Sustainability x PR

Sustainability x PR

by | Sep 20, 2021

Sustainability is currently a big topic – globally – for large corporate companies, SMEs and sole traders. All businesses who invest in measures to ensure their organisation can co-exist in harmony with the planet can pledge their support to work sustainably.

Many fund managers will ONLY invest in businesses that operate sustainable policies. This could be by working only with companies who feel – and do – the same, who invest in sustainable working practices like installing e-chargers for electric cars in the car park, whose recycling processes mean they have little waste or are working towards their carbon footprint becoming neutral.

One local business at the heart of the sustainability topic is Worcester Bosch. They are fully aware of the sustainability challenges they face and are managing them accordingly. Carl Arntzen, CEO, Worcester Bosch, says:

Sustainability might be the buzzword of the moment but for years it’s been at the heart of everything we do. At Worcester Bosch we strive to protect our planet for future generations, in the products we manufacture, the way we package and distribute them, and through the processes we use at our manufacturing plants. By acting in an economically, environmentally and socially responsible manner, we want to improve people’s quality of life and safeguard the livelihoods of present and future generations.

But how does your SME jump aboard and survive in the current climate for change? Even small businesses and sole traders can find ways to work towards a more sustainable way of working, for example, sourcing recycled paper, buying used office furniture, recycled tech, planting a tree every time a milestone is reached…

Ben Kelsey, COO at Malvern based SME Indra Renewable Technologies, agrees:

Sustainability is central to what we do and increasingly business will align in that way.

For Indra Renewable Technologies, sustainability is not just an add-on to their business, it is now the core of all of their activities. INDRA is one of the fastest-growing electrical vehicle (EV) charger companies in the UK. They manufacture and install smart EV chargers for commercial locations and home charging.

Indra are on a mission to create the smartest way to power electric cars through innovative EV chargers that are easy to understand, install and use. They state:

Every one of our EV charger solutions is driven by innovation and is packed with intelligence, meaning you can benefit from the cheapest and fastest way to power your electric vehicle.

Ben believes that there are societal shifts to support the use of sustainable ways of working and evidence to suggest that it’s becoming a driving force i.e. the well-documented protests, recent surveys taken from young people about the environmental impacts and their calling upon their governments to support them. Indeed, Ben feels that the reason their business exists is to support and enable the transition, of our society and country, in moving towards a more sustainable future. It’s a transition that – together – we need to take and that flows through everything that Indra do.

Ben says:

It is viable to run a business where sustainability is at the core – even when increased costs are apparent – it pays us back and clients are not just looking at the costs and end product, they also want to align with a sustainable way of working.

Ben and the team at Indra are looking not only to reduce carbon emissions they also want to ensure that their passion for change is across the board, Ben states:

It lacks integrity for sustainability not to flow through the whole business. I’m certain the reason we won the Chamber Awards is because it is central to all we do – not just the manufacture of our end product.

Moving forward, sustainability is the key plank on which they’ve built their whole business. The entire team want to make world a better place, their passion and enthusiasm for new ways of working underpin their future success and this is what Ben believes is their distinguishing feature between their products and competition:

“It’s not simply about an EV charger… it’s much more than that. It’s a lifestyle change, moving out of conventional cars and into EVs.”

Indra have stepped up their sustainability gain over the last year or so and are now able to track all of their waste streams, energy , raw material, water etc using the data to understand the carbon footprint they represent. This includes the Co2 emissions embedded in their products.

In 2021, Indra’s manufacturing used 11 tonne of Co2 (on goods shipped this year) but have offset this with a saved total of 1753 tonne of Co2 from the products they sold this year. NB as a benefit of the product and using data to date: 140921. Ben continues:

Our focus remains on the UK market with some exports to Australia, Asia and some to GB overseas dependants – with more considered in the future. With so much to support in UK it will remain our focus. We are proud of manufacturing in UK, our GB supply chains and are shipping as little as possible.

The quality of Indra’s products means they don’t need to be binned: they may cost more to make, than some of the competitors’ products, but Indra’s products are made to a standard for them to last as long as the car lasts, so they should therefore outlive the car and stay out of landfill.

For more about Indra Renewable Technologies, please head to: www.indra.co.uk.

What does this all mean for your business? Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of the Worcestershire LEP, says:

Sustainability is a key part of the Worcestershire LEP’s vision for the county. I am pleased to say that the Worcestershire LEP helped to create the county’s Energy Strategy, launched in 2019, which showcases our ambitions targets to achieve a thriving low carbon economy by 2035. We all recognise the challenges that climate change and global warming will play in our lives, and the lives of future generations, and at the Worcestershire LEP, we are working to play that vital role in bringing together our businesses and local authorities to understand the future challenges and formulate solutions which progress the county on our journey towards 2040. 

Looking ahead to 2040, Net Zero and clean energy are focus points in building a sustainable, connected creative, dynamic economy that works for all. Linking into our energy strategy, I am also pleased to highlight our new Plan for Growth document. This document outlines the vision for Worcestershire in 2040, across key areas such as People, Infrastructure, Business Environment, Innovation and Place. The new Plan for Growth carries on the needs of a sustainable future for the county and puts net zero, clean technology solutions at the forefront.

To find out more on either the Energy Strategy or the Plan for Growth, visit their website: www.wlep.co.uk.

Now is the time to launch your innovative new business or plan to update your company’s current plan. Apart from the feel-good factor – and actually making a positive impact on the environment – it is also a great opportunity to raise your brand profile with a little PR.

Put your green business ideas into practice and shout about it in a press release, on social and at networking events.

So, if you’re a business who takes sustainability seriously, get your story out there! Business’ and individuals, indeed your customers, want to know how you are affecting sustainability in a positive way!

You Do Better PR were Finalists in the Business Awards 2021, Micro Business of the Year.

As seen in print in BD Magazine and online at the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.

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