Small firms are making a mighty difference when it comes to combating climate change

WHEN it comes to combating climate change, small ­firms are making a mighty difference.

The giant corporations are grabbing the headlines at the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow which starts on Sunday.


But our six million small firms, which make up 99 per cent of UK businesses, are also playing a vital part.

The Government has set a target of creating two million green jobs by 2030 and hundreds of thousands of these will be provided by start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

New research from campaign group Small Business Britain reveals 99 per cent of UK SMEs are now convinced sustainability is vital to their business.

Two-thirds are keen to commit to the Government’s target of going “net zero” by 2050, with 47 per cent already taking fresh action to become greener.

Emma Godivala is the director of eco independent distiller York Gin. The business follows a range of environmentally friendly measures, including using only green energy and employing a sustainability consultant to slash its carbon footprint.

The company’s two vehicles are electric and it uses locally grown grain in its production process.

Emma, 51, said: “Our founding principle is to treat the planet, our people, business partners and customers with the utmost care and respect.

“Small firms can lead the way on sustainable issues. We can be fleet of foot and change how we do things very quickly, without having to go through lots of bureaucracy. We also tend to work more locally and have to look our customers in the eye.”

Michelle Ovens, founder of Small Business Britain, which champions SMEs, said: “Entrepreneurs are natural change-makers and there is tremendous passion and commitment to protecting the environment.

“Naturally fast-moving, and great problems-solvers, small firms are also often early adopters and innovators of sustainable practices. Their agility means they can make changes quickly.

“They are very tuned in to the needs of their customers and communities, who are increasingly conscious about reducing environmental impact.”

  • You can find out about career opportunities with York Gin at yorkgin.com/jobs.


Green jobs on the up

THE number of environmental jobs listed is up 91 per cent this year, as more of us turn to green careers.

While eco-designers have the best salary, averaging £57,511, sustainability consultancy is the leading choice among young jobseekers.

If you are searching for your first role, sustainable retailer Bower Collective has devised a new career-finder tool that can analyse your fit across 11 eco-career sectors.

Get started at bit.ly/3mh0jYG.

Feel the energy

SWITCH on to a career with Shell Energy, the UK consumer gas, electricity and broadband arm of Royal Dutch Shell.

It needs 150 new starters in customer service and technology roles.

Boss Ed Kamm said: “We remain committed to helping households get to net-zero emissions as part of the Government’s target.

“That’s why we’re keen to add more talent to our already excellent team to help us deliver for our customers.”

You can apply now at jobs.shellenergy.co.uk.

Jobspot

ECO building firm ILKE HOMES has 500 vacancies in manufacturing, production and business support functions. Apply via michaelpage.co.uk/clientprofile/ilke-homes.

TECH firm GLOBANT has 600 vacancies as it develops a new sustainability hub. Find your role at globant.com/careers.

Passion for compassion

COULD B-Corp status be the way to boost your business? The certification is for firms with strong social and eco credentials.

Paul Hargreaves, B-Corp Ambassador and author of The Fourth Bottom Line: Flourishing In The New Era Of Compassionate Leadership, explains some of the qualities required to be a B-Corp business. 

CREATE A CLEAR PURPOSE: Ensure that all staff embrace the company ethos at all times.

PERSONAL PURPOSE: Encouraging staff to have a fulfilled life is important. The ultimate is to love what you are doing, be good at what you do, be paid for it and do something the world needs.

GET PRIORITIES RIGHT: Every company needs to be sure of its financial sustainability. But in a B-Corp, people and planet need to be put first and then the profits will follow on from there.

FOCUS ON THE SUSTAINABLE: The definition of success for CEOs has always in the past been based around profitability, with no measure being given to the damage which could be done environmentally. We urgently need to change this way of thinking, in order to avert the climate crisis that is coming if we do not.

COMPASSIONATE LEADERSHIP: When genuinely compassionate leaders put the planet and people before their own needs for material wealth and status, we will then have more successful businesses and happier workplaces.

Join The Sun’s Green Team

THE Sun today encourages its army of readers to make at least one lifestyle change to slow the advance of climate change.

Everyone can get involved.

We’ve teamed up with the global campaign Count Us In to calculate how much carbon you will be saving by ditching old habits.

Remember even small changes help.

Find a step that’s right for you and your family. Keep it up for at least two months and see how you do. It might become a habit.

When you’re ready, try another step. All these will add to change. We’ll get there together.

Visit thesun.co.uk/pledge and pledge to one or more lifestyle changes.

It could save you money and all of your actions will go toward a global goal of getting a billion people to make changes.

1.     Eat more plants – Going meat-free for a day brings the same carbon saving as not driving for a month.

2.     Cut food waste – The average UK family throws away £700 of food a year.

3.     Turn down heating – With energy prices rocketing this will save you money.

4.     Insulate your home – Stop heating the sky with heat escaping through your roof.

5.  Repair and re-use – We ditch the equivalent of 250 t-shirts a year.

6.  Walk or cycle one extra journey a day – petrol cars emit twice as much pollution in their first five minutes of use, so even short journeys add to climate change.

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