What are your big impacts?Oct 08, 2021
Every business is doing some good. Something positive for people, planet or prosperity. They will also be having some negative impacts. The key to sustainable success is maximising the positive, while reducing and mitigating the negative.
It all starts with knowing what your impacts are. We are always learning from our clients and its always refreshing when they realise how much good they are already doing. Out workshops typically reveal 40 -60 positive impacts businesses already have – despite the MD typically saying “we don’t really do anything at the minute” prior to the workshop.
Just picking up a few examples in relation to our sustainable business model:
a customer we worked with was already on a mission to eliminate air from their containers. This impacted manufacturing batch sizes, packaging material footprint, and shelf space footprint. Originally shipping cost driven, running the numbers on the carbon impact this revealed itself to be a 31% carbon footprint saving already made in the last 12 months.
Health & Wellbeing
In lockdown a services business procured furniture screens etc and did a milk round of all staff working from home to complete a workplace assessment and address any comfort issues on the spot.
Equality & Diversity
A contracting business did a heat map of their suppliers by trade and historic site locations. In areas where they lacked specific trades they ran a campaign to support minority owned businesses to join their supply chain and get their first job. In 12 months they increased the % of local suppliers (same borough) by job by 22%. And they are winning more work through better pricing and social value scores in bids.
Ethics & Governance
One client has committed to give 20% of profits to charity. For ever. And they do aspire to be very profitable. No green washing in their governance either as they are publicly committed to being carbon neutral.
A key driver of sustainability initiatives in companies. A customer of ours analysed their packaging impact. They were able to reduce the packaging dimensions, saving costs on the packaging of 7%, but also increasing their shipping capacity by 18%, a direct cost saving per unit shipped.
Innovation & collaboration
Several customers have been able to use their new found knowledge, impacts and opportunities to take collaboration opportunities with their clients within 24 hours of our workshop! Good timing by them, and highlights that customer led collaboration on sustainability can be an easy win for many.
Value to customers
Integrating packaging with the product, adding “when you’ve finished with me” instructions on products and finding circular disposal routes were all actions committed to by one of our clients in their Sustainable X Basecamp action plan. Their distributers absolutely love these initiatives and they are getting more face time with them than ever.
Linking staff development, charitable contributions and team building to community support initiatives really resonated with an employer of 180 local people. They have always contributed but in an unstructured way, so going forward they are maximising their positive impact for the same effort, and getting lots of spin off benefits as a result.
With 169 potential sustainability goals and over 1500 potential performance indicators, one size certainly doesn’t fit all! Whatever assessment methodology you use, there is value in measuring your biggest impacts, and setting targets to increase your positive impacts. Done well, this brings a profit benefit too.