Across two decades running The Arabian Tent Company, we have witnessed and implemented numerous industry changes. The most monumental has been the shift towards working more sustainably.
Companies and organisations have a global responsibility to grow without compromising resources and to implement a greener business model for long term success. Having made many changes to make our business eco-friendlier, we can offer advice to other suppliers looking to clean up their act. Sustainable practice is the path to success and longevity.
Offset your footprint
Transporting our structures to venues represents our biggest carbon footprint. This carbon cost is unavoidable in our business as there is currently no viable alternative to using diesel-fuelled trucks. Our solution was to introduce a carbon offset plan. This gives our clients the opportunity to offset the carbon cost of all deliveries. We are able to calculate the wider impact of other elements of their big day to enable our clients to be part of the solution. We have also limited our delivery radius to 150 miles. If delivery mileage represents a substantial footprint of your business, consider your own carbon offset scheme. This will also bring the question of sustainability more sharply into focus as your clients plan their wedding.
Examine your supply chain
Supply chains have changed from domestic and regional to global. As a result, your suppliers’ best practice is not always visible. You can manage your supply chain risks by knowing your real suppliers - real people, production lines and facilities. Are there other options closer to home? As a company we deal with hundreds of regular suppliers and have recently made the move to only work with those businesses who operate in a sustainably minded way. We know about our suppliers’ waste management plans. We know where they source products. This level of visibility reassures us that we are doing all we can to minimise negative impacts.
Understand your impact
Analyse your business activities and establish actual and potential environmental impacts. This means measuring and reducing waste by replacing disposable items with reusable where possible and maintaining a responsible waste disposal system. We recently stopped working with a caterer who was dumping all their food waste in landfill where it would emit methane when much of it could have been repurposed for food banks.
Take the lead
Making sustainability the priority is an opportunity to influence others. Your operations are a platform for increasing awareness of how eco-friendly methods can work. You are leading by example - so share and promote your eco-friendly actions. Create a more positive brand image by demonstrating your green credentials. You can achieve competitive advantage by taking a leadership position on sustainable issues.