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7-point plan to becoming a more sustainable small business
As micro businesses make up one-fifth of the UK economy and 95% of all businesses, we have a shared responsibility to contribute to environmental preservation. At Sharp Thinking, we have diligently assessed the impact of microbusinesses and implemented measures to lessen our ecological footprint. This sustainability plan was initiated in Winter 2022 and will be reviewed annually.
1. Carbon reduction pledge
Sharp Thinking has taken proactive measures to calculate its carbon footprint. As of June 2022, our annual emissions equate to 1.12 metric tonnes, significantly lower than the UK average of 4.4 tonnes for small companies. To provide context, the average UK adult has a carbon footprint of 12 tonnes. However, we recognize the need for further action as business owners.
To demonstrate our commitment, Sharp Thinking has partnered with the SME Climate Hub and pledged to halve our emissions before 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The SME Climate Hub is a global initiative empowering small to medium-sized companies to take climate action and build resilient businesses. Through this partnership, we’re dedicated to reducing our environmental impact through genuine action. By making this commitment, we’ve joined the United Nations Race to Zero campaign.
2. Renewable energy commitment
Sharp Thinking actively monitors daily energy consumption through a smart meter. As part of our commitment, we will explore installing solar panels and enhancing our office infrastructure to leverage renewable energy sources.
3. Limiting transport
Despite operating primarily from home and conducting meetings via Zoom, we acknowledge the importance of face-to-face interactions with clients and suppliers. In line with our commitment to sustainability, we strive to prioritize walking and cycling for meetings whenever feasible, as we work closely with numerous local businesses in Tunbridge Wells.
4. Procurement of supplies
We adopt an eco-friendly approach towards purchasing supplies and consumables whenever possible. Our efforts include utilizing eco-friendly business cards and extending this practice to print procurement when collaborating with clients who actively seek sustainable options. In the coming year, we aim to explore transitioning to a more sustainable hosting supplier and a greener banking alternative.
5. Reducing waste
At Sharp Thinking, we minimize printing unless absolutely necessary, typically for proofreading creative work. Any paper used is subsequently repurposed for note-taking and then recycled. Most recently we’ve engaged Computers4Charity, a recycling initiative that will refurb your old IT equipment and repurpose it for schools across Kent.
6. Ongoing education and advocacy
Sharp Thinking has actively pursued knowledge in sustainability through attending seminars, studying reports, and endorsing The Better Business Act. Last year, we completed a sustainability course conducted by Small Business Britain in collaboration with the Oxford Brookes Business School, an experience that was enlightening and motivational.
We actively promote the importance of sustainability, encouraging other businesses to establish their own sustainability policies and take steps towards responsible practices. We extend our efforts by imparting knowledge to our network, trade show participants, clients, and suppliers. Additionally, we contribute articles and blogs on the significance of sustainable practices.
7. Ethical supply chain procurement
Supporting the local ecosystem holds immense significance for us. Through our procurement as well as that of our clients', we prioritize working with independent businesses. Since our inception, we have successfully awarded client contracts surpassing a value of £100,000.
However, we acknowledge that more can be done to reduce Sharp Thinking's carbon footprint. We are fully committed to collaborating with our supply chain to evaluate and integrate environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions.
By implementing these policies and practices, Sharp Thinking demonstrates its unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability. We recognize the importance of continuously improving our efforts and will remain dedicated to creating a positive impact on the planet.
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