Cwmbran-based consultancy firm signs up to the Business Wales Green Growth Pledge and raises awareness of the importance of sustainability for SMEs.
White Fox Consulting helps organisations of all sizes to overcome barriers and grow. Directors Gaby Cocchiara and Natasha Harries worked with a Business Wales sustainability adviser and signed up to the Green Growth Pledge – an easy, straightforward way for SMEs to adopt sustainability improvements. From looking after staff well-being, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, to offsetting their carbon footprint and sending wildflower seed Christmas cards, the business has already implemented a range of sustainability measures while encouraging every SME to do their bit.
Introduction to business
With over 70 years combined experience, White Fox Consulting is a consultancy company, providing commercial support and guidance to organisations of all sizes, including tech start-ups, financial services and sales companies, helping them restructure, generate revenue and maximise their growth potential.
We caught up with White Fox’s Director Natasha Harries to find out more about the value of sustainability to the business.
How have the Green Growth Pledge and your Business Wales adviser inspired you to be more environmentally conscious?
Just like anything in life, you are unaware of what you have yet to learn or be taught. Becoming climate and environmentally aware does not happen overnight, and grasping the scale of the issue at hand takes time.
Regardless of already having some eco-policies in place, being a part of the Green Growth Pledge has allowed everyone at White Fox Consulting to grow and develop as individuals, as well as a team, whilst making our business more environmentally friendly.
Not only did it allow us to develop strategies to help tackle the climate crisis, but it also helped us save money and reduce our costs as a business – which during a worldwide pandemic was essential!
As I am sure every business owner is aware, having the ability to map out, plan and strategize your next move is key to your success. The Green Growth Pledge gave us that opportunity and led us to achieve epic results.
I would like to thank [our Business Wales Sustainability Adviser] Paul for his continued support, and I look forward to seeing how White Fox continues to become an even greener company off the back of this scheme.
What would you advise other small businesses who might think environmentally friendly measures are beyond their abilities?
I wish to share a quote by author Anna Lappe with these businesses: “Every time you spend money, you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” As SMEs account for 98% of the businesses within the UK today, we have an extraordinary opportunity to make a positive impact on the planet.
For example, when you buy cheap, poorly made electronics, you are casting your vote for single use plastics, metal mined by children and poorly made products designed to break in a short space of time.
However, if you were to purchase quality, refurbished and pre-loved computers, not only would you be supporting the small business revamping these electricals, but you will also be saving them from landfill, thus drastically reducing your carbon footprint.
It is imperative that as a business owner, you understand that your organisation has the power to make a drastic change for the world you want to live in.
Researching the products and services you are purchasing takes very little time, yet, has a very big impact. Making a conscious effort to shop sustainably will save the planet, support other small businesses and more often than not, save you money – it’s a win win win!
What steps have you taken as part of your Green Growth Pledge commitment?
Wellbeing of staff and our local community
Since signing up to the Green Growth Pledge, it is safe to say that nationwide conditions regarding Covid-19 have not improved, and now more than ever, White Fox Consulting has had to make a conscious effort to support the wellbeing of our staff and local community.
We have recently implemented weekly email newsletters for our staff. These include useful information such as product details, training guides and team incentives, but also support guides for maintaining good mental health. This is imperative and demonstrates to our staff that they have our continuous support, as well as allowing them to develop and flourish as an employee at home.
In November 2020, we delivered care packages to each member of staff, which they absolutely loved!
These packages comprised of items such as fair trade tea and coffee, a reusable water bottle and various other small goodies to lift their spirits – all delivered in recyclable cardboard boxes.
We have also been able to share some of the information Business Wales provided us with other local SMEs, as well as having lengthy discussions about strategies on becoming more sustainable. White Fox Consulting will continue to ‘spread the word’ of how we are becoming a much more sustainable workforce through our networking and social media.
Since signing up to the Green Growth Pledge, we have made considerable progress in measuring our impact on the planet and our environment. We are continuously looking for new strategies and policies to implement that will ultimately result in us becoming a more sustainable consultancy. Throughout our office, we have designated recycling bins, use recycled paper notepads and reusable printer ink cartridges, and have decided to continue to make other positive climate changes.
Brand & Marketing
We have made enormous improvements to our brand and marketing sustainability. To give something back to our shared home, planet Earth, we have signed up to Ecologi – a company whose sole mission is to help both individuals and organisations tackle the climate crisis. We pay a monthly fee for our employees, which is invested into projects that reduce our carbon footprint. So far, Ecologi has planted 82 trees on our behalf as part of the Eden Reforestation Project.
In addition, we sent most of our Christmas greetings via email last year. However, where we needed a physical card, we purchased cards that were made of recycled paper full of wildflower seeds. Once Christmas is over, instead of throwing the card away, you plant it and it grows wild flowers, which are particularly good for bees and butterflies.
Future plans and ambitions
As part of the Green Growth Pledge, White Fox Consulting has two main goals:
- To continue to learn and develop as individuals and as a company. There is no ‘silver bullet’ solution to climate change. However, we can ALL keep educating ourselves and others around us, continue to make better choices in everyday life and keep trying to give our planet a better tomorrow.
- To use our platform as a management consultancy to build awareness and encourage others to become more environmentally aware. For many companies, sustainability is sadly not at the top of their priorities. We will continue the conversation, making others aware of the policies we have implemented and the changes we have made, whilst encouraging them to do the same.
If you want to read more success stories of how Business Wales has helped other people like you to start or grow their businesses, visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/case-studies or follow @_businesswales / @_busnescymru on Twitter.