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    Jan 2023
    Written by Louise Nichols

    A Beginner’s Guide to Sustainability for SMEs

    Nature Positive has developed a beginnerโ€™s guide to sustainability for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This guide helps those businesses that want to know more about the benefits of incorporating sustainability into what they do but donโ€™t know where to start. Sustainability can mean different things to different people and in different contexts.ย 

    But is sustainability something that only big businesses need to worry about?ย 

    Sustainability is for everyone, not just multinational conglomerates. Here in the UK, SMEs account for three-fifths of UK employment and around half of the turnover in the UK private sector. National Statistics estimated that the total turnover from SMEs in 2021 was ยฃ2.3 trillion. Given that the UK has recently (October 2022) redefined an SME as a business with fewer than 500 employees (previously 250), the importance of this group of businesses to the economy will become only more significant. If this crucial part of the UKโ€™s economy decided to use its power to incorporate sustainability into its business as usual, it could have dramatic and long-lasting positive effects on both society and the businesses themselves.ย 

    What does the guide cover? And how should I use it?ย 

    The guide provides you with an understanding of what is meant by sustainability, examples of SMEs that have approached sustainability in new and exciting ways and the benefits created for their business. The guide then covers how to approach creating a sustainability plan and establishing a baseline.ย 

    We appreciate that every business is different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. In the sections about environmental and social sustainability, we pose a series of questions for you to consider and some ideas on how to address them. Not every question will be relevant to you and your business, and we expect that you will find that you are already doing some of it without counting it as sustainability. In addition, the guide signposts to further resources and information about sustainability-related funds and investments if you are looking for investment to help you make improvements to your business.ย 

    Dr Rossa Donovan, Technical Director at Nature Positive, said: โ€œSustainability isnโ€™t just a โ€˜nice to haveโ€™; it makes good business sense too. More and more, businesses are beginning to award contracts based on the sustainability credentials of their suppliers. Our guide is designed to help SMEs think about the sustainability issues most relevant to them and to set targets, plans and policies to become more sustainable.โ€ย 

    To get your copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Sustainability for SMEs, follow the link below:

    Nature Positive Beginners Guide to Sustainability

    A Beginner's Guide to Sustainability for SMEs

    How can Nature Positive help?ย 

    Do you want support on your sustainability strategies or managing sustainable transformation in your business? Nature Positive offers a range of services that can be tailored to suit your business. Contact us to find out more.ย 

    *Banner image by Aaron Burden on Unsplash