This article appeared in the Oxygen 250 report into the UK’s top IT solutions providers.
Starting out on an environmental, social and governance (ESG) or sustainable business journey takes planning and consideration of the wide range of aspects that come together to be measured, monitored, and improved. Consider our seven steps as a starting point for your journey:
Understand the Why
This is your organisation’s mission and vision for your sustainable business journey.
It’s easy to jump to the what you are going to do and the how you are going to do it but understanding the why will create a good foundation to build from.
Depending on the size of your organisation and types of customers there may be requirements to measure and report specific aspects of ESG. Make sure you are aware of what you need now and look forward at new regulations and customer verticals where specific requirements can be identified.
A materiality assessment is a survey to gain insight into which aspects of ESG are important to your stakeholders and to your business.
Evaluating what’s important will assist you in aligning your organisations sustainable business direction to positively impact your business growth.
Align to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Think big where sustainable business is concerned. Aligning to the global SDGs enables you to take the materiality results and identify key SDGs and targets that will benefit your business and positively impact the global goals.
Create your baseline
You know what’s important to your business and stakeholders, you have selected the relevant SDGs and the must haves for recording and reporting to meet regulations and customer frameworks are known.
Create your baseline, recording where you are for each of the aspects you must or want to report. This can include measuring diversity, carbon footprints, updating policies and setting up reporting tools.
Develop strategies and communicate
Engage employees in your journey, they need to understand what your organisation wants to achieve and why, there may be cultural or policy changes to put in place.
Provide training to employees on sustainable practices and encourage their active participation.
Taking everyone along on the journey will assist in creating forward motion and don’t forget to implement a feedback and ideas mechanism.
Integrate sustainability into operations
Think before you do anything – ask yourself, can we do this in a more environmentally friendly way, how do we reduce the amount of waste created.
Put sustainability front and centre in the way you work and the products you design and sell.
Measure and Report
Transparency is key, regularly reviewing and reporting your progress is critical for building trust and demonstrating your organisations commitment to sustainability.
The landscape for sustainable business is continually evolving and continuous improvement is essential for long-term success. By following our steps, you can create a foundation for a sustainable business journey that benefits the environment, society, and your organisation’s bottom line.