Resources for Environmentally
Friendly Businesses

Business owners who want to make their businesses more environmentally friendly can find a range of resources online. Sources of useful information about efficiency include governmental agencies, international organisations and energy companies. Measurement is essential when it comes to improving efficiency, which is why many of the resources below include not only information but also online tools for measuring energy use and environmental impact.

UK Resources for Environmentally Friendly Businesses

The following resources come from organisations and agencies based in the UK, often with information that applies particularly to UK companies.

The Energy Saving Trust

This is a UK-based organisation helping people save energy in order to help the UK achieve its goal of reducing carbon emissions 80% by 2050. The website provides information on renewable energy, building insulation and other ways of increasing energy efficiency. There is an extensive Business section that provides many resources on creating more energy efficient products, using more efficient transport methods and getting data about business energy usage.

Modern Building Services 

This website provides the latest news on building services in the UK. Special features on Energy Efficient Building Systems and Renewable Energy provide a wealth of information on the latest innovations and solutions for environmentally friendly businesses.

Forum for the Future

This is a London-based nonprofit that works with organisations to make them more sustainable. The blog features news of solutions and examples for environmentally friendly businesses. The Forum’s Energy Hub features all the projects that UK businesses can get involved with.

GOV.UK

The official UK government website provides an overview of the environmental tax relief schemes that businesses can participate in. These schemes include capital allowances on energy-efficient items, which are especially useful for small businesses. Other schemes, like the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme only apply to large businesses that are not energy intensive, like supermarkets and hotels. 

The Guardian’s Sustainability Case Studies

This collection of sustainable business examples is presented by The Guardian. It contains hundreds of case studies on environmentally friendly businesses, which users can filter by topics such as carbon and energy management, supply chain, built environment, waste, and natural capital. These case studies can help business owners see what sustainability and efficiency practices look like in real life.

International Resources for Environmentally Friendly Businesses

Many sustainability and energy organisations are located outside of the UK, and some provide services on an international basis. Below are several of these global, environmentally friendly resources.

The Carbon Trust

This is an international organisation that facilitates the adoption of low carbon practices in business, government and individual households. The website features a specific section for Business Advice, which includes tools for creating and implementing energy efficient strategies. The Carbon Trust has also created the Better Business Guide to Energy Saving, which is a step-by-step guide that business owners can follow.

Sustainability Victoria

This is an Australian organisation that promotes and facilitates environmental sustainability in households, school, businesses and the community. Much of the website is dedicated to business resources, including Energy Efficiency. In this section, business owners can watch videos on energy efficiency, and they can access energy saving checklists and interactive tools.

World Resources Institute

The World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global organisation dedicated to research on natural resources, with a particular focus on climate, energy, food, forest, water and urban issues. To further its cause, the WRI has a section on Business that includes tools to help with sustainability. These tools include information on water risk assessment, carbon accounting and networking opportunities with other sustainable and environmentally friendly businesses.

The International Institute for Sustainable Development

This international organisation has been working to increase environmental sustainability around the world since 1990. It offers a Business section covering topics such as cleaner product, energy efficiency, environmentally friendly manufacturing and zero-emission processes. This information can help increase business efficiency at every step of the supply chain.

Environmentally Friendly Business Tools

In addition to information about sustainability and efficiency, many websites also offer tools that help business owners implement these ideas. Some of these tool can be found below:

Green Plus

Green Plus is a program that seeks to educate smaller businesses about sustainability. It provides practical and actionable advice based on sustainability expertise. Green Plus Business Tools can be found on the website and include recycling guides, green assessments and a Utility Tracker spreadsheet.

Lloyds Bank Sustainability Tool

This Lloyds Bank website provides detailed instructions on how businesses can create their own sustainability plans and policies. The website also includes information on the benefits of becoming a sustainable business, such as reducing operating costs. Business owners must register their information in order to access the tool.

Greenhouse Gas Protocol Calculation Tools

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) is an accounting tool for greenhouse gas emissions that is used by governments and businesses across the world. This website features sector-specific toolsets that enable a business to complete greenhouse a gas inventory. The website also lists third-party databases that allow business owners to access data points for product lifecycle and supply chain inventories.

Consumers Energy

Although this is a U.S. utility company, the Consumers Energy website provides efficiency resources for any business, no matter where it is located. The website has an Energy Evaluation Tools section that allows business owners to assess energy use in their facilities and estimate efficiency improvements from lighting upgrades.

Environmentally Friendly Business Guides

For business owners who are ready for a sustainability overhaul, the following step-by-step guides will show them how to transform from novice to expert.

SBA Sustainable Business Practices

The SBA, short for Small Business Administration, is a U.S. organisation that specialises in helping its members with operations and other assistance. Although it is a US-based organisation, its guide on Sustainable Business Practices offers useful information for businesses located anywhere. Topics covered include Green Power and Renewable Energy, Green Building Design, and Using Paper.

EFMD Management Development Network

This Belgian nonprofit brings together business schools and corporations in order to research and develop management practices. Its website features Sustainable Business resources in line with the latest thinking on the subject. For business owners, the organisation offers Sustainability Program Workbooks, with detailed guidance and exercises on two topics: waste elimination and resource-life extension.

Cultivating Capital

This blog offers insights on current standards as well as upcoming trends in the realm of sustainable business. One useful feature of Cultivating Capital is its Small Business Guide to Sustainable Business Practices. The guide contains seven chapters that give business owners an overview of how to get started with sustainability, engage their employees in environmentally friendly practices, conserve resources and earn sustainability certifications. The last chapter provides concrete examples of small businesses putting these sustainability standards into practice.