In a world where environmental action is of utmost importance and where everyone’s working towards a greener world to reduce human impact on climate change, companies are being encouraged to make green sustainability pledges.
A company’s pledge is a promise and commitment to reducing its environmental impact. Pledges come in many forms, but making a green sustainability pledge is a step forward for business operation.
Green Growth Pledge
Companies that sign up to the Green Growth Pledge can choose a pledge that works for them. By signing up to a pledge, they publicly announce their intentions. Customers know that the company they’re using is doing its bit for the environment. By signing up to a Green Growth Pledge, a company also puts pressure on other businesses to take the same action.
There are more than 50 Green Growth Pledges to choose from. Businesses can choose as many pledges as they’d like to add to their final Green Growth Pledge. These include things like publishing an environmental policy, encouraging staff to travel by bike, upgrading a fleet to zero emissions, or reducing printing in the office.
Mission Possible pledges
Companies like Amazon, Royal Mail, DHL, and John Lewis have signed Mission Possible pledges. Their pledges have ranged from promises to ban all single-use plastics from their products to pledges to switch to 100% renewable energy by a set deadline.
With Mission Possible, businesses can set their own pledges. Each company can choose a goal that’s achievable and announce that they’re working towards it.
EDF Energy announced in their pledge that their entire fleet of vehicles would be electric by 2030. KPMG pledged to convert its fleet of delivery trucks to bio-methane by 2028. PwC pledged to move to 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025.
Though companies can sign up to wider pledges like Mission Possible and Green Growth, pledging isn’t something that has to be done through an organized scheme. Any business can publish its own green pledge, promising to be more environmentally friendly.
A green pledge of any kind improves public image and holds a company to environmental commitments. In 2030, Google announced an ambitious pledge to operate in a carbon-free way by 2030. Pledging can be as simple as writing something on your website and sending out a press release.
Why should companies make green sustainability pledges?
The pressure is mounting for businesses to behave in environmentally sustainable ways. Most business owners know that they have a responsibility to do their bit for the environment, but even those that don’t will feel the pressure from their customers and from the government.
Over time, there will be more environmental regulations for businesses. Customers won’t accept businesses that wrap their products in single-use plastics or use a fleet of vehicles that burn fossil fuels for distribution and delivery.
If a business makes a green pledge, it makes public its promise to find a better way to operate. Of course, a pledge should only be made if it will be backed by action. False promises never go down well, and in business, an unmet sustainability pledge is a recipe for disaster.
UK Government’s Push to a Green Economy
Since the industrial revolution, the UK’s skies have been filled with smoke from burning fuels. Burning fossil fuels are hazardous to health and do damage to the planet we live on. For a long time, we’ve had no valid alternative, but we’re now in a position to make changes.
Advancing technologies have made it possible to live a greener lifestyle. We now have access to solar, wind, and wave power for renewable energy. We have electric vehicles that work on our roads and improved techniques for waste disposal and recycling. The UK is in a position to run with a greener economy, and the government wants to make that happen.
UK Plans for a Greener Economy
The UK government announced, in October 2020, its latest plans for a greener economy. This includes a commitment to zero net emissions by 2050. To make this happen, the UK government intends to invest in renewable energies. There will be infrastructure improvements, more offshore wind farms, and sustainable plans for the future.
It’s hoped that a greener economy can bring many benefits with it. The UK will be less reliant on fossil fuels, which will make us more resilient as a country and less dependent on others. Without a need to import fossil fuels, the UK will use its own stable sources of energy without unpredictable price fluctuations. As a country, we can also play our part in reducing climate change and reversing the damage that humans, in general, have done.
Green Taxes for Businesses
Much of the move to a greener economy is being pushed through new regulations, including green taxes for businesses. Businesses can be encouraged to be more environmentally responsible through taxes like the Climate Change Levy, which are coupled with grants and financial boosts to companies that act in greener ways.
By cutting emissions, recycling more, and disposing properly of waste, every business can fulfill its environmental obligation and avoid things like government fines.
The Road to Zero
The Road to Zero affects businesses and households alike. This is the name of the UK government’s plan to rid our roads of vehicle emissions. It’s hoped that by 2030, the infrastructure will exist to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars. Given the typical lifespan of a new car, this means that by 2050 there should be barely any fossil-fuel-burning vehicles left in use on the UK’s roads.
Businesses are encouraged to consider electric vehicle fleets. These can be charged on-site. Though many electric vehicles don’t yet have the range for long-distance transportation or all-day use, the technology over the next ten years will develop at an incredible rate. Soon, large electric vehicles can be transporting goods the length and width of the country.
As the UK government works towards its goal of a greener economy, more legislation will be introduced and tighter controls put in place. UK businesses can expect big changes in the coming decades, so it’s vital to stay ahead of the game and make improvements as early as possible.
If you always wait until the government introduces a new law, you risk being unprepared for new legislation and being constantly pushed forward by new rules. An active decision to run a business better is the best way to always stay more than one step ahead of the government’s plans.