SMEs are increasingly aware of making sustainability a key part of their business and the importance of doing so. Yet, many are hesitating because of the lack of knowledge and resources to take action. Chances are, it’s not their fault because oftentimes, there is a perception that pursuing sustainability is an additional cost rather than an advantage that SMEs can build due to the expected cost and resources needed to implement sustainability initiatives.
However, SMEs can take steps to get started on becoming a more sustainable business without incurring too much cost.
Step 1: Find out how much is the current emissions
SMEs can start by addressing scope 1 and 2 emissions of the company. Scope 1 emissions refer to the direct emissions resulting from the company’s operation. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions resulting from the generation of purchased energy.
This would require a third-party assessment of the operational emissions and from electricity used, using the guidelines from either GRI or ISO standards.
If this is impossible to achieve due to resource constraints, the SME can start with assessing the emissions resulting from events or specific operations. For example, measuring the emissions resulting from a networking event that the company hosts.
Step 2: Assign a Lead
Sustainability is a long journey. The SME can start off this journey by assigning a lead who would be accountable to ensure follow-up and purpose to continue this journey to reach carbon neutrality.
Step 3: Transition to Green Energy
Shifting from fossil fuel generated power to renewable energy sources is the quickest way to reduce emissions. Using renewable energy like solar photovoltaic will stop emissions from the generation of energy from natural gas. Emissions stemming from the use of purchased electricity is classified as Scope 2 emissions. So, switching to using renewable energy resources can be the first thing that SME can do in becoming a sustainable company.
Step 4: Continue to practise energy savings
Energy efficiency is a way to help companies reduce energy consumption and costs. Increasing energy efficiency will also lead to a reduction in overall emissions.
SMEs can continue to improve energy efficiency through different ways like replacing older chillers with a more technologically advanced version, or using LED lights as much as possible for all lightings as it uses less electricity than conventional lightings.
In summary, SMEs can start small when getting on its path of transition. If you know an SME that does not know which is the best action they can take, feel free to contact us. At Valores Global, we specialise in providing solutions to SMEs that are looking to kick start their journey to becoming green.