10 step guide to environmental sustainability
One of the aims of the ICAS Sustainability Advisory Group (SAG) is to provide practical support and guidance to our members, in particular to those involved in SMEs, in matters relating to environmental sustainability.
The ideas below are not meant to be comprehensive, but they are intended to get you started. Hopefully you will recognise that environmental action need be neither costly nor rocket science, and that it can be effective in increasing profits. As a by-product, you will be helping the planet and improving the reputation and competitiveness of your business. We hope you find them helpful.
- Establish the organisation's environmental sustainability commitment.
- Appoint an environmental champion to promote good working practices. This person MUST have the full and obvious backing of the CEO/MD/owner.
- Contact a body such as the Carbon Trust, Zero Waste Scotland, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (defra) or the Department for Energy and Climate Change for free practical advice.
- Encourage all within the organisation to think about ways in which they can improve the organisation's environmental performance. Invite suggestions.
- Seek to reduce consumption and re-use materials used in your processes. Introduce and promote a recycling policy for paper, plastic, ink cartridges and other waste materials which cannot be re-used.
- Where possible, reduce business travel through the use of teleconferencing and video conferencing.
- Encourage staff to reduce energy consumption and costs by switching off lights, computer equipment and other electrical devices (especially air conditioning) when not in use.
- Examine production processes to establish if savings are possible through modern eco-friendly technology.
- Set ambitious performance targets, and consider a reward system which motivates employees to get involved
- Monitor and review performance targets regularly and communicate successes, however small, throughout the organisation.