HOW - CDC sustainability initiative

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Sustainability can make a difference to every business.


do I start my green journey?

By making minor changes in our lives: using less energy, reducing our carbon footprint, making more sustainable and ethical purchases, we can help the UK achieve it’s 2050 net zero target. Energy Saving Trust

Reflect and evaluate » Take the first step:

Stop for a moment and take stock. Think about the resources you use within your business - everything from hot water, heating, electricity and the types of bulbs you use through to brochures you print and the packaging you send goods out in. It needn’t just be about products and services either, it could also be about process efficiencies, insulation or the way you manage your deliveries. Sustainability really can touch everything you do.

» Pick one thing at a time:

Finding even one small thing you can change to a more sustainable option will make a difference. If we all change one thing it makes more of a difference. When we all find as many things to change as we can, then we create a significant difference!

» Get everyone involved:

Identifying what can be changed needn’t be a solitary pursuit. Get your employees, your children, your families and even your customers involved! Ask everyone to make a suggestion and you’ll be amazed at how many ideas are generated.

» Turn ideas into action:

Some ideas will be easy to implement. Others might require some upfront investment. The good news though is that lots of the actions you can take have the potential to save you money in the long run!

CASE STUDY FARMHOUSE COOKERY, Bosham Process efficiencies and investment increased productivity and saved money In 2022 Farmhouse Cookery invested in 90 new bespoke mince pie tins. That was enough tins for three full oven loads which meant the oven never needed to be idle. They also invested in a mincemeat depositing machine to enable them to fill pies faster and ensure there are no idle periods between loads. “The tins have enabled us to increase productivity by 66% because we’ve increased from 540 pies/oven-load to 900 pies/oven-load. Accounting for the slightly increased baking time (+5% extra time needed) I calculated we’ve achieved a 63% energy saving per pie.” Clare Burt, Director

CASE STUDY SMOOTHEDGE GLASS, Birdham Invested in new equipment to change the way they cut bottles Smoothedge Glass was looking for a way to make their manufacturing process more sustainable and energy efficient. “All our beautiful glassware is made using bottles that would otherwise be discarded, often to landfill. Reducing our carbon footprint and improving our sustainability credentials is important to us and is something our customers value. Our new blade and cutter means we no longer have to use hot water heated by a gas boiler. It’s enabled us to save time in the process as well.” Sam Wright, Founder

Small changes make all the difference A 2022 survey of 16,000 global consumers found that more than half (51%) of respondents say environmental sustainability is more important to them today than it was 12 months ago. It also found that consumers’ actions are starting to match their intent. IBM Institute for Business Value survey




A few ideas to get you started....

Encourage your employees to ride-share, walk or cycle to work.

» Save electricity:

Share deliveries with another local business.

Make the change to energysaving LED light bulbs. It’s a great first step to reducing energy usage. Motion sensor lights only switch on when triggered and are also beneficial in reducing consumption. Switch appliances off instead of leaving them on standby this can dramatically decrease your energy consumption.

» Conserve water: Replace older taps with spray taps (or add aerators). This can reduce the volume of water coming out of the tap without diminishing pressure. Dual-flush toilets (or using water displacement devices in cisterns) can save thousands of litres of water a year and potentially save you money. Where practical, you could harvest rainwater.

» Reduce mileage or fuel use:

» Minimise waste and

maximise recycling:

Make sure recycling bins are prominent on site. Remove bins from under desks - they can encourage people to just put everything in the general rubbish! Instead, have multiple waste handling stations (recycling, composting and general bins) around the building.

» Consider your business

supply chain:

Use local suppliers if you can. Focus on seasonal produce if you’re supplying catering. Engage with other businesses who share your values. Use delivery companies that prioritise sustainability. Look for recycled, recyclable and compostable options.

Think of ways to take your customers on the sustainability journey with you Whenever a customer walks through your door, the look or feel of your business sends a message. Do you really care about sustainability or is it all just talk? That first impression is vital - you don’t get a second chance. If you say sustainability is important to you then your customers need to see that in your actions.

Your building can communicate as much as your words:

» Is your lighting low-energy

and have you done everything you can to minimise heat loss, particularly at the door?

» If you’re displaying

information from other businesses try to make sure they reflect your values too.

» Does anything visibly

contradict your claims? For example using patio heaters, when you say you’re working to reduce carbon emissions.

» Make sure your heating or

air conditioning is not working overtime. Keep temperatures just right - not too hot and not too cold!

Highlight the practical, positive impact of your sustainability measures:

» If you’ve introduced a

new product or practice that has both environmental and practical benefits, tell people! A short note explaining the ‘why’ can make all the difference to encouraging someone to engage with your values. Don’t be tempted to write an essay though instead encourage people to talk to you if they’d like to find out more about what you’re doing and why.




Talk to customers about your values whenever you can:

» Customers may notice

the changes you’ve made, so talk to them about what you’ve done. Empower your staff to do the same and make them ambassadors for your business and your sustainability values. If your customers believe in what you’re doing, they’re more likely to return. Remember though, ‘because it’s environmentally friendly’ may not be enough for everyone - practical examples of why a particular solution works better may carry more weight.

The demand for sustainable consumer goods is on the rise, with 3 out of 5 consumers saying socially responsible or sustainable products made up at least half of their last purchase. IBM Institute for Business Value survey

Think about... offsetting your carbon Carbon offsetting is a wide term that covers a range of ways to compensate for your CO2 emissions. It can include measures such as planting trees that absorb carbon from the atmosphere as they grow or working with a charity to deliver energyefficient cooking stoves to communities in developing countries. Through carbon offsetting you could contribute by either balancing

out greenhouse gas emissions or removing them from the atmosphere. Offsetting emissions from your business can demonstrate a commitment to reducing impacts and can also create a competitive advantage.

» How to offset emissions: A great place to start is to ‘calculate your carbon footprint’ - in other words, understand how much carbon your business generates. Once you know your footprint you can look at ways to offset it. The SME Climate Hub is backed by the UK Government and the UN Race to Zero campaign - their carbon calculator can help you get started: CLICK HERE

CASE STUDY DEVICE DOCTORS REPAIRS AND SUPPORT, Chichester Committing to carbon offsetting delivered wider business benefits Device Doctors created an intitiative where for each repair carried out or service provided they planted a tree. “We wanted to offset carbon emissions and become a greener and more sustainable company so that’s why we started planting trees. It’s had wider benefits though. Firstly our greener company credentials attracted new business and media attention. We also sent every customer a tree planting email as a thank you and that follow-up generated repeat business as well.” Tom Orchard, Director

UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2021 were 424.5 million tonnes CO 2 equivalent. That’s 4.7% higher than in 2020. Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strateg




Get certified Sustainability accreditations are a very visible and positive way to demonstrate your commitment to the environment. They’re also a great way to quantify and validate the progress you’re making in a way that’s meaningful for both your customers and your employees. Working through the steps to gain an accreditation can also keep you motivated to keep going on your sustainability journey.

There’s a wide range of accreditation schemes available we’ve listed just a few of them here:

» ISO20121 - Sustainable

Events (ISO, 2022)

Guidance and best practice for managing your events. Control an event’s social, economic and environmental impacts. Cut unnecessary costs.

» ISO14001: 2015 -

Environmental Management Systems (ISO 2022) A recognised framework for businesses to follow to set up effective environmental management systems.

» Green Small Business A trusted, small businessfriendly alternative to ISO 14001 certification. Use it to demonstrate your environmental credentials, meet tendering or funding requirements or increase your BCorp impact assessment score.

» B Corporation

» Green Key

Certified B Corporations, or B Corps, are companies verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

A standard of excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within tourism.

» Green Tourism Scheme

(Green Tourism, 2022)

Assessments, reports and ongoing support from assessors. Green Tourism certification, logo and plaque to promote sustainable supporting customers.




» Planet Mark Recognises commitment to continuous improvement; measuring and reducing carbon emissions, energy and water usage, travel and waste.

» Become a Business

Climate Leader

Join thousands of businesses who’ve committed to the UK Government’s ‘Together for our planet’ campaign.

A 2021 survey found half of consumers said they were willing to pay a premium for a sustainable brand or product. In 2022, 49% of consumers said they’d paid a premium (an average of 59% more) for products branded as sustainable or socially responsible in the last year. IBM Institute for Business Value survey

Look for local and sustainable suppliers Small business owners and employees are likely to spend their money in their local area. Roughly 63p of every £1 spent at small or medium-sized businesses stays in the local economy, compared with just 40p at large businesses. Small 99




Keeping your supply chain local has benefits beyond reducing the distance that products travel. Where you can’t source locally, source sustainably instead. As with every element of the sustainability journey, even small changes can make a difference!

» Keep it local: Look for businesses in your area that have the products you need. Buying local has

benefits beyond transport miles - those businesses, like you, will be supporting your local community by employing locally and bringing money into your local economy. You might even be able to work together to share logistics.

» Keep it sustainable: Look beyond the local address and check your supplier is also sourcing or making their products locally. Choose to buy from them and you can support each other on a journey to greater sustainability. If you can’t source locally choose a sustainable supplier from further afield instead.

CASE STUDY FARMHOUSE COOKERY, Bosham Creation of a delivery sharing scheme Farmhouse Cookery investigated ways to make the most efficient use of their existing delivery vehicles. “We make use of our existing delivery network and van capacity to collect and deliver other producers’ items. That means alongside collecting ingredients for use in our kitchen and delivering our own products we deliver products for other local businesses as well.” Clare Burt, Director

Next steps.... SHOUT

about every green success!

WHY is

green good for my business?

Or talk to Derek, CDC Growth and Sustainability Officer, on 01243 534711

This project is (funded/part-funded) by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit:

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