• Russell Burton

How can an environmental consultant help your organisation?

Updated: Mar 7

Firstly, welcome to Hillside Environmental Services, this is our first blog post and one of many to come as we help you to navigate carbon neutral and low carbon solutions. We support our communities, businesses, local authorities, and the further education sector by building affordable, effective carbon zero transition projects that combat climate change. As part of that, we’re using our blog as well as the resources form our Go Green Tools, to help you take the first steps, or progress ongoing plans, to protect the planet.

One of our values is to ‘make it happen’ so, it’s only right that we make it crystal clear what an environmental consultant is and how embracing sustainability can benefit your business or organisation. There’s no room for jargon, confusion or obstruction here!

Typically, environmental consultants assess current sustainability policies and processes (if you have any), measure emissions and environmental impact then help you to design and implement systems to address this and mitigate future environmental damage. At Hillside, we cover all of those bases but we do so much more for our clients. To be concise (as we know you are busy people), we don’t just assess current processes and then implement new ones, we ensure that your business reaps the benefits of becoming sustainable.

From sourcing emissions, building business cases, securing finance, engaging colleagues and stakeholders to project managing, reviewing and helping you to communicate your success – we make sure your environmental efforts are profound and recognised. Plus, we understand that you need a solid investment strategy to start your sustainable energy plan so we find the ‘green finance’ funding opportunities for you.

Our flexible approach means we can fit into your team at any stage of the journey and we like to think of ourselves as colleagues, not just contractors. We will work cross functionally with your departments, as if we are your own energy management team. Take a look at our services to find out more about the ways we can help you. In the meantime, here are 5 ways your business, local authority or school/college can benefit from adopting a low carbon plan:

1. Create competitive advantage by boosting your CSR credentials and building a better perceived brand:

Making changes to become more environmentally friendly allows you to become a community beacon for climate action. In today’s market, whatever sector you are in, your customers or those you are providing a service to, expect you to be doing more to contribute to the world around you and have a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda.

In a study by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence (a global practice for insight, trends and innovation), 83 % of people said they would always pick the brand which had a better record of sustainability and 91 % think companies/brands that pollute the environment should be fined. The recent Sustainability in Higher Education: What More Can Universities Do? survey by QS revealed that “A staggering 94 percent of respondents want to see universities do more.” So, it is not only consumers that are expecting green companies, but people are expecting it of their institutions as well.

There are still many business and institutions who simply aren’t taking action to become more environmentally-friendly. If your audience is expecting you to act responsibly, especially when it comes to protecting the planet, making sustainable changes could dramatically improve how people perceive your brand. So, when they come to choosing you or another business or organisation, you’ll be set apart from the rest.

2. Investing in low carbon options now, will help you to save costs in the future:

Generating your own renewable energy via sources such as solar pv and using this to support wider energy efficiency by using heat pumps and battery storage means you can rely less on the national grid and, therefore, pay less. What’s more, you can sell the energy you produce back to the grid as a source of extra revenue.

There are also a range of government incentives available to those investing in ‘green energy’ to help with the upfront installation cost. An article by Forbes tells us that “Onshore wind and solar PV power are now, frequently, less expensive than any fossil-fuel option, without financial assistance.” And, with people more likely to buy from businesses and support and join institutions that are working to reduce emissions, it’s a no-brainer.

3. Meet government regulations:

Soon, it will become law to be kind to the environment, so it’s important to be pro-active. The Climate Change Act, signed in 2019, means the UK government has committed by law to reduce emissions by at least 100% of 1990 levels (net zero) by 2050. That can only be achieved by collective effort, so businesses are obliged to contribute to this emission-reduction strategy, too.

In addition, the 2018 SECR Regulations require quoted companies of any size, plus unquoted companies that are defined as ‘large’ (i.e. they have a turnover of £36m or more, a balance sheet of £18m or more, or 250+ employees) to report on their energy usage and carbon emissions.

No need to panic, though. Act now and you still have time to reduce your impact on the environment, meet the 2050 goal, and tell a positive story in your reporting.

4. Improve employee morale:

With a growing public conscience around climate change and doing our best to address the climate emergency, it’s likely your employees feel the same, too. What better way to improve their morale than by making them feel proud to work for you? You can get staff involved in making positive changes to improve your carbon emissions and become greener. For higher-level projects, communicate your environmental efforts clearly, so staff feel inspired by the work you’re doing and grateful to be a part of a caring organisation.

5. Make shareholders happy by ensuring longevity:

It couldn’t be clearer, in order to build a business that will survive and grow for years to come, it needs to be climate-friendly. Government legislation is forcing businesses to act and there is a growing belief from the market that brands need to become sustainable - 90 % feel that companies/brands have a responsibility to take care of the planet and its people*.

So, to prove to your shareholders that their investment will prosper, it’s important to build an environmental agenda into your business strategy. With 70% of people willing to pay more for products or services that protect the environment*, you could improve your revenue, too.

If you’re considering taking progressive steps to improve your business or organisations’ environmental impact, get in touch with us for a free, no obligation telephone consultation. We can guide you through your options to kickstart or accelerate sustainability plans.

We’re also exhibiting at the EAUC Virtual Global Climate for education. Drop by our stand to find out how we can help your school, college or university.

*according to a study by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence.

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