By Rune Sovndahl, is the Co-Founder of the UK’s leading domestic service provider, FantasticServices.com. We took some time to talk to Rune about the sustainability practices in his growing business.
Add value to your brand and gain competitive advantage
FantasticServices.com is built on innovation and progression, it’s what gives us our edge, so it’s only natural that we would want to move with the times to push ourselves ahead of the competition. I believe that everybody in the world has a responsibility to be more environmentally conscious, especially business owners – we employ thousands of workers under the FanstasticServices.com brand, so when we implement business it has a huge knock-on effect.
We made a conscious decision to move sustainability and innovation together and we did this through our travel-optimisation tools. Our new tools enable us to assign service providers with only local jobs, saving us thousands of miles and roughly 20% travel time, thus reducing our CO2 emissions. Not only that, it enables us to service our clients much better than our competitors. And because we’re a franchiser, this travel optimisation is implemented across each business.
The sustainable edge is great for the brand. It helps elevate the brand and can open up opportunities and collaborations with like-minded businesses. Customers are much more switched into sustainability and according to a 2019 Retail and Sustainability Survey by CGS, (a global provider of business applications, enterprise learning and outsourcing services) sustainability ranks second, after product quality, among reasons why customers are most likely to return to a brand. So being sustainable really is a no brainer.
Increase talent acquisition and retention
When we move ahead of our competitors, we gain interest from the business world and of course potential employees. I’ve always valued personality and talent over grades, and I believe that people with the right personality will want to work at an innovative business that is leading in sustainability – and of course, they’re the kind of people that I will want working at FantasticServices.com. I want to attract forward-thinking workers who will take the business forward.
As mentioned earlier, when you implement innovation and sustainability, you increase your brand awareness, which will help with acquisition. And when you employ forward-thinking people, you create positivity in the workplace which helps to retain staff. This of course saves lots of time and money when it comes to recruitment.
Meet basic consumer demand
Consumers are becoming more aware of climate change, and on the whole they want to reduce their carbon footprint, so long as quality and service isn’t compromised. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with sustainability to keep on track with what your consumers demand. Luckily for FantasticServices.com our sustainability changes effect service in a positive way and helps to make us more efficient.
Nobody’s saying SMEs have to go to the lengths of companies like Salesforce who have already achieved net-zero greenhouse gas emissions globally, but they can make efforts to reduce waste and recycle, utilise natural light in the office and reduce single use plastic – all of which show a positive move in the right direction.
Stimulate innovations while saving costs
Sustainability is synonymous with innovation and it pushes business owners to make positive changes that will benefit both the environment and the business. Implementing significant sustainability into your business takes an initial investment, but over time, you’ll save money. Just make sure that the initial investments you make can be afforded in the long term.
Set a long-term, holistic vision
Sustainability can’t be a knee-jerk reaction; it must be thought-out and planned in order to make lasting and meaningful change. It takes much more than just a token gesture to keep consumers happy.
Implement sustainability throughout your company by reducing the number of reusable cups used and encourage staff to reduce the amount they print in the office. Encourage suppliers to go digital with their brochures. You could go one step further by initiating sustainability efforts right through the supply chain.
Sustainability isn’t just about making green-focused changes, it can encompass plans that help employees and the local community, such as contributing to foodbanks to help improve the community in which you serve, and creating education opportunities for employees to help improve business efficiency and retain staff.
Instead of doing the minimum by only meeting the legal requirements, why not lead the way and make positive changes now? You’ll only be playing catch-up down the line. As stated earlier, a company that is focused on sustainability is more likely to be focused on innovation too, so, if you show good signs of sustainability, you’re more likely to attract investors and form collaborations that will drive the business forward. Plus, investors will want to know that your business model can function alongside sustainability.