Creating commercial value

by | Nov 13, 2023 | Sustainability

This month founder Kelly Hobson, explains how embedding sustainable thinking across a business can create ongoing opportunities for freight forwarders to thrive.

As the UK logistics sector remains under scrutiny and tirelessly seeks ways to improve its overall impact on climate change, I’m conscious many business leaders are ignoring the need to include all areas of sustainability with as much conviction.

Many businesses capturing scope 1, 2 and 3 data are essentially levelling the playing field. Carbon emission data is a necessity, it defines one chapter of your story and demonstrates your intent to make a difference in helping to tackle a priority topic. But carbon data is an enabler for industry wide change and future actions are heavily influenced by the UK government agenda, or unfortunately the lack of them. Meaning as a standalone sustainability initiative your business will not shine brighter than the competition and your business will eventually be left behind as others move quickly to embrace new opportunities.

To be recognised as a truly sustainable business you need to be able to demonstrate real intent by implementing societal and environmental initiatives aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

My recommendation to Shape Tomorrow clients is to always start your sustainability journey by understanding all significant impact areas across your value chain.

Consumers today are demanding brands do more to improve their impact on our planet and society, that expectation is influencing change across supply chains including logistics partners. Additional questions in tenders today are being seen that are representative of more than just a tick box exercise, and your clients are requesting more information to align to their organisation’s internal sustainability objectives.

However, sustainability is a difficult discipline to navigate for any business leader. Apart from representing a vast array of environmental and societal topics that requires specialist knowledge, it requires both board support and ongoing leadership engagement to embed in everyday decision making.

Top environmental topics to consider dependent on owned assets

  1. Energy Consumption
  2. Waste Management
  3. Water Management
  4. Biodiversity Impact

Top societal topics to consider

  1. DEI (Diversity, inclusion and equity)
  2. Heath & Safety
  3. Local Community and Charity Support
  4. Employee Training & Development

Gaining board support is the number one priority in driving sustainability, I have seen firsthand that those who have not conquered board discussions fail within the first three months. To engage with your board it is important that you understand the business case, where a business can drive profitable gains and create new opportunities. Key areas to consider include:

  • Aligning to current and future client requirements improves client retention
  • Creating green partner credentials attracts new clients
  • New value propositions help penetrate new sectors
  • Planning ensures future legislation requirements are met thus avoiding fines
  • Roadmaps help achieve future investment
  • Purpose improves employee retention and attracts new talent

Remember sustainability is a journey that requires a considered starting point and the conviction from all employees to make a real difference.

If you need support verifying your scope 1 and 2, developing your sustainability approach or have specific questions related to your current planning you can contact Kelly directly –