Local businesses are an important part of our community, not least in having a big effect on how we develop our responses locally to the climate crisis and how we can improve sustainability in the Crowborough area.
Businesses are often taking an impressive lead in reducing the impact of their activities on the environment and in finding new ways to improve their sustainability. In this way they are contributing to the development of the green economy in the local area. Of course, businesses differ in the nature and scale of their activities and contribute in different ways, but it is interesting that businesses of all sizes can find ways to do their bit. The following are examples that we have encountered of the different approaches that can be adopted. Hopefully this can provide inspiration for other businesses.
High Environmental Standards for Business – ISO 14000 & Ecovadis
The ISO 14000 range of environmental standards provide practical tools to manage a firm’s environmental responsibilities and are a major indication of a firm’s commitment to sustainability, although it has to be recognised that it takes an effort on their part, for which they should be commended . In Crowborough, Baldwin Boxall. a manufacturer of voice alarm systems and communications recently announced its achievement of ISO14001 Certification and Servomex, one of Crowborough’s largest employers who provide gas analysis equipment, technology and consulting have had ISO 14001 Certification for a while, though they continue to seek ways to improve performance.
Recently, Servomex have also been awarded the EcoVadis Gold Rating 2022 for its business sustainability practices. EcoVadis is a leading assessment platform for supplier sustainability ratings. Among the strengths identified for Servomex were its environmental emergency measures, specialized treatment and safe disposal of hazardous substances and progression towards Sustainable Development Goals.
Servomex works with GTC experts and volunteers, for instance, in helping to increase still further the bio-diversity of their site in Jarvis Brook.
Emissions along the Supply Chain
Increasingly, as scope 3 emissions – those that arise indirectly from earlier activity in the supply chain – are taken into account, for instance in procurement contracts, there will be greater pressure on suppliers to examine their own emissions, even if they are small firms. Addressing the impacts on climate change is no longer only of concern to larger businesses.
Food Waste and Supermarkets
The main supermarkets in Crowborough contribute to the Crowborough Community Pantry and/or other similar organisations, and thus make an important contribution to reducing food waste. This arrangement is very much appreciated by the recipients of the food and all those involved in the Community Fridge.
Local Food Suppliers
GTC supporters make use of local suppliers of food, wherever possible, in order to reduce the carbon costs of transport and encourage those making their businesses more sustainable. Click to see a list of local producers on our website.
Hair Gallery is a well-established salon in Crowborough, but also the town’s first sustainable salon that has massively reduced its landfill contributions and also uses sustainable hair products, wherever possible. As proud members of the Green Salon Collective they are now able to recycle all the hair collected and the chemicals, paper, metals and plastics used. More information is available on their website: www.hairgallery.co.uk.
New Green Business Opportunities
Developing sustainability takes some effort, but it also offers opportunities, in some cases to reduce existing costs, for example through accessing cheaper renewable energy. In other cases, it provides opportunities for new business ventures. TransFunk Furniture, started as an upcycling and restyling business. It now promotes the circular economy by producing furniture and other style items, making use of recycled goods and new responsibly sourced, sustainable materials.
Help and Support
Green Transition Crowborough can help businesses develop their sustainability with some initial ideas and, in some cases, expert advice. It can also signpost additional sources of help, such as Brighton University’s Green Growth Platform, which supports the development of green businesses locally and LoCASE, which until the spring of 2023, is providing grants and other assistance to businesses in the South East to help them become more competitive and profitable while protecting the environment and adopting low carbon solutions.
Do get in touch with GTC, if you are a manager or business owner and want to let us know what you are doing or discuss how we can help: firstname.lastname@example.org.