Sustainability for us as a firm is a holistic approach from protecting our ecosystem for future generations, providing employment assurance and reliable customer service.
Over the years we have been taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint and our impact on the environment, from recycling our waste and using glass milk bottles, to fitting motion sensor indoor lights and ensuring equipment is turned off at the end of the day.
Previous steps: Recycling and shredding
We have used Printwaste for many years to shred our confidential paper and in the last five years for recycling. We receive a Zero to Landfill Certificate annually and have seen our waste reduce over this time. We envisage this reduction to continue as we’ve moved to accounting software for paperless files and hybrid working.
Next steps: ISO certification
With the increased focus on sustainability following COP26, we want to continue to make positive steps and have signed up to do an ISO certification, ISO 14001 Environmental Management System, supported by ISO Quality Services Ltd. We want to help further reduce our environmental impact and to show we are doing our bit.
Being a responsible firm is becoming more important to attract and retain staff as well as clients, and also impacts the supply chain, an example of this is the fact that some insurers are taking green credentials into account.
A client’s sustainability journey: B Corp certification
We are proud to work with clients who are also on their sustainability journey but one in particular stands out to me more than most. The Beeswax Wrap Co, founded by Fran Beer in 2017, became a client in 2020 after a valuation and an MBO and we now look after her accounts and tax too. The business started with a sustainable product; homemade beeswax wraps to replace the need for cling film, so it was important for the business to be as sustainable as possible too. Recognition for her efforts are showcased by their multiple award wins which include the GloucestershireLive Corporate Social Responsibility Award in 2021.
Fran’s sustainability journey is different to ours although the beginning was similar, making positive changes based on her gut instinct to start with. The Beeswax Wrap Co became B Corp certified in 2019, which was the first official step and have since achieved B Corp’s Best for the World 2021 which means they are in the worldwide top 5% of B Corps! This first step clearly laid out the gaps and how to improve, which led to Fran looking at their carbon footprint with Planet Mark and looking at her packaging with the World Land Trust. And so one stage led to the next as I am sure it will do for us too.
Fran’s sustainability journey led to many positive outcomes along the way, and has been a positive move for the business overall and not just for the environment. I am looking forward to our ISO 14001 audit report to improve further on our sustainability journey.
Sustainability is something the whole organisation can get involved with and feel a part of. We have individuals within our team who have been recycling ‘non-recyclable’ waste, such as crisp packets, using a local group who collect and send packages to Terracycle to raise money for charity.
There are so many things we can all be doing but as Fran has said herself, when starting out it is easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where best to begin. From my experience it helps to talk to other businesses about what they are doing to find out what is right for you and best suits your product or service.
Remember to talk about your accomplishments and your green credentials as they can help you to stand out from the crowd and help to make connections with like-minded businesses.
Contact Tim Watkins for more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01242 776000.
Shaun Pegler talks to Fran Beer, founder of The Beeswax Wrap Co, about her sustainability journey in the video below: