The governments Carbon Plan wishes to see emissions cut by 80% by 2050 (from 1990). Many global businesses have made vows to reduce their emissions or even become carbon – negative. In the UK SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) account for 99.9% of the business population (5.6 million businesses) so it really is up to us all as business owners to play our part. There have been calls for Sustainability Reporting to become mandatory; it would provide stakeholders with a bigger picture of the reporting entity; rather than annual reports being limited to financial results they would reflect the effects the entity has on society.
At TyneRede Chris & Sarah are currently studying towards CertSF, ACCA’s Certificate in Sustainability for Finance. Here are just a few examples of some measures we have taken to improve our overall impact on the planet; we hope you can take some inspiration.
Embracing available digital tools; this was huge for us. Due to the nature of our business records (paper) we’re a huge part of what we did. All our clients are encouraged to use DEXT; they take a picture of their receipts on their DEXT App or better still get their receipts/ invoices emailed to DEXT rather than ever having a physical receipt. Bank feeds; rather than needing bank statements from clients all our clients are encouraged to use bank feeds direct into their accounting software. This is cyber safe & secure & imports the transactions. Onvio; another online tool we use is Onvio; this is a secure online portal where each client has their own login & it acts as a communication platform which we can send documents between each other for E-Signing. Zoom/ Teams for meetings; this is of course client preference but if clients are happy to meet via online platforms we do. All these platforms don’t only reduce paper; they reduce numerous journeys; by transport that the clients would originally have been making to our premises to drop records in. In 2020 we invested in dual monitors for all our team; we are now all working on 3 screens; our printer has gone into semi-retirement!
Transport; as already mentioned the digital tools now available reduce the need for clients to travel to our premises with physical records. In 2021 we opened a second branch in an area where we already had a client base established & a member of staff living. This has transformed her 45-minute commute by car to a 5-minute walk & reduced existing client’s journeys to us. We do have some clients who aren’t ready to embrace the digital tools mentioned above; for these clients we will co-ordinate a batch collection of records for several clients in the same area to save numerous journeys.
Plastic waste/ recycling; we were finding our waste bins were constantly full of plastic bottles so we ordered the team some good quality refillable water bottles; they tie in with our Better Health at Work Award; the bottles indicate how much you should drink each hour to get your recommended daily intake. Batteries: we do go through quite a few batteries between the 9 of us for our wireless keyboards & mouses. At Bellingham the battery recycling box sits in our porch & acts as a battery recycling hub for the local area.
Trees; we are in the process of looking for the ideal spot to plant our very own Family of TyneRede Tree’s; we need space for 9 at present and we vow to plant another each time we take on a new team member.