When businesses submit tenders or apply for funding, they’re often asked to demonstrate their green credentials.
In years gone by, the sustainability section on a bid or application form was little more than a tick-box exercise for some businesses. But now, a company’s commitment to sustainability can play a major role in its success.
Colin Grieve, Director and Co-Founder at The Verdancy Group, discusses the value of sustainable practices, and how businesses can adopt them.
Submitting a Tender or Contract Bid
Most large organisations and public bodies now have a rigorous sustainability policy, meaning they seek out and favour green partner companies over less sustainable competitors.
If your business is vying for a piece of work, demonstrating your green credentials can set you apart.
It’s no longer enough to simply state that your business is committed to sustainable practices or to point to the recycling bin in the corner of the kitchen.
Instead, employers are now looking for hard evidence of sustainable actions. Independent accreditations and staff training can help to convey the authenticity of your claims.
A number of banks and investors are also prioritising sustainable companies for funding, grants and loans.
To be eligible for funding, businesses will often be inspected and their green claims put to the test.
The 70s saw a health and safety revolution. People used to roll their eyes at things that we now take for granted like wearing a seatbelt or putting on PPE at a construction site.
There are now stringent health and safety laws that all businesses must follow to protect their workforce. You wouldn’t dream of sending a bricklayer out on site without adequate training. Office workers can’t even sit at a desk without taking a course (OK, I’m exaggerating here, but only slightly).
We need to adopt similarly robust policies when it comes to sustainable practices. It should be a legal requirement to teach employees how to reduce their carbon footprint and how to avoid waste. This is a reality that’s not too far away.
Until then, however, it’s up to leadership to take the reins. Business leaders should assess their commitment to sustainability targets and how they’re equipping their teams with the skills necessary to reach them.
The Value of Going Green
Often, we ask business leaders to embrace sustainable practices, simply because it’s the right thing to do. However, that’s just not happening fast enough.
The financial incentives that going green afford businesses might encourage them to change their minds.
Going Green Authentically
Becoming a sustainable business requires a cultural shift. If teams are used to certain practices, it can be very tough to bring about change.
Training can help. Education about the environment and the role individual employees play in protecting it can start to bring about a change in mindset, that, given time, leads to widespread sustainable actions.
That brings us neatly back to submitting tenders and applying for funding. When your people routinely embrace sustainable practices as part of their role, the business itself becomes sustainable.
The changes are measurable and importantly, reportable. You can use the results as hard evidence of your company’s commitment to sustainability.
Of course, going green alone won’t win you a tender. But, if your business isn’t green, winning a bid could become a thing of the past.