There’s a growing recognition among our customers that ‘being responsible’ can set organisations apart from the competition and help improve their reputations. It can make them more attractive to customers, procurers, supplier and investors as well as existing, and potential, employees.
What do we mean by ‘responsible’? A key part of it is respecting the environment by taking steps such as reducing the carbon footprint and find more eco-friendly ways of doing business. But it goes further than that: it’s about operating sustainably in the broadest possible sense – making a real contribution to society. In short, it’s about giving your business strong foundations and ensuring you’re in a position to grow your values in line with your business.
Research backs this up. Cone Communications found in 2017 that 90% of consumers said they were more likely to trust companies that support social and environmental issues. Operating sustainably is becoming not just a ‘nice to have’, but a key reputational pillar and something consumers are increasingly looking for in their businesses.
Being responsible can have a direct impact on your organisation’s reputation and increasingly, on your bottom line, as customers look for organisations whose values align with their own.
SSE: doing the right thing by our customers
At SSE Business Energy, we work hard to make sure we remain true to our own principles. We’ve put measures in place to ensure we add value and contribute positively to society at every turn. We care deeply about our impact on the environment: SSE as an organisation has spent over £3.5 billion on renewables since 2010 and we have the broadest portfolio of renewable energy-generating assets in the UK and Ireland (read more about our renewable energy solutions here).
It’s not just about energy. We pay our fair share of tax and on time – we’re proud to be the only FTSE100 company accredited Fair Tax Mark. We also value our people: we pay all direct employees the real Living Wage and invest heavily in their training and development.
And we’ve also put tools and resources in place to help our customers, and other businesses, boost their reputation.
Customers increasingly expect companies to support social and environmental issues. One way to meet this demand is to have renewable energy credentials. You can do this through selecting a tariff that’s made up of renewably sourced energy.
Take SSE Green. This is our 100% renewable electricity tariff, which is fully backed by Renewable Electricity Guarantee of Origins (REGOs)* and independently verified by EcoAct, a Carbon Disclosure Project Accredited Provider and world leading advisor of carbon and energy management and sustainability services.
This means you can be confident that the electricity your organisation has purchased is renewably sourced and can be reported with zero carbon emissions under the GHG Protocol market-based method.
Business benefits from Green
SSE Green also brings some wider reputational benefits that will help to set your business apart from the competition. We provide you with a specially designed certificate and logo, which you can use on sales collateral and new business proposals to show off your sustainability credentials. You can also use the SSE Green logo on letter heads, email footers or even as a window sticker, demonstrating your commitment to sustainability to customers and your team alike.
Another way to show you’re serious about reducing your impact on the environment is to assess how energy efficient you are and to take steps to improve it – this will also help save you money.
Firms with an effective energy efficiency strategy in place are currently in the minority – a survey by Carbon Credentials found that less than half have adopted even the most basic sustainability measures, such as using recycling bins – so this is an area where you can quickly reap the reputational benefits. To help you do this, we have a range of tools available on our website, including a checklist to help you assess your company’s current energy efficiency and quick wins you can put in place immediately to help reduce your carbon footprint.
Keeping your employees engaged with the energy efficiency process can result in longer lasting, more impactful changes, so we’ve also included advice on how to get employee buy-in (you can also read our recent blog about how to empower your team to become more energy efficient).
Pinpointing ways to reduce your energy usage will also help you get into the mindset of cutting down on wasteful practices – a sure fire way of becoming more sustainable and reputable.
Get the Fair Tax Mark
We can also help you build your reputation in other ways. Paying taxes on time and fairly – and being seen to do this – indicates a responsible company. You can demonstrate you’re doing this by becoming a Fair Tax Mark accredited company; this is an independent stamp of approval for businesses that proactively shows you pay the right amount of tax, in the right place, at the right time.
To make it easier for you to do this, we’ve teamed up with the Fair Tax Mark company, following our own accreditation with them, and developed an interactive assessment for our customers. We ask our customers questions about their current tax practices and from this, help them assess whether there’s value in them becoming Fair Tax Mark accredited too and advise them of the next steps.
Be a Living Wage employer
Additionally, you can become a Living Wage employee. This can have a real, lasting impact on the public perception of an organisation: 86% of those who have taken the plunge said it enhanced their general reputation, according to research by the Living Wage Foundation.
As a proud Living Wage employer ourselves, we’ve included resources on our website to help you implement a real Living Wage.
Why not follow these steps today and boost your business reputation?
Find out more about how we can work with you to build your reputation and help you become more sustainable by visiting our website.