For many small and medium-sized businesses, sustainability isn’t always a key focus. Yet, as the UK aims to reach net zero by 2050, more and more of us are looking for sustainable alternatives.
The food and drink industry accounts for 35% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. Last year, the government banned businesses from handing out single-use plastic. This included plastic cutlery, plates, polystyrene containers, and straws. This change alone will drastically reduce the waste the food and drink industry create. But there are more ways your business can help us reach our net zero goal, and it can also help your business succeed.
Why is it important to be a sustainable business?
Being sustainable is key to the future of our planet. It is, and has always been, important that we take care of our planet. By becoming more sustainable, we can slow climate change, aid ecosystems and limit plastic waste in our oceans. The main aim of being more sustainable is obviously the health of our planet. Yet your business may see other benefits.
Research by Funding Circle found that 66% of UK customers would spend more if they knew they were buying from a sustainable business. Millennials (the largest generation in the UK) and Gen Z are more sustainability oriented. These two age groups account for 25% of retail spending in the UK. Marketing your sustainable efforts could give your business a competitive edge.
Most businesses find that using sustainable products saves money in the future. Although it may seem like a big splurge at first, your monthly bills will be cheaper. You might find yourself making one-off purchases instead of buying and replacing every month.
Improved public image
Your reputation can change for the better when you start to promote your sustainable practices. From stakeholders to customers, promoting sustainability can make your business look more trustworthy and caring.
Better working environment
Sustainable businesses are associated with happier and more productive workplaces. These businesses tend to provide a healthier work environment with good ventilation and natural lighting.
How to be a more sustainable business?
It’s important that your business understands what it means to be sustainable. When we think about sustainability, we often only think about how we bin specific items. But the journey to being a sustainable business starts way before this.
One of the main reasons why we don’t always opt for the more sustainable option is often because of the cost. SMEs with less disposable income can start with small changes. Many cafes around the UK offer discounted drinks for customers who bring their own cups. You can advertise this discount by writing on a chalk board or getting a sign printed at little cost. Even providing email receipts instead of a paper copy reduces waste and is a great start. Many businesses have already made the change to LED lightbulbs. These are more energy efficient and can save your business money. Although some steps may seem small at first, they all contribute to a more sustainable future and reduce annual overheads. Becoming more environmentally friendly can take time. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Once you have made your in-house practices sustainable, you should assess your supply chain. Research their practices and transportation methods. Are they sustainable? Can you think of other solutions that are less damaging to the environment? You can then look at how efficient your energy usage is and how you can lower your carbon footprint.
How can UTP help your business become more sustainable?
Taking the first step to becoming more sustainable can be expensive which can put people off. At UTP, we offer Cash Advance to our customers. This is a bit like a bank loan for your business, but we provide flexible repayment options. Customers have used our Cash Advance to refurbish, expand or simply improve their business.
Our Cash Advance could help your business with:
- Investing in better equipment
- Installing renewable energy sources
- Managing waste efficiently (recycling facilities)
- Sourcing products locally
- Introducing electric vehicles
You will qualify for our Cash Advance if you have been accepting card payments for over six months. Your business will also need to take an average of £3500 in transactions per month.
We offer business funding between £3500 – £150,000. With UTP’s Cash Advance, your business will repay us in proportion to your earnings. You will pay back a set percentage of your credit/debit card takings. So, if one day your business has a slow day and takes less money, you will repay us a smaller amount. There are no repayment deadlines and unexpected costs when using our Cash Advance.
If you are one of our current customers and thinking about sustainable changes, get in touch to see how our Cash Advance can help make it a reality.
Phone: 0330 99 99 900