Simple Steps for Operating a More Sustainable Business

Liam Parnell talks about Wayv’s journey towards becoming Carbon Neutral.

‘Carbon Neutral’, ‘Net Zero’, ‘Greener Business’ – these are all terms we are hearing about more and more, but currently, fewer than 1 in 12 businesses have a sustainability plan to achieve net zero.

In 2022, Sheffield – based business, Wayv Talk and Broadband for Business were certified by Carbon Neutral Britain as the first provider in its market to achieve Carbon Neutral status.

We spoke to Wayv’s Managing Director, Liam Parnell, about how businesses can make simple changes that don’t require big investments but deliver positive environmental impact.

“Firstly, there seems to be a bit of a misconception that reducing the carbon footprint is going to cost the business lots of money,” Liam said.

“Just as businesses were beginning to gain more traction around 15 years ago, the global recession hit, and then the topic dropped down the priority list for most businesses… This is a shame because, from our experience, the biggest cost was simply investing time to implement change. In fact, a lot of the changes we implemented have actually reduced our costs.

“A really simple first step for Wayv was reducing our road travel where possible. Commuting to the office and travelling to our customers for meetings or installation work made up well over half of our footprint, so the first thing we did was implement incentives for public transport use and car sharing.

“We narrowed our google ad reach to local businesses and only targeted customers within 50 miles of our head office- this had a positive impact on our costs but more importantly our conversation rate increased, generating more business! For any enquiries from businesses out the 50-mile radius, we offer a video meeting as the first policy to ensure we don’t make any wasted journeys.

“As a business, roughly every 10 miles of travel you make by road requires an entire acre of woodland to remove that carbon generated, therefore these small modifications to our travel can have significant impacts.

“A really important part of our journey to Carbon Neutral was the engagement of all our staff. Many of the ideas we implemented came from general conversations between the staff, and it’s clear they are proud to work for a company that is taking the lead in our industry and taking responsibility for our environmental impacts. Educating our staff has led to many making positive changes outside of work.

“Our staff also felt that it was important to try and influence things outside our four walls and make positive choices about who we work with. As a result, part of our tendering process now requires new suppliers to outline what they are doing regarding sustainability.

“Lastly, having worked closely with Carbon Neutral Britain to understand our footprint, we decided that while we continue to work on reducing our impact, we would offset our remaining footprint through various verified offsetting projects. This helped us become recognised as the first provider in our market to achieve our status of Carbon Neutral and has since had a fantastic response from existing and potential customers.

“Even if a business isn’t able to currently give the time or resources to achieve Carbon Neutral certification, making small changes can make a big difference.”

Published in UnLTD Magazine and the Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber Member News Bulletin.

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