Are you one of 33% of people who plan to switch to more eco-focussed businesses? Consumers are now demanding change with over 49% recently surveyed stating they want to know more about the impact their purchases have on the planet. If that isn’t a good enough reason to embrace sustainability in your small business, making good business and environmental sense surely is?
With climate change, changing regulations and rising resource costs, adopting a more eco-friendly approach is the logical way forward. It’s not just government policy but expectations are also changing in businesses as companies embrace more corporate social responsibility. This is because over 80% of emissions now come from the business supply chain. Green credentials are now not just an add-on for businesses of all sizes, they are a must have.
- oing green can help reduce costs and can improve your bottom line and even profit margins. It does this by reducing waste, finding smarter ways of doing things and can open up opportunities for additional and higher value products and services as well as increase access to new customers. Research shows that adopting sustainable practises helps not only to reduce greenhouse gases but also helps attract and retain employees along with an overall increase in reputation and resilience for the future.
The thing is, sustainability is often quite a theoretical concept and many small businesses just don’t know where to start. The fragility of the supply chain has become more evident due to Brexit and the pandemic which is why it is more important than ever to embrace change to prepare for a low carbon and more resource efficient future. The good news is, there is help in the form of a new free programme called ‘Green for Micro’ launched by Local Enterprise Offices.
If you fall into the micro enterprise category of between 0-10 employees, you’re eligible for a free audit of your current ‘green’ status. Thanks to the roll-out of the programme by Dublin City Local Enterprise Office, small firms are encouraged to apply for the 2 day free review provided by a specialist eco-consultant. It is particularly suited to micro businesses in construction and the built environment, retail, manufacturing, textiles and fashion, food, electronics, plastics, and packaging
What’s the programme all about?
A mentor will be assigned to you, who will review your practises and will make recommendations and outline practical steps your business can take as well as give technical support.
Areas the consultant will look at include resource efficiency from simple things like changing light bulbs to LEDs. They’ll help you understand your carbon footprint and will help you implement an environmental management system. You’ll be given a list of opportunities with the costs and long term paybacks.
Entrepreneurs need the buy-in of their staff to make the plan work, so you’ll be shown how to set-up a Green Champion to monitor your use of water, energy and materials and to help reduce consumption and reach your targets.
‘’This is a win-win for businesses, the consumer and the planet. If you’re a small business who could do with a nudge to help you along the road to sustainability or if you know someone who might be struggling with their micro business from a coffee shop to a carpenter in the current climate, going eco is the last thing on their mind, ‘Green for Micro’ could be the answer,’’ says Greg Swift, Head of The Dublin City Local Enterprise Office.
To find out more go to https://www.localenterprise.ie/Green
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