The Sustainability Masterclass for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME)©

Globally the role businesses play in achieving Sustainability is gaining significant importance. There is increasing pressure from external stakeholders for the business world to be take a leading and more proactive role in solving the adverse impacts of a myriad of environmental and social issues and to enhance positive environmental and social benefits. This can be seen in increased Government policies and regulations; demands of increasingly discerning employees, customers and suppliers; as well as other commercial aspects such as investment decisions and conditions attached to accessing finance.

Organisations, irrespective of their size, that have a clear understanding of the Sustainability agenda and who are able to incorporate best practice into their business find themselves meeting this increasing compliance requirements and expectations from key stakeholders. In the process they are also enhancing their core business value drivers. There is increasing evidence that integration of sustainability into one’s business model enhances long term development through improved cost and schedule efficiency, access to a wider range of financing options, development of new opportunities within the supply chain and better staff and stakeholder engagement.

Sustainability could therefore be one of the key value drivers for SMEs given they may be more agile in their ability to make decisions and take action than larger businesses where the decision-making and approval processes may be more involving or lengthy. In addition, SMEs’ potential growth and broader sustainability impact (for example, impact on women and youth) could also provide access to more financing options for companies that integrate sustainability into their business model.

The Sustainability for SMEs Masterclass is designed specifically for SMEs to provide an overview of the global trends influencing the Sustainability agenda, the business case for integrating Sustainability practices into their business model, and an explanation of the different components of Sustainability. The key objective of the Masterclass is for participants to start analysing what aspects of sustainability is most relevant to their specific businesses and to identify the resulting business value drivers.

Questions and topics explored in The Sustainability for SMEs Masterclass

  • What does Sustainability mean?
  • The global Sustainability trends and agenda and their implications for and impacts on SMEs.
  • The business case for integrating Sustainability practices into core business operations.
  • How could incorporating Sustainability create value for my organisation?
  • How can Sustainability be integrated into my company’s way of working?
  • What aspects of Sustainability are most relevant to my business?
  • What is the role of leadership in setting an effective Sustainability strategy?