10 Reason why SMEs should consider Sustainability
There are many reasons why Sustainability is good for business, including opportunities for SMEs to benefit.
- Potential to increase profits, eg. reducing energy usage, waste, raw material and transport which all correlate directly to reducing costs.
- Fulfil the demand for greener products and services. There is a growing demand among consumers for greener and safer products and people are prepared to pay a premium for greener products!.. the accountants are loving this already!!
- New business models can be created that are service (rather than product) focused which ensures the customer benefits from fixed costs, and does not have to pay the huge outlay for the product. The business is not focused on selling more products, but have created a regular income stream. Because this product is designed for a long life, this is better for the environment as resource use is minimised and consumption levels are reduced.
- There are many funding opportunities & initiatives from the EU or local sources related to sustainability.
- Sustainable practices can lead to increased staff morale, and this motivation increases productivity.
- The image of being green and more sustainable is very positive for a company’s brand.
- New customers Business-to-Business ( B2B) SMEs, can gain a ‘preferred supplier status’ by having proven environmental credentials. In some cases larger companies that source products from SMEs are demanding evidence of sustainability.
- If a business is more compliant with environmental legislation, there is a lower risk of receiving a fine and all the cost and negative publicity associated with prosecution..
- Being transparent about business practices can be an advantage, as it future-proofs you for when this will be a requirement.
- SMEs can share and gain knowledge with their peers on sustainability through networks. Being part of a network can often have the added benefit of reduced fees from other members, and perhaps be eligible for awards for good practice (e.g. Chambers CSR awards, SMILE Resource Exchange).