How to choose sustainability investments to really make a difference

Discover our top tips on how your small or medium sized business can invest sustainably to make a huge impact.

Most small to medium sized businesses (ones with 10 to 249 employees) know they need to invest and become more sustainable. These businesses are already behind the sustainability agenda, with 53% saying their company invested in environmental sustainability within the past 12 months, spending an average of £61,250.¹

The challenge for many businesses is knowing where to invest, especially with operating costs rising. 90% of business say they have difficulties finding the right solutions to improve their environmental impact.²

If you don’t have one already, setting a net zero target for your business is a great starting point to help you target your investments – because as we all know, what gets measured gets done. You can then apply these investment tips to make progress towards your target, prioritising technologies that can deliver the best return on your sustainability investment.

Invest in hybrid working and collaboration technology

Another area you can invest in to help you operate more sustainably is collaboration, which often goes together with an increase in remote / hybrid working.

Today’s cloud-based collaboration platforms offer a full suite of secure messaging, meeting and calling tools that offer experience equity for team members whether they’re in or out of the office. They also allow businesses to reduce their on-premise hardware in areas like meeting room systems and infrastructure to run older video conferencing platforms – all of which contribute to your energy bills and overall level of emissions.

At the same time, enabling your team to work remotely just one or two days a week could make a big impact on minimising your carbon footprint. A recent study found that hybrid working can reduce carbon emissions by up to 80% in cities across the UK simply by cutting down on the daily commute.⁴

“60% of small businesses are aware of net zero concepts, but 53% are not yet ready to commit to decarbonisation⁵”

Track and monitor your emissions

It's clear that businesses are already building their emissions reduction strategies using modern environmental technologies, with 38% already tracking their energy consumption and 35% monitoring their carbon emissions.⁶ The opportunities don’t end there though. You could also:

Combine smart buildings and energy monitoring solutions to measure and monitor the level of footfall in your office(s) and the amount of energy you consume.
Analyse your data to determine if your premises are still the right size for your needs, or if you’re wasting energy heating and cooling unused space.
In addition, businesses in industries like manufacturing and agriculture can use Smart Buildings technology to optimise power consumption for energy intensive plant and machinery as well as offices, helping to cut bills as well as emissions.

These technologies typically use simple digital sensors and connect to the 5G network or your Wi-Fi network. So, taking these significant steps towards becoming more sustainable is straightforward, affordable and shouldn’t require a raft of expensive digital technology expertise.

With almost a quarter of a million private sector SMEs in the UK, this sector of the economy will play a vital role in hitting the UK’s target of becoming a net zero economy by 2050. As these examples show, targeting the right investments means achieving this target is within reach.

Learn more about how Vodafone is supporting sustainability in everything we do >

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