3 tips for becoming a sustainable small business

Sustainability and the fight against climate change is often regarded as one of the biggest problems facing society today. For small businesses, it’s sometimes hard to imagine yourself making a real difference when contending with a phenomena so gigantic in scale. How can your own actions really make any difference when factors such as multi-national treaties, billion dollar fossil fuel companies and a global carbon cycle are in play?

Where to begin?

  1. Developing your business to make a positive impact on the world’s carbon emissions starts by establishing what you can control, identifying within your own business ‘world’ where you can effect real change, and plan how to reduce your emissions. Quantifying and recording your monthly emissions in a standardised, clearly structured way will help you to make targeted cost-effective reductions of your carbon footprint, and help you spot that excessively large electricity bill early!
  2. The next stage of the process is to break the data down by resource type and attribute it to your daily business operations. For example, your electricity on site – typically, any company’s largest source of carbon emissions – will be used to power lighting, IT appliances, heating and cooling, and maybe an industry specific piece of machinery. A Certification will help you to develop a clear action plan associated with each of these areas of consumption and use it to achieve reductions throughout the year.
  3. A good action plan will include the following key sections: a description of the reduction activity, what it hopes to achieve, a start and finish date, and be assigned to a responsible member of staff. Raising awareness to the action plan and its objectives amongst the team can help to ensure that the whole company is engaged with the sustainability initiatives identified.


We have helped hundreds of small businesses to start their sustainability journey and enhance their business’ performance through our Certification programme. All it requires from you is a bit of organisation, a clear vision of what you want to achieve and the steps you need to take to get there. Running a sustainable business will help you to reduce your carbon footprint, but will also reduce your costs, and raise your profile in the eyes of your customers.


“Carbon Smart informatively led us through the processes needed to reduce our carbon footprint. With their clear and concise advice we have been able to effectively reduce our energy and waste levels. Carbon Smart made the complex notion of energy efficiency into a manageable and achievable reality.”  -Vicki Lee BSc, Administrator & Graphics Officer, EPR Ltd