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What can sustainability look like for a remote-based SME?

Brockbank Plaut Consulting Limited is a biotech management consultancy with three employees. Since 2019, it has been identifying ways to cut its carbon footprint, with transport front and centre of its strategy.

In 2019, Brockback Plaut moved to a remote working business model as far as was possible. By only conducting face-to-face to meetings when essential, business mileage was reduced from 27,000 to 1125 miles per year.

Environmental impact is front and centre of decision-making when replacing physical assets. For example, when one of the company’s vehicles used for business was written off in 2020 the decision was taken to replace it with an electric vehicle, which has since been used for all shorter journeys. Similarly, the company plans to replace its boiler with a heat pump when the boiler’s lifespan ends.

Brockbank Plaut also installed solar panels on its primary building, which enables it to export energy to the grid in the summer, and has installed low-energy lightbulbs throughout.

In addition to reducing the company’s carbon footprint, these measures have made it more resilient to economic upheavals in recent years, including the COVID-19 pandemic and higher energy costs.

“For me the key lesson in sustainability is to be able to see both the big picture of what is needed and also the small interventions that make a difference. The longest journey is still only completed by taking one step at a time. Even if you are only making a small impact, if that can be multiplied thousands or even millions of times, then large scale change for the UK can be achieved.”
Keith Brockbank,
Managing Director, Brockbank Plaut Consulting Limited

Related courses and resources

Surveys show that a large majority of global consumers expect companies to be run in a socially responsible manner, with 81% saying they are more likely to buy from brands with similar values to their own. Full IoD members can request a template CSR policy for your company from the Information & Advisory Service.

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