Environmental sustainability was already at the core of Bough to Beauty Bespoke, and their wooden badges help a huge number of clients to reduce their environmental impacts. Pursuing an environmental certification for the business might not therefore seem necessary. However, their experience in gaining Green Small Business certification illustrates well the potential benefits for all businesses of taking a structured approach to the management of their environmental impacts.
Green Small Business helps small businesses to develop low-cost, low-stress environmental management systems or ‘EMS’. These ‘EMS’ are made up of two elements:
- An environmental policy for the business; and
- A simple action plan to address the environmental impacts of the business.
Small businesses can use the free guide which is available from Green Small Business to prepare their own environmental policy and action plan, or commission Green Small Business to develop the policy and action plan on their behalf. Bough to Beauty Bespoke took the latter approach. In the course of a 40 minute phone call, we explored all of the different activities of the business and the environmental impacts they generate. This covered everything from company administration to sourcing timber for products to packaging of the products and more.
Within 24 hours, a draft environmental policy and action plan was produced. This included a wide range of simple actions to address some of the inevitable negative environmental impacts of running a business, such as:
- using LED when replacing bulbs in the home office;
- improving heating controls;
- switching to even more sustainable paper and envelopes;
- exploring the feasibility of switching to a bank with an ethical investment policy;
- encouraging customers to recycle product packaging; and
- sourcing the most sustainable supply of oak for badge making.
In contrast to traditional approaches to environmental management, the policy and action plan also focuses on the ways in which the potential positive environmental impacts of the business can be maximised. At a time when the issue of plastic pollution is at the fore, the process identified a real opportunity for Bough to Beauty Bespoke to promote greater awareness of this issue and promote causes such as the Plastic Pollution Coalition.
Each action included in the action plan is prioritised and accompanied by a clear indication of responsibility and how progress will be measured. Progress measurement is deliberately ‘light-touch’, with a focus on delivering actions rather than measuring metrics such as carbon emissions. Green Small Business see this as key to keeping small businesses engaged through avoiding over-burdening them with excessive monitoring requirements.
Green Small Business certification will deliver a range of benefits, particularly in terms of the marketing of the company and delivering cost savings. Vix Lawson, founder of Bough to Beauty Bespoke, is particularly excited about the benefits of Green Small Business certification in terms of lending even greater credibility to their environmental credentials:
“We are very excited to be independently certified as a Green Small Business! The process was brilliant. We went through each point in a logical way, spending as much time as we needed to in order to grasp how my business operates now and how some aspects could be improved in future. It will give us even more credibility as an ethical business, so that we can back up that we operate in a way that has as few negative impacts on people and planet as possible.”
By Tim Maiden, founder of Green Small Business
Thanks so much to Tim for carrying out such a thorough audit and for sharing information about the Green Small Business Certification process on our blog.
We are very excited to be independently certified as a Green Small Business! Tim was a pleasure to work with and in a short space of time we were able to develop an Environmental Action Plan that will be monitored in-house and will be independently audited on an annual basis in order for us to remain certified.
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Bough to Beauty Bespoke
Being a green business will help the environment and could improve your company’s chances of success. Sustainable business is about meeting three key requirements; being environmentally friendly, considerate towards society (especially those affected by your business), and profitable so the business can survive, thrive and act responsibly whilst making a positive impact.
It isn’t about writing a policy and filing it away to gather dust, it’s about taking action. A sustainable business should have these values ingrained in their business strategy and daily decision making. Do you run a sustainable business?
At Bough to Beauty Bespoke, we want to help you by sharing innovative solutions that tackle environmental challenges facing businesses today. We’ve lined up some inspiring interviews with successful sustainable businesses that are making a positive impact.
We’ll be sharing these inspirational stories on our blog, along with simple steps to make your business more sustainable and more successful.