Going green ‘makes sense’ for small firms

Customers favouring eco-friendly suppliers

Customers are becoming increasingly keen to award contracts to ‘green’ suppliers, a new report has revealed.

The research suggests that small businesses with environmental systems in place will be best positioned to profit from the growing ‘eco-friendly’ marketplace.

“Going green is the new black,” said the report from the British Standards Institution (BSI) in which companies were questioned on what measures they were taking to look after the environment, and what they considered the commercial benefits to be.

With consumers and clients demanding a demonstrable ‘green ethics policy’ from their suppliers, the BSI is encouraging small businesses to implement an Environmental Management System (EMS) – a system which enables firms to manage their environmental impact and reduce energy consumption.

According to the report, “(Some) 76% of the firms questioned believe customers will be more interested in companies with an EMS in the next 10 years.”

“Big organisations are expecting their suppliers to be environmentally responsible,” said Mike Low, director of BSI, who cited an instance where the installation of an EMS had helped a small firm to win a contract with a large pharmaceutical company.

Mr Low added that, for a small firm, reducing environmental impact will improve the business’s bottom line by reducing energy consumption or even packaging costs, as well as promoting good brand value.

Making simple changes, such as not leaving equipment on standby and separating waste, can make a significant difference to small firms, added Low.

“Small businesses can generally implement eco-friendly practices more easily than larger firms, due to their increased flexibility.”

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2006

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