Where once sustainability was a bit of a niche concept, these days it’s something that most businesses strive for. Indeed, in a 2019 Harvard Business Review study of 1,000 global leaders, it was reported that 99% of CEOs now believed that sustainable issues were important to the future of their business.
So what does it mean to be sustainable? The definitive answer is this: A sustainable business, or a green business, is an enterprise that has minimal negative impact, or potentially a positive effect, on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy—a business that strives to meet the triple bottom line.
And for anyone who hasn’t come across this term before, the triple bottom line theory believes that companies should commit to focusing on profit, people, and the planet.
Simple steps to make a big impact
If you’re serious about creating a sustainable business, here are 8 simple steps to help you do it:
1. Set goals
It’s no easy task to get sustainability running throughout your business. So give your people easy, realistic targets to work towards. And once those are ticked off, you can add more.
2. Inspire your people
You need to make sustainability part of your culture. That means leading from the top down and helping everyone see the benefits of this approach.
3. Lower your environmental impact
Going green is an important first step. If you can re-use and re-cycle, use renewables and become more energy-efficient, you’ll save money as well as the planet.
4. Choose your suppliers carefully
As well as looking at what you do, make sure you’re buying from people who share your commitment to sustainability – and ideally those who are local.
5. Build a strong culture
If you create an environment that lets your people thrive, they’ll help drive your business forward and stay longer, saving you time and money.
6. Be resilient
Plan for the bad times as well as the good. Diversify your offering, expand your client base, stay up to date with industry developments and make sure you have a clear cash-flow plan.
7. Keep moving forward
Sustainability will be a journey where you’re learning all the time. But you’ll be keen to do even more when you see the benefits it can bring to your business and its reputation.
8. Shout about what you’re doing
Don’t be afraid to let your clients know about your sustainability achievements. It will show you care about more than profits – and they may just follow in your footsteps.
What we’re doing
At Citywide, we’ve always tried to put people and the planet before profits. Being a catalyst for good is really important to us. And we’ve been able to do it in a number of ways.
- For our investors keen to do the right thing, we offer Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) portfolios.
- With our clients, we help them think long-term and build a financial plan that ensures their lifestyle is sustainable in the years ahead.
- And in our local community, we have joined forces with Surrey Hills Enterprise, a community interest company that supports the special Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s part of a drive to build sustainable growth in the Surrey Hills by developing a hub of innovative, high-quality local products and services, celebrating organisations that share our values.
So in the end, it all goes back to our philosophy: ‘Do something today that your future self will thank you for.’
If you want to find out more about sustainable investments or just building a sustainable future for yourself and your family, please feel free to give us a call on 01372 365950.