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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.

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Featured eBook

Practical sustainability strategies: how to gain a competitive advantage

Provides guidance on sustainability strategies and tools for organisations to help improve competitive advantage without having a negative impact on the environment.

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Featured link

Finance for the Future Awards

The awards programme is a partnership between ICAEW, Deloitte and HRH The Prince of Wales' Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S), to recognise the role of finance in driving sustainable economies. Inspirational case studies from previous winners are available.

Online articles

The Library provides access to leading business, finance and management journals. These journals are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users subject to suppliers' terms of use. 

How to market green products

Many companies overestimate consumers’ interest in sustainable products, resulting in too many products that don’t sell well. Brands need to segment their customers by attitudes toward sustainability and tailor their messages accordingly. The authors suggest three categories for consumers - Greens ('true believers'), Blues ('agnostics') and Grays ('disbelievers').

Faux cocoa's ethical edge

The article discusses the ethical supply chain operations of British imitation chocolate manufacturer WNWN Food Labs. Topics explored include the use of British barley and carob by the firm to produce alternatives to chocolate, ethical issues associated with the cocoa industry, and the market challenges being faced by imitation chocolate companies.

Unilever makes sustainability its business

An interview with Jostein Solheim, EVP of foods and refreshment for North America at Unilever. He spoke with Progressive Grocer magazine about how innovative products, processes and changed conversations with retailers are helping Unilever advance its sustainability-driven growth strategy.

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Useful links


Finance for the Future Awards
Awards founded by ICAEW and HRH The Prince of Wales' Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S), to recognise financial leadership in developing successful business models that both produce financial returns and deliver environmental and social benefits. Inspirational case studies from previous winners are available. 

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


Plastic packaging tax
A collection of guidance on Plastic Packaging Tax which came into force on 1 April 2022. The tax covers plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled plastic that is manufactured or imported.

UK Business Climate Hub
Initiative from the UK Government to help small businesses halve greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 and reach net-zero emissions before 2050. The hub provides tools and resources to support businesses and specific guidance for sectors including manufacturing, retail, tech and agriculture.

Green claims code: making environmental claims
Guidance from the Competition and Markets Authority to help businesses understand and comply with their existing obligations under consumer protection law when making environmental claims in the UK. Published on 20 September 2021.

Green Jobs Taskforce report
Report from the Green Jobs Taskforce published by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in July 2021. Provides recommendations on how the UK government, industry and skills sector can best deliver a green industrial revolution and the jobs and skills of the future.

SME guide to energy efficiency
Advice from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to help businesses 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.

Waste and environmental impact
Guidance from GOV.UK for businesses, covering environmental compliance, improving environmental performance and regulations for specific industry sectors.

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


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.

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.

Net Zero Now - Accountants
Subscription based platform developed by Net Zero Now in collaboration with ICAEW, Sage (UK) Ltd, ACCA, AAT and the Good Business Charter. Provides a suite of tools to help accountancy practices go Net Zero including a carbon footprint calculator, analysis and reporting tools, benchmarking information, an emissions reduction plan and access to accredited offsets.

Reports and guides

Small Business Sustainability Checklist
Tool from IFAC, published in November 2023, to help small businesses identify sustainability areas, risks, and opportunities. Lists a range of initiatives and actions to be considered in terms of environmental, social and governance factors.

3-step sustainability assessment for SMES
Checklist from Accountancy Europe to help SME accountants and advisors support clients in building their sustainability profile. Published in May 2021.

Insights From Successful Supply Chain Sustainability Practices
National Association for Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability Management (NAEM) 2019 report offering a benchmark of best supply chain sustainability practices, as well as a guide to those who are building the foundations of a successful program.

Manufacturing: Stepping up to the sustainability challenge
Report published by Make UK in June 2019 reviewing the manufacturing sector’s approach to sustainability. Covers what the sector is doing already doing to manage sustainability, what is driving change and next steps for companies. 

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.

IFAC Sustainability Framework 2.0 
Framework from the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) for 'embedding sustainability into the DNA of an organisation', focusing on business strategy, operations and reporting.

Atom Content Marketing guides

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 through our document supply service.

Can't find what you are looking for?

If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by web chat or by email at library@icaew.com.

ICAEW accepts no responsibility for the content on any site to which a hypertext link from this site exists. The links are provided ‘as is’ with no warranty, express or implied, for the information provided within them. Please see the full copyright and disclaimer notice.

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