With the UK committed to reaching net zero by 2050, businesses play a pivotal role in achieving carbon-reduction goals due to their substantial environmental impact. However, embracing sustainability isn’t easy, and businesses face various challenges, including initial costs, complex supply chains, and resistance to change.
However, the positive environmental and social impact outweighs these challenges, and by embracing sustainable practices, companies can reap long-term benefits such as future cost savings, regulatory compliance, market competitiveness, and enhanced brand reputation.
With this in mind, asset disposal specialist, BPI, has worked with a range of experts to illustrate actionable strategies for businesses to champion sustainability in 2024.
Embrace green technology
Strategic investments in green technologies are pivotal to a more sustainable business future. This can involve purchasing energy-efficient equipment that reduces carbon footprint and enhances operational efficiency, employing smart systems designed for resource optimisation or even embracing digital transformation and moving to the cloud.
“Cloud migration is a key sustainable strategy, enhancing energy efficiency and processes. Cloud systems enable scalable infrastructure adjustments based on business needs, providing real-time updates, carbon neutrality, reduced reliance on non-sustainable practices, and efficient resource management. The additional scalability options also improve operations and aid cost control, resulting in significant financial savings across technology,” advises Simon Langdown, Co-Founder of Essenkay Solutions.
Adopt circular economy practices
Circular economy practices are a set of principles aimed at minimising waste and maximising the efficiency and sustainability of resources throughout their lifecycle. For example, manufacturing products that are durable, repairable, and upgradable to extend their lifespan, encouraging the reuse and repair of products to minimise the need for new production and reducing waste through efficient initiatives and disposal practices. Henry Spencer, Operations Director at BPI, adds: “By integrating asset disposal strategies centred on machinery and equipment resale and reuse, construction businesses contribute to environmental sustainability and strengthen brand reputation and long-term viability.
“By conducting regular asset audits, businesses can identify surplus equipment and machinery, assess refurbishment potential and emphasise sustainability in procurement. Partnering with a reputable selling platform ensures transparent and efficient disposal and contributes to the circular economy.”
Reducing and sourcing energy
Businesses can enhance sustainability by adopting energy-efficient technologies, optimising operations, and sourcing power from renewable sources. Implementing energy audits, upgrading equipment, and investing in smart technologies enable precise consumption management. Procuring energy from sustainable sources, such as solar or wind power, reduces reliance on fossil fuels, aligning businesses with green initiatives. This supports sustainability targets, lowers operational costs, enhances corporate social responsibility, and fosters a resilient, environmentally conscious brand image in the modern business landscape.
“Good energy procurement is an opportunity. By investing in the right strategies and technologies, businesses can reduce costs and enhance sustainability – a duality that serves as a linchpin for long-term success, both from an economic and environmental standpoint,” says Ruari Cairns, Director of Risk Management and European Operations at Open Energy Market.
Implement sustainable chain practices
As sustainability becomes a critical factor in decision-making, businesses implementing sustainable supply chain practices will gain a competitive edge, attracting environmentally conscious customers and investors. “SMEs and small suppliers say they are increasingly being asked to demonstrate their carbon reduction plans when bidding for contracts. So, not having one might mean you’re potentially losing business. This is driven by demand from customers and big buyers, such as the public sector and retailers, who are under increasing scrutiny to have more sustainable value chains. Tightening regulations and consumers are often pointed as the key forces driving that – but it also makes so much business sense,” advises Jonathan Jones, Founder and CEO of Green Ibex Ltd.
Educate and engage employees and stakeholders
By providing comprehensive training on sustainable practices, businesses empower employees to integrate green behaviours into daily operations. “As with any transformational project and programme, we find that the biggest challenges are always around capacity and getting people on board. Middle managers who are given the keys to drive sustainability usually have to fill in a knowledge gap first. Then, once they’ve done it, they have to get buy-in from those above to allocate resources to deliver net zero plans. Those who sit at the top tend to have a narrow view of sustainability – some still see it as a marketing and PR lever they can use to boost their reputation,” says Jonathan.
Businesses can conduct sustainability workshops, provide free resources, and foster open communication to encourage advocates for sustainable practices, amplifying the positive impact beyond the workplace and reinforcing the organisation’s commitment to long-term environmental objectives.
Henry Spencer, Operations Director at BPI, summarises: “As an asset disposal specialist, we work with a dynamic landscape of industries and witness the daily challenges of companies striving for sustainability.
“As UK businesses aim to support net zero goals, they can overcome sustainable hurdles by conducting thorough audits, investing in technology for efficiency, building a culture of innovation, collaborating with suppliers for transparency, and educating employees. By integrating these core strategies, companies can align economic goals with environmental responsibility, unlocking long-term benefits and resilience.”
The BPI group consists of BPI Asset Disposal Solutions, BPI Auctions and BPI Asset Advisory and provides a modern, innovative approach to valuing, buying, and selling commercial assets whilst giving clients access to a full-service offering that streamlines asset disposal, saving them valuable time and money.
To learn more about BPI and its service offering, please visit: https://www.bpiauctions.com/about-us/