What does it mean to you and your business when you hear about net zero and sustainability?
Are you already striving to become a sustainable business? Or do you need to dig deeper into what net zero means and why small businesses are trying to understand and do more?
In its simplest terms, net zero is the balance between the carbon emissions we release into our atmosphere and the carbon we cut or remove. To achieve that net-zero goal, we must reduce and remove emissions from our homes, vehicles, and businesses.
The Committee on Climate Change recommends a new emissions target for the UK: net zero greenhouse gases by 2050. Compiled from the latest scientific evidence on climate change, the report sets out the recommendations necessary to reach that 2050 deadline.
‘It is right that the UK takes a lead on this issue. We have played a major part in the battle against global climate change to date.The UK is one of the largest historical contributors to climate change. And there is the prospect of real benefits to UK citizens: cleaner air, healthier diets, improved health, and new economic opportunities from clean growth.’ The Rt Hon.the Lord Deben.
How can you reduce your business’s carbon footprint?
What steps can you take today to start making a difference?
- Have you already reduced your commute by continuing to work from home? If you do need to drive to the office, an event, or networking can you car share and reduce the emissions from single occupancy commuting?
- Do you actively recycle or reuse packaging? Can you take advantage of second-hand furniture or office supplies?
- Do your suppliers or freelancers share your values when it comes to sustainability? It’s no good offering sustainable products if your suppliers aren’t doing their bit too.
- The energy crisis is at the forefront of our minds at the moment, but switching to renewable energy (solar panels for example) is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Get in touch with those suppliers who offer green energy tariffs such as British Gas, Scottish Power, and Utility Warehouse.
These simple changes have a huge impact on reducing business emissions.
What are your clients and customers looking for?
In a report put together by Deloitte, they looked at how consumers are embracing sustainability. They found that with the disruptions to supply chains and the recent inflations, consumers were spending less and adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. To do this, they were choosing products based on durability and the ability to reuse or repair.
In the last 12 months alone, 64% of consumers have limited their consumption of single-use plastic. This was evident in the days of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II when mourners removed all packaging from flowers left at various sites.
How does sustainability impact small businesses?
If your business uses recycled packaging then you are going to appeal to 60% of consumers, and if your products are made from natural materials and/or are biodegradable then this is high on 65% of consumers purchasing wish lists.
Your customers are looking for durability. Can you offer that? Are your products socially responsible, locally produced, ethically sourced, or support biodiversity?
Woman Who Academy member, Sharon Luca-Chatha from LK Eco Style offers a range of sustainable clothing that are eco, vegan friendly, and fair-trade. Woman Who is proud to work in partnership with LK Eco Style to offer branded T-Shirts, Sweatshirts and Hoodies specifically designed for Woman Who.
If your customers are actively searching for more sustainable products then it’s time to offer them a solution.
What about those of us who don’t sell a physical product? How can virtual service providers offer sustainability and help lower carbon emissions?
Have you reviewed your digital footprint recently?
You already know the benefits of going paperless, and if you’re working from home your transport emissions will be low. However, your electrical devices and multiple Zoom calls all create a digital carbon footprint that can be reduced.
According to Green Action ELT, digital technology uses over 7% of global electricity and contributes more than 2% of global emissions.
What changes can you make in your business?
- Reduce the brightness of your monitor screen.
- Set your computer to sleep after a few minutes.
- Turn all electrical items off when you’re not using them rather than leaving them on standby.
- Set your homepage to Ecosia who reinvests 80% of its profits to plant trees.
- Keep your Zoom calls short or use audio only if someone is presenting.
- Clear your inbox, unsubscribe, and delete old emails – everything you store online uses energy!
- Compress PDFs.
- Send fewer email campaigns but make sure the ones you send are focused and targeted.
- Use your phone rather than your computer (it uses 15 times less energy)
Can you think of any other ways to reduce your digital footprint? Share it in our Woman Who Community Facebook group.
Here at Woman Who we strive to do our part for sustainability and would love to hear your stories too. Why not join us at our October networking event (link below).
The Woman Who Achieves Academy and larger network community is built on the foundations of networking, learning, inspiring, and celebrating women in business. Sustainability and net zero is one of the many themes we cover to help our members build stronger businesses.
“Since becoming a member of the Woman Who Achieves Academy, I’ve built some fabulous relationships and gained valuable business knowledge and skills through attending the weekly and monthly networking events. I’ve got the opportunity to share my story in the next Woman Who book and became a Finalist in the Solopreneur awards.
None of this would’ve happened had I not made a decision to invest in my personal development.
I can highly recommend the membership which is a one off lifetime investment which allows you to grow, develop and achieve business success with like-minded women and learn from Sandra’s personal experience which is incredible.” – Claire Cahill, Confidence & Leadership Coach, Accendo Coaching
October Woman Who Inspires Event
Each month Woman Who hosts the Woman Who Inspires Network, and tickets to our October event are now live.
With Woman Who events, there will be networking, inspirational speakers, and learning with this month’s theme, Sustainability and Net Zero.
In business, we need to network to increase our contacts and our pipeline of work for the future. Whether you network online or in person, you’ll be able to share your networking tips and learn new ones.
Book your ticket HERE