The importance of ESG Environmental, Social and Governance for SMEs

ESG, Environmental, Social and Governance, principles are increasingly being integrated into an increasing number of business decisions, driven by a range of social, environmental and government values to drive positive change. To achieve sustainable growth that is based on ethical values there needs to be a focus on social and environmental factors. Implementing these processes are just as important to SMEs as they are to large corporations, especially as SMEs make up the foundation of the UK economy. Together with Zellar small businesses can make changes that are responsible and make good financial sense too.

What is ESG?

ESG stands for ‘Environmental, Social and Governance’ and is a set of principles and values that you aim to follow across all your operations with employees, customers, suppliers and the community. These can cover anything from operations within the company and their behaviours externally.

  • Environmental – refers to the company standards put in place to help manage the impact of business operations on the environment. These include following initiatives such as waste management, energy usage and pollution reduction.  
  • Social – this criteria covers business relationships both internally and externally.  Businesses need to consider the long-term wellbeing of suppliers, employees, stakeholders and their customers.
  • Governance – refers to the principles that have been set to manage the balance between stakeholders and corporations, from shareholder rights to company leadership.

What are the benefits of ESG for small businesses?

ESG can be extremely beneficial for small businesses in the UK, especially with the UK government set on being Net Zero 2050. Now is the perfect opportunity to start to prepare for future changes and regulations and get ahead of the competition before it becomes mandatory. The transition to sustainability will also bring financial savings, from cutting down energy bills to increasing operational efficiency. 

Through implementing sustainable practices, businesses can tap into a new and growing market of eco-conscious consumers. This market has grown rapidly as a result of the Covid19 pandemic, with the public becoming more aware of the need for a healthier and eco-friendlier lifestyle during lockdown. With climate change imposing so much risk to the planet and our way of life, there is a real appetite for change.

How can Zellar help create a framework for ESG?

Zellar provides industry-specific insights for different sectors and supports SMEs in their journey to become more sustainable. The Zellar platform allows businesses to work out their carbon footprint and benchmark against their micro sector to give them a clear understanding of how sustainable they currently are. Our sustainability roadmaps enable businesses to track their progress and behavioural changes all in one place and share each step of their journey through their own personal profile.

Zellar also connects businesses with biodiversity and volunteering projects, these help your business and employees engage with their local community and with each other. Delivering important benefits for your community and local environment. It also helps build teams and expands the reach of the business and relationships to that community for the benefits of the both your company, your community and environments.

With full accessibility to investments, local offsets, green suppliers and more, becoming a recognised and certified greener business is simple with Zellar.  

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