My Small Business Sustainability plan
I have recently taken the conscious decision to make my small business, Elizabeth Anne Norris Jewellery, more sustainable.
UK governments are legally committed to reducing carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2045 (Scotland) and 2050 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland). All businesses need to work towards net zero with the aim to reduce emissions and reach this target too. I want to start my small business sustainability plan as soon as possible. You can follow my progress here. My aim is to be as open and transparent as possible with you.
Why bother with a sustainability plan?
A definition of sustainability is
“meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland Report, 1987)
You’ve heard it many times before but we ARE in a climate emergency. The temperature of our planet is rising due to human activity. The consequences of our actions are increased periods of extreme weather like heat waves, droughts, storms and floods. Examples of the knock-on effect of these things are more wildfires, rising sea levels, water shortages, extinction of animals, rising food prices, worse living conditions for many and loss of human life due to many of the above conditions.
It is up to all of us to do our bit today to reduce the effects of climate change for future generations. The government is calling on small businesses to lead by example in the net zero journey in the hope that others can learn and follow what might seem unachievable at this point in time. That’s why I’m starting my small business sustainability plan now.
Measuring your carbon footprint
A quick and simple step you can take right now is by measuring your carbon footprint. I calculated my carbon footprint last week and I was shocked! My current carbon usage is 10.6 tonnes per year which means there is definitely room for improvement. My high score is partly due to my having chronic fatigue syndrome for the last 2.5 years and opting to travel to work by car to conserve my energy and preserve my health. As my health improves I hope to improve my carbon footprint by making greener journeys.
Take your first step towards your small business sustainability plan…
Where I am now on my Sustainability Journey
- Right now I am at the beginning of my sustainability journey. Apart from producing award winning handmade jewellery out of 100% recycled gold or silver and using recycled packaging, where possible I haven’t taken any major steps towards being more sustainable.
- At the moment I am a student of “Sustainability & Circular Economy”, a course run by Buckinghamshire new university, BEC and funded by the EU development fund and UK government.
- I’ve also joined the Sustainable Wedding Alliance who help wedding businesses become more sustainable with the ultimate goal of becoming accredited.
What are my next steps?
Looking forward, my next steps in my small business sustainability plan are to:
- Learn as much as I can about sustainability in business via the course I am taking and through support and resources provided by the Sustainable Wedding Alliance
- Put together my Sustainability Strategy and make that publicly available on my website
- Put my plan into action !
If you are a small business and would like to ask me anything about my sustainability journey or how to start yours please comment below.