What to do when hitting environmental sustainability goals seems too difficult
The benefits of sustainable businesses are clear. They help improve the environment, improve your corporate image and can save your company money. But setting sustainability goals and making changes to your business isn't always straightforward, especially when you're under pressure to get things done in a hurry. So, how do you set impactful environmental sustainability goals and make sure you achieve them?
What do environmental sustainability issues cover?
Environmental sustainability in business is a complex topic, which means it's important to understand the issues at hand when setting sustainability goals for your company. There are many environmental and sustainability issues that you might be interested in learning more about and working toward addressing in your company. Some of these include:
- Climate change
- Air pollution
- Water conservation/quality
- Waste management/disposal of hazardous materials
Why can environmental sustainability be difficult to achieve?
There are a number of reasons why sustainable business practices can be difficult to implement. Environmental sustainability in business is a long term goal and a complex and multifaceted challenge that can’t be solved overnight.
- Creating effective, long term sustainability goals requires partnerships between the people and organisations involved with the business. Good communication between departments and across the wider organisation is essential to work together towards common goals
- Achieving effective sustainability goals means setting long term goals. Tackling questions like ‘how can we reduce waste?’ might seem daunting at first, but making improvements to a business’s environmental practices can take time. Just remember - Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Environmental sustainability in business is a complex challenge - there are many factors that contribute to our use of resources, and finding ways of reducing these numbers. Businesses are becoming greener, and there is a lot that your company can get started with.
We've pulled together some of the simplest and most effective things you can do to set impactful sustainability goals - and hit them.
How can you set environmental sustainability goals?
Setting sustainability goals doesn't have to be daunting. Here are some tips for setting an achievable and effective environmental sustainability goal:
- Understand the problem. Before you start, it's important to understand the problem you're trying to solve. This will allow you to set more effective goals because they'll be aligned with what your company is already doing, and will prevent missteps when you put things live.
- Next, set an effective sustainability goal that's achievable. It’s important that goals are achievable and that you have the time and resources to make them a reality if there isn't enough time or money allocated towards achieving a certain goal then it's not worth pursuing as a priority. This doesn't mean every single one has to be achievable within the year though - take into consideration how long each step takes before deciding on whether or not it's doable within that period. And remember, if one thing fails, that’s ok. Just try another approach until you find something that works.
- Finally, consider whether or not this goal helps you achieve your overall mission as an organisation. If not, perhaps you should reassess it before going ahead.
What can you do to hit your sustainability goals?
If you're serious about implementing sustainable business practices, the first step is to reduce your company's carbon emissions.
Getting smart with energy is a big one when it comes to environmental sustainability in business. Look into switching to a renewable energy provider (such as Octopus Energy) and check out their best business energy tariffs to find out what’s right for you. There’s also the option of installing solar panels or wind turbines if your premises are suitable.
If you’re a company that owns or leases vehicles, one of the biggest changes you can make is to switch to an electric fleet. By doing so you could reduce your business carbon emissions by up to 80%.
It gets better: you can help the environment and save money at the same time. Electric vehicles (EVs) are more efficient than petrol vehicles, so they use less energy and emit less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. EVs also cost significantly less to run than petrol or diesel models, as well as often having lower maintenance costs. This means that you can save money on fuel costs. Lovely green pennies straight back in your pocket!
You can also reduce your business carbon emissions by considering an EV salary sacrifice scheme. There are many benefits of EV salary sacrifice schemes that go beyond reducing your business carbon emissions, including cost savings and boosting your benefits package for increased employee satisfaction. Did you know that 75% of employees say they’re more likely to stay in a job because of the benefits package? You’ll be in good company too - more than half of UK businesses already offer their employees a sacrifice scheme for electric vehicles.
There’s a lot of government support and funding available for environmental sustainability in business, including the EV infrastructure grant, helping businesses install EV charge points for their operations and staff.
The bottom line: how to set achievable sustainability goals
So, if you want to make a difference and implement sustainable business practices, it’s important that you set achievable sustainability goals. This way, you can be sure that the changes will be sustainable and will last for years to come. It’s not easy championing environmental sustainability in business, but if you can get into the right mindset and follow the simple steps outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your own sustainability goals.
And if you want to dramatically reduce your business carbon footprint, and lead the charge against climate change: arm your team with EVs on our EV salary sacrifice scheme. It’s a complete green solution: affordable EVs for your team, workplace and home charging, plus green energy from supply from Octopus Energy.
You’ll also be assigned a dedicated member of our team to keep you up to speed until you’re ready to hit the road.