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Green business

Green and sustainable business practices and strategies have become important issues for organisations big and small. On this page you can access a range of articles, books and online resources providing quick links to guidance, reports and useful organisations.

What's on this page?

  • Briefings
  • Online articles
  • Useful links
  • Articles and books from the Library

Featured article

Doing the right thing at SC Johnson
SC Johnson's CEO Fisk Johnson on the importance of trustworthiness and taking action to reduce any potential environmental or health effects from his company's products - even if that might reduce profits. 

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ICAEW guide

Just Good Business
An ICAEW initiative to support SMEs in building sustainable operations and lasting success for their business. Includes practical advice and case studies.


Briefings are four-page guides from Atom Content Marketing written for the busy practitioner, director and entrepreneur providing concise, practical advice on core business issues.

Apply for environmental grants, loans and awards

19 OCTOBER 2017

If you are considering making your business more environmentally responsible, a variety of grants, loans and government-sponsored initiatives can help you. The support on offer can range from funding towards new energy-efficient equipment to free consultations providing practical business advice and awards that you can use to boost your marketing efforts

Conduct an environmental review

19 OCTOBER 2017

Reducing the environmental impact of your business isn’t just the right thing to do or a question of meeting your legal obligations. It also offers substantial and immediate business benefits, including reducing your costs and improving your reputation.

Environmental business travel

19 OCTOBER 2017

Reducing your carbon footprint is a growing priority for consumers and businesses alike, and a green transport strategy is an essential part of any business’ green credentials.

Ethical finance for your business

19 OCTOBER 2017

Ethical finance allows you, your staff and shareholders to make informed choices about the financial institutions your business deals with. You can use ethical finance for most business dealings, including bank accounts, insurance, commercial mortgages, investments and savings.

Fulfil your business' environmental obligations

26 JANUARY 2017

Every business has an impact on the environment - and legal obligations that it must fulfil. The requirements are relatively simple for businesses such as offices and shops. Businesses in sectors such as chemicals and agriculture need to do more to help control the potential environmental risks.

Go green and benefit your business

19 OCTOBER 2017

Every business can benefit from minimising its environmental impact. Complying with environmental laws and doing your bit to help the planet also delivers direct business benefits.

Introduce an environmental management system

19 OCTOBER 2017

An environmental management system (EMS) allows you to monitor and control the effect your business has on the environment. It demonstrates your commitment to customers, provides reassurance that you are complying with environmental regulations and can help you find more efficient ways to operate.

Produce sustainable products and services

19 OCTOBER 2017

Consumers and other businesses are increasingly making purchasing decisions based on environmental and sustainability concerns. Making your products and services more sustainable can protect your livelihood as well as the planet.

Reduce pollution and waste

19 OCTOBER 2017

For many businesses, pollution and waste are among the most important environmental impacts - and ones that can be relatively easy to control. Reducing pollution and waste helps you cut costs and improve your reputation, leading to significant increases in profitability.

Running a community organisation

19 OCTOBER 2017

Successful community organisations across the country deliver important services to their communities year-round. And being involved in contributing to your community can be a very rewarding experience.

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Disclaimer: These publications from Atom Content Marketing are for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

Online articles

The library provides access to a range of articles in full text from leading business, finance and management journals. Access to articles is provided to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users subject to suppliers' terms of use.

How marketers can put social purpose into practice

Why brands need to replace the outdated concept of Corporate Social Responsibility with a social purpose that is intrinsically linked to their core objectives.

Channeling influence: Supply chain's evolutionary role in corporate social responsibility

How going beyond the Triple Bottom line in CSR helps influence and drive innovation in the supply chain and holds opportunities for substantial benefits to the business.

Doing the right thing at SC Johnson

SC Johnson's CEO Fisk Johnson on the importance of taking action to reduce any potential environmental or health effects from his company's products - even if that might reduce profits.

Resilience in a hotter world

Extreme weather and rising demand for resources call for a fundamentally new strategy.

It's good to be green

Examples of environmentally sustainable business practices that make economic sense, focusing on logistics and transportation.

STAPLES: Smart packaging, happy customers, healthy planet

A look inside the second-largest Internet retailer's New Jersey fulfillment centre.

Beyond the norm

Benefit your company, society and the environment by making sustainable business part of your daily operations.

Useful links


Just Good Business
ICAEW initiative to support SMEs in building sustainable operations and lasting success for their business. Includes practical advice, case studies and a step-by-step guide to building sustainability into your business.

Overviews and resources on measuring, reporting and assuring sustainability, sustainable business and climate change.


Business in the Community
UK organisation working to develop frameworks for responsible business. The website offers case studies, publications and research studies.

Membership organisation for companies 'who have an interest and commitment to improving their overall performance in key CSR areas'. Resources include research reports and case studies.

Carbon Trust
Organisation supporting businesses and the public sector to cut carbon emissions, save energy and commercialise low carbon technologies. The website gives information on climate change legislation, emerging technologies and guides.

Finance for the Future Awards - case studies
Inspirational case studies which aim to share good practice in business sustainability and help others create innovative ways of doing business.

Go Green
Initiative from Low Carbon South West in collaboration with Business West to join up businesses in the West of England that are working towards a sustainable future. Site includes case studies and an online Go Green Action Plan tool.

Natural Capital Coalition
Coalition made up of over 200 organisations who are working to create a world where business conserves and enhances natural capital. Site includes the Natural Capital Protocol which offers business managers a standardised framework to identify, measure, and value impacts and dependencies on natural capital.

Reports and guides

The state of sustainable supply chains
Study produced by EY in collaboration with the UN Global Compact exploring the current state of supply chains globally. Identifies actions companies can take to further embed sustainability in their supply chains. Published in 2016.

SDG business hub
In September 2015 world leaders adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and committed to 17 goals to eradicate poverty, promote peace and equality, fuel inclusive growth and protect the environment. This one-stop-shop from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) consolidates and provides easy access to information for businesses on the SDGs.

SME guide to energy efficiency
Advice from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to help your business become more energy efficient, with ideas and tips to start reducing bills today. Topics covered include heating, lighting, office equipment and production equipment, with case studies from businesses which saved money by installing energy saving devices or raising staff awareness. Published in 2015.

Fostering sustainability in financial services
Discussion of sustainability within the financial services sector in EY's EMEIA Financial Services Sustainability Report 2016.

Ten key elements to sustainable business practices in SMEs
Tool produced in 2013 by the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) which brings together case studies and key lessons from small businesses across the UK, US and Canada on sustainability. Based on a report from AICPA, CIMA and CPA Canada.

Good practice checklist for small business
An International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) checklist, updated in 2013 to contain a new standalone section on environmental management.

Ernst & Young LLP and GreenBiz Group study – six growing trends in corporate sustainability
Conducted in late 2012, this Ernst & Young LLP study looks at how companies are responding to a wide range of internal and external forces related to environmental sustainability risks and how well companies are prepared to address them.

Sustainable Businesses: navigating towards a more sustainable future
Survey report by Nathan Goode published in October 2012 looking at how sustainability issues have been integrated into business models of mid-market companies in a variety of sectors.

Making sense of going green: small businesses and the low carbon economy (FSB) 
This report published in September 2012 by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) discusses 12 environmental policies in the pipeline aimed at reducing the cost of SME’s energy bills.

IFAC Sustainability Framework 2.0 
Revised framework guidance from the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) discussing the integration of sustainability factors from three perspectives: business strategy, operational and reporting. Published in 2011.

Other resources

Accountants changing the world
A range of resources from author and speaker Steve Pipe to help accountants in the UK put sustainability and social responsibility at the heart of their operations.

Policy areas: Environment
Overview of EU environmental standards and links to EU legislation, organisations, statistics and publications.

Waste and environmental impact
Government guidance for businesses, covering environmental compliance, improving environmental performance and regulations for specific industry sectors.

Articles and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post, fax or email through our document supply service.

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