Businesses urged to adopt environmental framework

THE number of local businesses taking sustainability seriously continues to grow, according to the results of the Chamber of Commerce’s Business Sustainability Survey.

Rollo De Sausmarez speaking at a climate change protest coinciding with the COP26 conference in November last year.  (Picture by Peter Frankland, 31040989)
Rollo De Sausmarez speaking at a climate change protest coinciding with the COP26 conference in November last year. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 31040989)

Those firms saying that environmental sustainability is very important has risen 10% to 61% and in all, those saying it is important is at a record high of 85%.

Rollo de Sausmarez, co-lead of Chamber’s Sustainable Business Initiative, said that firms needed to build on this commitment by adopting an environmental framework within the business.

‘While it is excellent news that more companies are planning to reduce their environmental impact, informal plans to do so aren’t as effective as formal ones,’ he said.

‘And to get the most out of them, making those plans public to stakeholders as soon as possible without over-promising is the best approach.

‘One way to do so is to adopt an environmental framework, appoint sustainability champions and ensure the board considers these efforts as a regular agenda item.

‘This will help ensure there is no disconnect between good intentions and actually driving change.’

The Business Sustainability Survey was started in 2019 to explore how important sustainability is to local businesses and what they can do about it. It helps the Sustainable Business Initiative to tailor its programme to meet firms’ needs and it can benchmark against similar UK results.

More than 60 companies took part in the survey, but they raised some concerns too, said Jennifer Strachan, co-lead of the SBI.

‘There was still a significant number of respondents who state that there was a lack of awareness about what can be done. We would encourage companies seeking to find out more to engage with SBI and other organisations which provide a wide range of educational seminars and material to help them on their sustainability journey.

‘Clients looking to Guernsey for sustainable finance and tourism will expect the jurisdiction to “walk the walk”, so we would encourage local companies to consider being more active to be a part of that effort.’

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