It was once the case that businesses associated sustainability and environmentally friendly practices with expense, but now, companies that are taking corporate responsibility seriously are finding that green businesses are also profitable businesses.
With the financial benefits of energy efficiency becoming clear for all to see, a growing list of companies are embracing sustainability and stepping forward to lead the charge in the place of inactivity by governments around the world.
Some of the businesses that are leading the way
Toyota, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Unilever and Marks & Spencer are just a few of the organisations that have made a long-term commitment to tackling environmental waste. Tesco has announced that it will cut emissions by half from its stores and distribution centres by 2020 and become a zero-carbon enterprise by 2050. Sainsbury’s has gone a step further by launching its ‘20×20 Sustainability Plan’, which includes 20 sustainability targets it aims to complete by the end of this decade.
It’ll probably come as no surprise that these corporate responsibility commitments have not been made purely for environmental reasons. Instead, they are the result of the dawning realisation that the environmental and economic footprints of businesses are closely aligned. In fact, the benefits of corporate responsibility are economically compelling. Businesses have found that preventing physical waste leads to improvements in energy efficiency and resource productivity, with significant ‘quick-win’ opportunities available due to years of neglect.
The benefits of corporate responsibility
There are a number of benefits businesses can realise by taking their environmental responsibilities seriously.
• Saving money – Minimising your energy and water consumption and reducing your waste will inevitably lead to cost reductions, freeing up more money to spend on the things that matter.
• Increasing customer loyalty – Numerous studies (such as this one) have found that consumers perceive ‘green’ businesses as more trustworthy than their non-green rivals. As well as building trust, taking steps to reduce your environmental impact can also promote a sense of community between your business and consumers.
• Attracting and retaining employees – Embracing green strategies as part of your corporate responsibility commitments has also been proven to increase the positive feeling employees have towards their employers. That boosts employee morale and allows businesses to attract new employees who want to feel like they’re making a positive difference.
• Future-proofing your business – Making your business less dependent on resources that will become depleted and subsequently more expensive in the future can help to ensure your longevity.
• Creating a healthier workplace – It can often be overlooked, but creating a clean, healthy and pollutant-free workplace reduces the risk of causing passive harm to employees and helps to make your business a more pleasant place to work.
How can you show your business is environmentally minded?
There are a number of different steps every modern business, but specifically those involved in transport and delivery, can take to boost their eco-credentials and take corporate responsibility more seriously:
1. Reduce your vehicle emissions
The most obvious step transport and delivery firms can take to improve their environmental credentials is to reduce their emissions. Electric vehicles are becoming an increasingly viable option for fleet managers and they represent an effective way to reduce emissions and fuel costs. If the current infrastructure for electric vehicles means that’s a step too far, the Freight Best Practice programme has developed a number of tools businesses can use to improve operational efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.
2. Try to source everything locally
Another initiative you can make part of your corporate responsibility strategy is to source the goods and services you use from local businesses wherever possible. The further an item travels, the greater its impact on the environment, so always think about the journeys your suppliers make. Similarly, check out the environmental credentials of prospective suppliers by asking to see their environmental reports and policies.
3. Use your vehicles more efficiently
You can reduce your fuel usage by training drivers to plan their journeys more effectively. Tracking driver routes can help to reduce ‘off-route’ mileage and minimise the distances empty vehicles travel. You can also encourage employees to drive more efficiently. Vehicle telematics systems can be used to monitor the performance of vehicles and drivers. Harsh braking, gear changing patterns and fuel economy can all be monitored and the data can be used to identify driver training requirements.
4. Monitor the condition of your vehicles
Keeping your vehicles running as smoothly as possible is another effective way to reduce the impact they have on the environment. Onboard diagnostic systems can be used to detect wear and tear and defects before problems occur that could affect performance and increase emissions.
5. Reduce water usage and waste
The environmental damage caused when washing vehicles is often overlooked by transport and delivery companies. The water waste and the harmful runoff, which contains oil, grease and dirt from the road as well as chemicals from cleaning products, can be extremely damaging, particularly when cleaning an entire fleet on a regular basis. Finding more eco-friendly ways to wash your vehicles that reduce water usage and produce no harmful runoff is a simple but very effective way to show customers, clients and employees that your business takes your corporate responsibility seriously.
Try our waterless fleet cleaning service today
Looking for a simple way to boost your corporate responsibility? Then try our waterless fleet washing service today. Our mobile fleet washes will keep your fleet squeaky clean while saving up to 300 litres of water per wash and producing zero runoff. Get in touch for a bespoke quote for fleets of three vehicles or more.