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steps to becoming a sustainable business in 2024
Tunley Environmental8 Feb 20245 min read

Steps to Becoming a Sustainable Business in 2024

Can your business become sustainable if you didn’t originally plan to be a ‘sustainable business’? In a nutshell, yes! As businesses, we have a responsibility to take action and play our part in creating a more sustainable future. By incorporating sustainability into our business practices, we not only contribute to the well-being of our planet but also gain a competitive edge in the market. In this article, we will explore the steps to becoming a sustainable business and transform your business into a sustainable entity in 2024.

Include Sustainability in your Businesses Mission

The first step towards becoming a sustainable business is to make sustainability a core part of your business mission. This involves integrating sustainable practices into every aspect of your operations. Start by defining a clear vision and set of values that prioritise environmental responsibility. Communicate this vision to your employees, customers, and stakeholders to ensure clear alignment with your sustainability goals.

Consider establishing a sustainability committee or task force within your organisation. This team can be responsible for developing and implementing sustainability initiatives, tracking progress, and ensuring accountability. By making sustainability a fundamental part of your business philosophy, you set the stage for long-term success in reducing your environmental impact.

Assess the Current Carbon Emissions Produced by your Business and/or Product

Understanding your current carbon emissions is crucial in developing an effective sustainability plan. Conduct a comprehensive assessment of your business operations to identify areas of high emissions. This assessment should encompass not only your direct emissions (scope 1 & 2) but also those indirectly associated with your supply chain (scope 3).

Related Insight: 'The Difference Between Scope 1, 2, and 3'

Calculate your carbon footprint by analysing factors such as energy consumption, transportation, waste management, and product lifecycle. This data will serve as your baseline against which you can measure your progress as you implement sustainability measures. Consider seeking the expertise of sustainability consultants, like Tunley's, who can provide guidance and support in conducting a thorough emissions assessment.


Our experts provide an in-depth data collection template and do all the hard work for you.


Transportation is One of the Biggest Carbon Emitters

Transportation plays a significant role in carbon emissions for many businesses. Evaluate your fleet of vehicles, including company cars and delivery trucks, to identify opportunities for improvement. Consider transitioning to electric or hybrid vehicles that produce fewer emissions. If a complete overhaul of your fleet is not feasible, explore options to gradually introduce more sustainable vehicles over time.

In addition to vehicles, assess the air travel undertaken by your employees. Encourage the use of video conferencing and virtual meetings as alternatives to unnecessary travel. When air travel is unavoidable, minimise the number of stops on the journey and explore carbon offset programs that allow you to compensate for the emissions generated.

Business leaders can examine the type of fuel used by your vehicles and explore alternatives such as biofuels or renewable energy sources. By addressing transportation-related emissions, you can make significant strides in reducing your overall carbon footprint.

Related Insight: 'How to Navigate Sustainable Travel'

Encourage employees to Work Remotely Where Possible

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the viability of remote work arrangements for many businesses. Embrace this shift and encourage your employees to work remotely whenever feasible. Remote work not only reduces commuting-related emissions but also offers flexibility and work-life balance for your workforce.

Implementing remote work policies requires effective communication and collaboration tools. Invest in technologies that facilitate virtual meetings, file sharing, and project management. Foster a culture of trust and accountability among your employees, ensuring they feel supported and empowered to work remotely. Many studies have shown that remote working also increases productivity within the workforce. By reducing the need for physical office spaces, you can significantly reduce your businesses energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Switch to Renewable Energy for your Buildings

The energy used to power our buildings is a significant contributor to carbon emissions. Transitioning to renewable energy sources is a critical step towards becoming a sustainable business. Explore options such as solar panels, wind turbines, or switching to a renewable energy provider (this can even work out cheaper than a provider using fossil fuels to provide energy).

Conduct an energy audit to identify areas of improvement in your buildings' energy efficiency. Implement energy-saving measures such as LED lighting, smart thermostats, and insulation upgrades. Encourage employees to adopt energy-efficient practices, such as turning off lights and equipment when not in use.

By utilising renewable energy and optimising energy consumption, you not only reduce your carbon footprint but also potentially save on operational costs in the long run.

Related insight: 'The Future of Energy Transition Policies'

Create a Plan to Reduce Carbon Emissions Produced by your Business and/or Products

Armed with the insights gained from your emissions assessment, it's time to develop a comprehensive plan to reduce your carbon emissions. Set ambitious but achievable targets that align with the latest scientific recommendations for limiting global warming. Break down your plan into specific actions and assign responsibilities to individuals or teams within your organisation.

Consider implementing measures such as improving energy efficiency, optimising your supply chain, reducing waste, and promoting sustainable packaging. Engage your employees in the process by fostering a culture of sustainability and providing training and resources to support their efforts. Think about conducting an Employee Sustainability Engagement Survey which yields valuable insights into sustainability perceptions, guiding strategic decisions aligned with workforce values.

Regularly monitor and assess your progress towards your emission reduction goals. Celebrate milestones and successes along the way to maintain motivation and engagement. Remember, sustainability is an ongoing journey, and continuous improvement is key.

The Bottom Line

Transforming your business into a sustainable entity requires a holistic approach and a commitment to long-term change. By including sustainability in your business mission, assessing your carbon emissions, addressing transportation-related emissions, encouraging remote work, switching to renewable energy, and creating a comprehensive plan, you can make the significant steps to becoming a sustainable business in 2024. Take the first step today and partner with Tunley's sustainability consultants to reduce the carbon emissions produced by your business or product. Your organisation can be on its way to reaching its net zero goals!


Tunley's sustainability consultants can work with you to reduce the carbon emissions produced from your business or product.