Our sustainability champion Marzia Formica recently represented Surrey Translation Bureau (STB) at the 2024 Surrey Hills Sustainable Business Showcase. She came away with insights not just for us, but for small businesses everywhere. Organised by Surrey Hills Enterprises at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, the event focused on the value of sustainability as a crucial aspect of modern business operations that can drive positive change.
The event featured a highly impressive lineup of talks from experts in the field. Some of the highlights included:
- The Marketing Benefits of Sustainable Businesses by Professor Xavier Font, Professor of Sustainability Marketing, University of Surrey
- Maximising Your PR Reach When Communicating Your Sustainability by Carol Miller, Crest Awards Surrey
- Communicating Your Sustainability by Claire Brown, Plantpassion.
The speakers highlighted that although integrating sustainability into company culture can take time, it is essential for long-term success. They also explained how companies can drive meaningful change from within by fostering a collective commitment to sustainability.
For businesses, however, it’s crucial to view sustainability as a value-adding concept without detracting from the focus on delivering high-quality products and services. A telling example would be a chocolate manufacturer who heavily promotes their sustainability practices but fails to deliver exceptional quality chocolates. This underscores the importance of striking a balance between sustainability efforts and maintaining a high standard of offerings.
One standout concept discussed at the event was the Greenhouse Gas Patrol – a tool designed to comprehensively measure carbon footprints. It was suggested that small businesses should consider investing in similar tools or collaborating with environmental organisations to understand and minimise their carbon emissions.
Transparency in the supply chain emerged as another area of focus for businesses to ensure accountability and promote sustainable practices among their suppliers. This not only reduces environmental impact but also enhances brand reputation and consumer trust.
Marzia commented on the valuable presentations and the commitment of the attendees towards sustainability: “It was so inspiring to see how many small businesses in our community care about and integrate sustainability into their everyday activities. The event offered an incredibly positive and motivating experience with so many insights to think about!”
Practical ideas for small businesses
To help small businesses kickstart their sustainability journey, here are some of the practical ideas shared at the event:
- Launch a switch-off campaign to conserve energy and reduce utility costs
- Optimise energy consumption by adjusting computer brightness settings and encouraging employees to power off devices when not in use
- Participate in local sustainability initiatives and collaborate with other businesses to amplify impact
- Minimise paper usage and promote double-sided printing to reduce waste
- Support environmental causes by using eco-friendly search engines like Ecosia
- Reuse incoming packaging and materials
- Reduce paper consumption by setting printers to automatically print on both sides
- Set clear sustainability goals and targets to guide efforts and measure progress
- Prioritise local procurement to support the community and reduce carbon emissions associated with transportation
- Enhance workplace well-being and air quality by incorporating live plants into office spaces.
Sustainability at Surrey Translation Bureau
At STB, we are proud to say that we already have many of these action points already in place. Furthermore, we have environmental sustainability as one of our overarching company objectives. Our efforts and commitments are also set out in our Sustainability Policy.
We also recently collaborated with students from the University of Southampton Business School to help produce their inaugural sustainability report. We were even nominated as a finalist in the Sustainability category of the prestigious Westminster Business Council Awards 2023.
Our aim is to continue offering language support to our clients, whilst constantly striving to integrate sustainable measures in all our processes.