broader global context.
  2. Provide a vision statement – Outline of sustainable business practices that will help address these issues.
  3. Tell me your chance – Clarify your company’s key environmental management and social responsibility priorities.
  4. Make a clear commitment – Set a clear and measurable action plan with business suit behind these changes.
  5. Go back – Let the top executives sign their names against these sustainable business strategies.
  6. Scream from the roof – Share your sustainable programs with key stakeholders and integrate your activities with your marketing strategies.

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