Building a Sustainable Business

In this themed blog post we explore what makes a sustainable business, how to go about building one, and how success in this area can be measured, along with spotlighting a few of the organisations and experts who offer guidance and support in this area.

We especially want to thank Piper PE for the expertise they have shared to support the Hatch community in building and growing sustainable, impactful businesses.

What Do We Mean by Sustainability?

A lot of businesses claim or aspire to be sustainable, and this can be measured and categorised in a variety of different ways. The main areas of sustainability tend to be classified into four pillars:

Human sustainability aims to maintain and improve the experience of humans. Through a business lens this means acting to promote the wellbeing of communities and society, often through investment in health, education, and other areas of development.

Social sustainability aims to promote social good by investing in and creating services that constitute the framework of our society. Businesses with a social sustainability focus look at the ways in which larger frameworks and structures can be used to build a more equitable world and a fairer society.

Economic sustainability aims to improve the standard of living. In terms of business, it is a commitment to maintaining high and stable levels of economic growth and efficient use of assets as a means of sustainable development.

Environmental sustainability aims to improve human welfare through the protection of natural resources. Initiatives and programmes are defined environmentally sustainable when they ensure that the needs of the population are met without the risk of compromising the needs of future generations.

Read about Hatch graduate Murvah and her sustainable parcel delivery business, Hived.

The Business Case for Sustainability

Georgia Jones, Piper PE Marketing and Sustainability Manager, explains the business case for embedding sustainability.

Think about how your business can incorporate all four pillars of sustainability into your core activities.

Something that might help you with this is the B Corp assessment, a digital tool that can help measure, manage, and improve positive impact performance for the environment, communities, customers, suppliers, employees, and shareholders; and can ultimately help you obtain your B Corp certification, like Piper did.

You can read more about the B Corp certification process here, including the personal account of a Hatch founder who went through it with her business.

In today’s rapidly changing world, running a business sustainably is not only a responsible choice but also a strategic one. For ambitious and impact-driven business owners, looking after the planet can bring a multitude of benefits and pave the way for long-term success.

By adopting sustainable practices, you can reduce your environmental footprint, enhance your brand image, and attract eco-conscious consumers.

Piper's B Corp Journey

Georgia Jones, Piper PE Marketing and Sustainability Manager, talks through the process of becoming a B Corp.

Progress, not Perfection

When it comes to running a sustainable business, it is important to remember that you don’t have to do everything or be perfect right from the start. The journey towards sustainability is a gradual process, and every small step counts. Rather than overwhelming yourself, focus on making incremental changes that align with your values and resources.

Start by identifying areas where you can make the most impact, such as reducing energy consumption, optimising waste management, or sourcing eco-friendly materials, set achievable goals and track your progress along the way. Remember, sustainability is about continuous improvement, so don’t be discouraged by setbacks. Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small, and use them as motivation to keep moving forward.

By taking it one step at a time, you can build a sustainable business that makes a positive difference without feeling overwhelmed.

Georgia Jones, Piper PE Marketing and Sustainability Manager, explains why authenticity is key in the sustainability journey.

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