A free sustainability campaign has been launched by Planet Positive - a sustainability certifier for businesses - to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make going green easier and more beneficial.
After working with hundreds of sustainability-certified companies during the past six years, Planet Positive wanted to put the knowledge gained during this time into action and do more to help the UK's largest cohort of businesses - SMEs - to become greener. According to the figures from Department for Business Innovation & Skills, SMEs account to 99.9 per cent of all companies in the country with 4.5 million enterprises.
Planet Positive thinks that there is a case to be made that the benefits of going green are often being overlooked in the SME sector as the advantages aren't realised. Experience has shown the certifier that speed, complexity and cost are the main reasons for companies to avoid the sustainability agenda and it is determined to prove otherwise. Planet Positive's CEO Steve Malkin said: "Our goal is to help SMEs experience the business benefits of sustainability, such as saving money, generating new business, engaging employees and, of course, being good for the planet."
SMEs can register free on the campaign's website and will then take a week-long crammer course in sustainability - sent daily activities and advice on areas ranging from energy efficiency, travel, food and health through to procurement and supply chain. The first cycle starts on 1 May, with new ones staring every week after that.
Planet Positive aims to have had 2,012 SMEs taking part in the programme by the end of the year. After completing their cycle, each company receives a certificate of accomplishment as well as further guidance on how to carry on with the process after the campaign.
Corporations such as Boots, M&S, Unilever and Deloitte, who are all at the forefront of sustainability, back the campaign. FX is also among the official supporters of the initiative.
But before you ask, what has all this got to do with design - consider this: the majority of businesses in the creative industries are also SMEs. The statistics from the latest research by the Design Council only confirms this, stating that 90 per cent of UK design businesses and in-house consultancies employ fewer than 10 designers. As sustainability is becoming increasingly important in design, then this campaign could be a great opportunity to make your business also greener and save money on the way. Register here.