Be Planet PositiveDon’t dither, do it! How a new cheap, quick and easy online business sustainability programme could help you make money and win business.
The printing industry has long known of the importance of sustainability and the need to produce with the environment in mind. Whether it’s through government legislation, company policy or ensuring that resources are responsibly sourced and recycled, companies have, in general, been striving to meet the demands of an ever more educated and eco-conscious customer.
For wide-format print producers, decreasing the impact on the environment provides a more challenging project than in most print sector perhaps, with demand for the likes of PVC-based graphics still a relatively large focus for many players. But of course, it’s not just all about greener output. Today, not only is there a focus on the environmental credentials of the substrates and inks used, but customers are increasingly demanding to see a PSP’s businesses sustainability credentials. Despite this, the focus of many businesses still remains on their output and not necessarily on the day-to-day running of their businesses, which includes energy use from heating, lighting and vehicle fleet management. And we all know why - perceived costs, lack of awareness of business benefits and conflicting time and resource pressures.
But there is help at hand. Planet Positive has launched an online ‘green’ certification scheme for SMEs that provides an international recognition of sustainability standards as well as giving ongoing support to enable businesses to operate in a more sustainable way.
Planet Positive, a green service partner to many large businesses such as M&S and Deloitte, has introduced the new online service to help and encourage small and medium sized businesses to become more sustainable and have a positive environmental and social impact.
Planet Positive Business Certification is fast to achieve (typically in under two weeks) and cheap (certification starts from £150). The whole process can also be done online which removes the need for consultants.
As many printers are finding out, if you want competitor advantage then you need to be able to show your green credentials – often it’s the bid that shows sustainability accreditation that wins the competitor wars. Planet Positive provides third-party assurance and proof of your positive action on the environment so that potential clients can be sure that they’re not just getting a load of greenwash when you say you run a sustainability programme.
Another benefit in going this Planet Positive route is that in achieving its guideline energy reduction of five percent each year, even a modestly-sized company could make significant reductions in both carbon and costs over the course of a few years.
Being Planet Positive certified signifies that a business has gone beyond compliance to have a positive impact on the environment, which can greatly improve public perception and influence consumer choice. Backed by a protocol continuously assessed through a panel of independent academic experts, Planet Positive combines best practise from a number of international methodologies to provide credible assurance.
What you have to do
The Planet Positive certification process is designed to be quick, easy and accessible. To become Planet Positive Certified businesses go through a simple four-step process which combines greater sustainability with a co-ordinated focus on the wider community.
* The scheme delivers a comprehensive carbon footprint measurement in accordance with the Planet Positive Protocol (in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol). In year one it requires measurement of Scope 1 and 2 emissions (building heating and electricity and company fleet emissions); Scope 3 is required in the second year of certification.
* You will be required to set targets to reduce your carbon emissions year on year. Planet Positive provides a Carbon Action Plan with methods to reduce business carbon footprints that are both easily instigated and cost neutral. You will also receive monthly emails with reduction tips and employee engagement suggestions.
* Planet Positive believes it has a responsibility to invest in the community to build a better way of living and so 10% of your license fee is invested in the Planet Positive Foundation, which offers a choice of local and global sustainability projects through which you can take action to promote and support sustainability and local or international communities.
* The Planet Positive certification provides proof of your action to reduce your business carbon footprint. This will facilitate marketing your green credentials to your employees, partners, suppliers and clients or customers. You should position your certificate and report in the public domain for scrutiny and to avoid greenwash.