Backed by ERDF funding, Bristol24/7 and The Planet Mark have teamed up to host Better Business presents: Building a sustainable business, a sustainability event for start-ups based in the South West. The free workshops, events and training will help a business to build the ‘business case’ for sustainability. Incorporating elements of social, environmental and energy efficiency to create a green solution which works for them.
Last year, we decided at Bristol24/7 to launch Better Bristol – an initiative to make the city a better place for us all to live, work and enjoy. It’s the beginning of a more collaborative approach to create social and environmental impact.
As a community interest company and proud Bristolians, it’s hugely important to us that we find ways to reinvest revenue that we generate into supporting the local community, environment and furthering our mission. It’s this ethos which led us to begin our own journey in to carbon neutrality.
Bristol’s always been a city that tries to do things differently, its liberal outlook and its strong independence are some of the things that makes it such a compelling place for sustainable business to thrive. Whatever your opinion on the achievements during Bristol’s year of European Green Capital in 2015, it’s certainly true that Bristol has become a fertile ground for businesses with an eco-agenda.
We’re really lucky to have so many great people and businesses at the forefront of sustainability, the likes of Triodos Bank, Bristol Green Capital Partnership, and so many others working to make massive strides in this sphere. Along with a host of organisations nationwide, it was important that we decided at Bristol24/7 to join this growing number of businesses committing itself to cutting carbon.
With the city declaring a climate emergency in 2018, it’s action that is needed across Bristol. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 40 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050 won’t happen with businesses watching from the sidelines so it’s important that we do what we can to cut carbon ourselves at Bristol24/7 headquarters.
Business’ role in this international problem is an ever growing one – they have a huge part to play when it comes to changing behaviours around sustainability. But it’s not just something that businesses can tackle on their own, transparency is needed at national and local government and we need to start being more honest with ourselves at home too. The science is now suggesting we’ve got just 11 years left to make meaningful change so there really isn’t any time to just talk about this.
From a business point of view, it seemed a no brainer to begin our journey in cutting carbon. It’s clear that businesses tackling environmental issues are often also those with the best employee satisfaction, greater customer loyalty and are much better at retaining talent. I don’t think this is just coincidental; those who are slow off the mark at positively effecting their environmental impact are the ones being left behind.
So as businesses, there is a massive opportunity, to gain all the benefits of being socially and environmentally conscious outlined above while also genuinely effecting the planet positively. There’s a real business case.
So often when you read about the environment it’s doom and gloom, an attitude that it’s too late. I don’t think that needs to be the case in this situation, businesses can be fantastic tools to unify people and so often throughout history when people have unified around a subject or issue, we’ve found ingenious solutions. I think the same will be said when it comes to sustainability. If we approach this with a dual approach of top down and bottom up we will see greater change at faster pace and as we spend so much of our lives at work, if our habits change here then this is bound to have a knock-on effect on our habits at home too.
Josh Kendall is the Business Development Manager at Bristol24/7