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  • Writer's pictureLucy Boreham

Supporting SMEs on their sustainability journey

SMEs play an essential role in the modern economy. But the reality of the world we operate in is a challenging one for SMEs. A volatile economy, increasing stakeholder demands, and ever-increasing regulation all in an unprecedented cost of living crisis.

ESG continues to rise up the priorities of stakeholder groups, but the reality for SMEs is that this can be a challenging issue to navigate. Much of the ESG focused regulatory requirements in the UK focuses on companies with a turnover of £500m or more, and in the EU regulation impacts companies with a turnover of €40 million / 250 employees. So, the regulated mandate to act simply isn’t there. But increasingly for businesses that fall under the regulation radar there is an increasing demand from clients, investors, employees etc for businesses to be taking action.

For a business knowing what they should be doing and by when is testing, the acronyms alone may take you weeks to navigate. And if you are a smaller business or just starting out on your sustainability journey knowing where to start and creating enough time and resource in your business to take action is often the first hurdle you must cross.

At BayNel we love to take on this challenge. To get to know your business, its own unique personality, leadership team, employees and clients and help you to understand what you need to be doing. For the last 5 years we have worked with a range of clients in the built environment, manufacturing, tech and automotive sectors to help them navigate this complex world and help them define what action they need to be taking from both a risk and opportunity perspective.

We’ve recently worked with Kori Construction, a rapidly growing and market leading construction business. The full day workshop was designed to upskill the Senior leadership team on the climate change agenda, regulation and the risk and opportunities it presents to their business to help them evolve their approach to Sustainability.

“BayNel developed and delivered a bespoke one-day sustainability leadership training session tailored to our business. The day far exceeded our expectations and helped increase our team’s knowledge. It was incredibly well structured and informative and included interactive sessions and practical exercises that ensured every attendee was an active participant. BayNel’s knowledge and passion for the subject matter was evident and their enthusiasm was infectious. All participants left the training session feeling motivated and inspired. “

Elaine Kendall, Head if Sustainability, Kori Construction

So here are our top tips for where to start:

  1. Understand what sustainability means for your business, your colleagues and your external stakeholders

  2. Look at the full breadth of sustainability issues and priories the issues that are most material to your business, the way you operate and make money- in the short, medium and long term

  3. Understand the regulatory landscape- even if it doesn't apply to your business, it might be impacting your clients, your investors etc

  4. Look at what you are already doing as a business, what can you build on and where are the gaps?

  5. Get started!!

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