Helping firms save money

Sustainability is key factor in business success

tony-marchBusinesses in Scotland are taking significant steps to improve or reduce their impact on the environment, often saving money in the process.

This activity was rewarded and acknowledged at the recent Vision in Business for the Environment of Scotland (VIBES) Awards.

As a leading national water retailer, supplying over 130,000 businesses and public sector organisations across the UK, Anglian Water was delighted to be a sponsor, recognising other companies’ efforts to create a sustainable future for themselves and the communities they serve.

As any of our customers will tell you, we do more than just deliver water and recycle it. Our mission is to understand how each organisation uses water and find ways to help every customer reduce their consumption and save money – quickly and sustainably.

We’ve been helping Scottish businesses to save since the market opened in 2008.

We know that businesses are in a unique position to protect the environment for future generations – not only do they have control over their own operations but they can also influence the behaviour of their employees, customers and even suppliers.

Although each company has their own reasons and motives for being more sustainable, the economic benefits of implementing environmental and social initiatives can be significant, as can be the selling of sustainable good or services.

Research shows that between 2010 and 2013, revenues from sustainable products and services among Standard & Poors Global 100 companies – top multinational blue-chip companies – grew at six time the rate of overall company revenues.

When it comes to the way in which the businesses operate, better use and conservation of resources will see operations streamlined and costs reduced. Water and energy use is generally an important operational cost, and reducing this can directly benefit the bottom line.

Saving water will reduce not only your water bill, but also your energy use and carbon footprint as less energy will be used to pump, heat and treat the water.

Such measures are clearly related to sustainability due to the world’s continued reliance on finite fossil fuel resources and increased pressure on water supplies, as well as potential threats from environmental change and an expanding population.

Employees also want to work for companies who are ‘doing the right thing’ and are proactive with corporate environmental and social programmes.

Beyond the “feel good” aspect that is often cited as one of the softer (less business focused) benefits of sustainability, employee morale and culture are linked to productivity, recruitment and retention.

Sustainability is no longer a luxury; many different forces are compelling businesses and other organisations to revolutionise and recalibrate their operations in a more sustainable fashion, positively impacting on the bottom line.

Organisations failing to understand the impact of this on their organisational performance risk being left behind by their peers.

Tony March is Business Development Manager at Anglian Water Business

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