Copper’s Becky Borrow investigates Bristol’s ‘Go Green’ initiative, part of Bristol European Green Capital 2015, and explores the benefits for Copper and other businesses alike of becoming more sustainable.

Tuesday 10 February saw nearly 400 people representing over 300 organisations from Bristol and the West of England attend the launch event for ‘Go Green’, a new initiative which aims to help guide businesses to a more sustainable future and to firmly embed the green agenda into the fibre of organisations to make a real, lasting difference that survives beyond 2015.

Go Green is working  closely with Bristol 2015 and the Bristol Green Capital Partnership to drive, recognise and celebrate the positive actions that businesses can make in sustainability during Bristol’s year as the European Green Capital city.

“We want to ensure that every business in the region has the chance to benefit from the awareness created by the European Green Capital award. We want to celebrate the success of our greenest companies, but also encourage many more to seize this opportunity to become greener, save money and find new customers” says Andrew Garrad, Chair of Bristol 2015 and speaker at the Go Green launch event.

When signing up to Go Green, businesses are asked  to ‘say it, do it, prove it’ using the free online ‘action plan’ tool which suggests steps that can be taken under five key headings – Planning & Resilience, Travel & Transport, Energy & Efficiency, Sustainable Sourcing and Happy & Healthy.

As well as the online tool, the Go Green website provides a number of case studies demonstrating a variety of initiatives organisations have already taken in order to inspire and motivate others to take these steps. For example, Copper has provided a case study regarding our involvement in the Green Rewards JUMP scheme in the hope that it will inspire others to reward their staff for taking positive steps that both improve the environment and enhance personal health.

But how does going green benefit business?

Copper has already undertaken many steps towards being a more sustainable business – we actively recycle; we encourage walking and cycling to work; we carefully manage our procurement sourcing sustainable products wherever possible; we reduce our use of electricity by turning off appliances when they are not being used – to name just a few. And we will do more. But why?

Save money: Going green can lead to cost savings through reduced consumption (for example of electricity, water) and reduced waste, and can help save even more money by identifying where a business can be more efficient.

Improve your credentials: Demonstrating a commitment to managing your environmental impact can help improve your reputation with existing clients and other stakeholders.

Improve your resilience: Being more sustainable in the way your business behaves can have long term benefits, ensuring your organisation will still be in business in years to come.

Motivate staff: A happy and healthy team will be a more productive team. Therefore engaging and motivating your staff to be more sustainable in their behaviour, for example by walking or cycling to work, will prove very beneficial.

Save our planet: It is the responsibility of all to take care of our planet and by making small changes, every business can have an impact in helping to protect the world in which we live.

More on Copper’s Go Green Action Plan to come…

More information regarding Go Green can be found on their website or via Twitter @GoGreenBristol