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Sustainable Business

Practical Investment to Help the Environment

21 Nov 2019

business man's hand holding up earth with environmental signpostsWith the Institute of Director’s Sustainable Business campaign underway, IoD member and Programme Director at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, shares his practical environmental top tips for business leaders. Philip Turvil is an award-winning director who has inspired millions of people to take positive environmental actions with lasting behavioural change.

There is increasing expectation on business leaders to act positively for the environment.

This is vital for our planet. This is also good business as it helps find and retain staff and customers. 

But where to start? A great way is investing in charities to deliver environmental projects with your networks and on your behalf, such as planting trees. See below for example charities.

Even modest investments in cash and time will yield tangible outcomes for the environment. There are usually positive wellbeing benefits too for the teams and communities taking part, as well as great stories to share internally and publicly.

How about the risk? Your business might get accused of too little; too short-term. The solution is honesty about your journey. It takes time to change to more sustainable behaviours and services/products.

The ideal is to combine regular investment in environmental projects with work to reduce waste and energy use and increase greener investments and materials.

The IoD hosts events and materials to help business leaders transition to greater sustainability. Visit

Environmental charities working with businesses (UK examples)

Please also look locally and ask staff for suggestions.

  1. Trees for Cities 

    Cultivates better business by creating positive change for communities and the environment by planting trees and other impactful activities.

  2. Grow Wild 

    Award-winning activities with native plants and fungi in schools, offices and communities. Grow Wild achieves large-scale environmental and wellbeing benefits.

  3. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 

    World-leading research and education institution offering exclusive community and volunteering opportunities.

  4. Field Studies Council 

    National network of local centres teaching people about the environment so they can make informed choices about how best to protect it.

  5. Woodland Trust 

    Opportunities to plant woods and trees to combat climate change, build a greener future and create havens for wildlife.

  6. Wildlife Trusts 

    National network of charities working locally to make the world wilder and make nature part of life, for everyone.

  7. Thrive 

    National charity using gardening for positive change in the lives of people living with disabilities or ill health, or who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable.


  8. The Conservation Volunteers 

A network of thousands of people transforming green spaces for nature and for people. They create healthier and happier communities.

Return to the IoD's Sustainable Business hub

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