More businesses are trying to reduce their environmental impact for a variety of reasons, including wanting to make a positive impact on society and helping to secure the future of the planet. However, for many business owners, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start. This is where fully-funded skills training across the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding regions, such as that offered by the Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) Programme, comes in.

Sue Dawson, Programmes and Relationships Manager at Calderdale College, which oversees the SSW Programme in York, North Yorkshire and East Riding, explains how embracing sustainability through free training not only benefits the environment, but it can also generate significant advantages for your business.

“With the recent COP26 conference putting sustainability even higher up the agenda and the government now calling on big businesses to demonstrate how they will move towards a low-carbon future, it’s clear that the sustainability issue is here to stay.

“But it’s not just big businesses who will see benefits from moving towards a more sustainable business model. Whether it’s through reducing business travel, exploring recyclable packaging methods, or implementing renewable energy sources, SMEs will also be able to reap the rewards, not only reputationally, but also in terms of cost savings.

Five benefits of being a more sustainable business:

  • Cost savings: By using less energy or switching to different energy sources, your business will often need to spend less on overheads and production costs. Additionally, implementing measures such as reusing and recycling materials and reducing your use of plastic will help to reduce your business’s outgoings.
  • Future proofing: Going green could save you a significant amount of money down the line, as there is the very real possibility that the government or industry bodies will enforce specific green provisions and regulations, such as the need to reduce carbon emissions. By committing your business’ sustainability now, you are also making an investment in its future. What’s more, with SSW, we can cover that initial cost for you, making it a win-win situation.
  • Build reputation: As well as helping you to save money, many customers are now more likely to buy from businesses who demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. Moving to a more environmentally friendly business model can therefore boost your brand image with your customers and give you an edge over your competitors, resulting in increased sales volumes and boosting revenue.
  • Improve employee morale: Staff have shown an increased sense of loyalty and pride when working for a business that has strong environmental leanings, so not only will your staff be more motivated and efficient while at work, they’re also likely to stay with your company for longer.
  • Stand out in procurement: Many procurement opportunities now require applicants to demonstrate their commitment to improving the environment in terms of policies, plans and working practices. Being more sustainable within your business can put you at a significant advantage during the tendering process.

“If you’re looking to move to a more sustainable business model, the Skills Support for the Workforce programme has free training on offer to help make this vision a reality.

“There are multiple courses on offer for businesses across York, North Yorkshire and East Riding - including Introduction to Energy, Understanding Carbon Awareness and Energy Management, Sustainable Recycling Activities, Sustainable Waste Management Operations and Industrial Environmental Awareness – to help you better understand and implement methods to drive profits, stand out from the competition and secure your business’s future.
“Employers across the region can also receive partly-funded support from the Business Scale Up Programme, including in Quality Improvement and Productive Practice, as well as ISO Systems and Internal Auditing Training. These courses focus on energising businesses to make long-lasting change by improving working environments and boosting overall productivity, all in ways that will ultimately have a positive impact on the environment.

“To find out more about how the Skills Support for the Workforce programme can help your business to be more sustainable through free training, get in touch.”