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Free CPD: How to make your business more sustainable

Author: Insights

Published: 17 Jun 2024

No matter its size, every business has a responsibility to act on climate change. But with limited resources, it can be difficult for SMEs to know where to start. We’ve pulled together some helpful sustainability articles that can contribute to your verifiable Continuous Professional Development (CPD) hours.

In Climate change must be part of your business plan, Jo Paisley, President of GARP Risk Institute, says, “The more we act now the better, as we have a greater chance of an orderly transition. But we will need both to adapt to the changing climate, as well as mitigate it. Certainly, it will be catastrophic if we don’t act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions soon.”

Meanwhile, it seems that many small businesses, even those who are taking action on climate change, aren’t reporting on these developments. In fact, a recent ICAEW article shows that just 8% of SMEs are reporting on sustainability issues. While there is no requirement for SMEs to report this information, there is a growing demand for ESG plans to be shared.

The following resources will help you formulate an ESG plan and report on your organisation’s actions while accruing CPD hours.

Where to start

Do you know your LCA from your carbon footprint? Get to grips with the terminology of sustainability in this article.

Assessing the risks associated with climate change is critical to the survival of small businesses. For support, take a look at ESG for SMEs: risk assessment and where to start and Climate change: the basics on getting started

Actions to take

Sustainability reporting

Although SMEs aren’t legally required to report on their sustainability, there's truth in the adage what gets measured, gets managed. Plus, how can you know whether your actions are cutting your carbon emissions if you don’t know your baseline? This is why sustainability reporting matters to SMEs, according to Sophie Parkhouse.

Many smaller businesses are also under pressure from stakeholders to follow reporting standards mandated for larger organisations, as we discuss in our podcast: Can SMEs keep up with ESG.

To support those starting out on this journey, the Corporate Reporting Faculty have recorded two webinars on exactly how to get started with climate reporting. The first gives an overview of the UK regulations and includes tips on getting started, the second sets out priority disclosures and offers practical insights.

You can find out more about the different UK, European and international sustainability standards in helpsheets on our non-financial reporting hub.

To effectively handle this measurement and reporting, you’ll need to consider how best to adapt your finance function.

How to add to your CPD record

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