Commercial gas specialist CNG recently became a holder of The Planet Mark™. Ellis Hall, the company’s renewable energy coordinator talks to us about what sustainability means for the business.
What inspired you to include sustainability in your business agenda?
As we were developing the renewables department within CNG, the opportunity arose to incorporate sustainability within our business strategy. It’s a buzzword that people use frequently, but we find that they are often unaware of what it really means. On a very basic level it is just about making smart business decisions. As our understanding of climate change and global warming becomes greater, CNG wants to help reduce and where possible, reverse the damage caused. We realised that we need to practice what we preach and start making business decisions based on their environmental influence. Moving forward as a business, a sustainable decision is a smart decision, hence the reason why we wanted to become Planet Mark-accredited.
Do you think businesses have a responsbility to report their environmental impact?
I don’t necessarily think businesses have a responsibility to report their environmental impact, but I do think they should be aware of it and allow it to aid their decision-making. As a company, we have made the conscious decision to include sustainability in our business agenda. I personally feel we have an obligation to future generations to redirect the trajectory of climate change. I have a similar standpoint on the notion of corporate social responsibility, it is simply something we should want to do, to do the right thing and not for the sake of reward or ticking a box.
What are the objectives and targets of your sustainability efforts?
Our targets are primarily based on reducing our carbon, energy and waste. We want to help educate people that a successful sustainability programme not only benefits the environment, but also a smart business decision. By utilising energy in the right way we are able to change people’s lives. The financial upside is an additional benefit. Sustainability goes beyond our internal activity at CNG; our outreach benefits external stakeholders in the local community, but also on a more national scale and global scale.
What business value do you expect to see from your sustainability efforts?
Research indicates that customer benefits include enhanced levels of trust, loyalty and retention. More and more people are becoming aware of the benefit of sustainability, subsequently businesses are making conscious decisions to work alongside environmentally friendly companies. From our perspective it is about how we can implement sustainability within CNG, which in turn, will add value to the business offering.