If you have downloaded my 4 Pillars checklist then you will be at the stage where you want to start or progress the sustainability journey for your business.
Perhaps you have met me networking online or in person, listened to me on a webinar or a workshop where I have talked about the benefits and you want to know more.
So you have made the 1st steps, downloading the checklist and wanting to brainstorm what sustainability means for you and your small business.
The four pillars are used in the CSR-A sustainability process and I have used this myself and found it to be easy to follow, relevant and it also opened my eyes to things I was doing but not thought were applicable and they were.
The brainstorming process definitely makes you deep dive into what you have done already, what you plan to do, and perhaps what you cannot do, and also realise that you are making more impacts than you thought towards your sustainability journey.
Think about what you have done and are continuing to do, what you could be doing better or plan to do, and in some cases cannot ( this might be wanting solar panels or car charging facilities but you do not own the building. )
- Set aside a few hours to focus on this piece of work and note down everything you can think of that relates to each of the 4 pillars.( This should include what you have already done, are planning to, and in some cases cannot do )
- If you are short on time take I would suggest that you take one 1 pillar each week and note down activities and impacts you are making in that one area.
- Note down examples no matter how small and as far back as you can remember.
- If you work from home then ensure that you add all the improvements that you have made to your home, the purchases of items you make to use in the home to run your business and improve the way the home is run. ( green energy, solar panels, insulation, shutters, car charging points, local service employed, donations made to charities and community events that you have been involved in, etc )
- Think about services you procure, green plans for banking, pensions & investments, cloud storage, and website hosting.
- How do you support others in your local community, buying from and using local businesses – accountants, website developers, etc & networking events attended?
- How is your workplace set up and what measures have you put in place for virtual, & flexible ways of working for staff and clients?
- If you rent or own the office you work in then what sustainable efforts have been put in place and by who ( solar panels, electric charging points, recycling stations, thermostats, shared printers, shredders, etc. )
- Note what donations have you made to charities and good causes, amounts, and how often and to whom.
- What volunteering efforts have you been involved in and in what capacity?
- Remember every business is set up differently and is of a different size but all your efforts as impacts matter. Unique and innovative activities and plans for the future should always be included.
- Remember that your sustainability journey is always a “work in progress” and doing something is better than doing nothing!
- Collating information in this way will make you realise that you are doing SO much more towards sustainability than you think and this exercise will prompt thinking.
- Collating this information will allow you to provide evidence when asked by employees, clients suppliers, and stakeholders and will speed up any accreditation process that you might embark on in the future.
- Lastly doing this pice of work for your business will make you stand out from the crowd, attract likeminded clients & employees, save money in the long run, help evidence in tenders and preferred suppliers lists, and so much more.
If you have read this far and you are excited to get started on your sustainable journey and would like some support then please do not hesitate to contact me.
If you are reading this blog and have not yet downloaded the checklist then here is the link – https://auxiliumconsulting.co.uk/sustainability-checklist/
Just a reminder re the 4 Pillars
Environment focuses on eco-issues such as climate change but in particular, the areas that your business depends on. This can range from electricity, heating and lighting, water, supply chains, recycling, office procurement and deliveries, and recycling, reducing, and reusing products and services where you can.
Workplace activities encompass the procedures and policies that improve products and services for employees, clients, & customers. This can range from flexible working, cloud document storage, online meetings, reduction paper usage, unsubscribing from emails and not attaching documents to emails, reductions in travel, green investments and working with sustainable clients and supply chains.
Community focuses on the way your business operates with other organisations to improve the quality of life of the people in the local community. How, where, and why you operate and the areas you support in your local networks and forums, buying and supporting local businesses, mentoring, networking & memberships.
Philanthropy focuses on the donations of time and money to good causes and supporting charities through volunteering, donation, or sponsorship. This can also mean pro bono work, donations of money and products, giving back, and free or discounted advice.