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30 Aug 2021

SME Standards: Sustainability

SME Certification Centre
  • SME Standards: Sustainability
  • SME Standards: Sustainability
  • SME Standards: Sustainability
SME Standards: Sustainability SME Standards: Sustainability SME Standards: Sustainability

About this Standard

Being more sustainable is something every organisation can work towards.  It is about operating profitably while taking responsibility for decisions that impact on the environment and sociey.

Improving your business' sustainability could be the difference between success and struggle.  Businesses that work unsustainably and neglect their environmental and social responsibility are likely to lose out to competitors as their customers, employees, partners and funders choose to work with companies that care about our planet and the wellbeing of the people on it.

Through simple actions such as reducing waste or supporting your local community, you can really make a difference.

As an SME, your business has an advantage, because it can be flexible and nimble, executing simple changes that make good business sense.

Achieving SME Standards:Sustainability is clear evidence of excellence in integrating sustainability into your organisation's operations.

Why should my business work towards SME Standards:Sustainability?

SME's that choose our fully certified programme to demonstrate their approach to sustainability can reap these benefits:

  • Addressing environmental and social responsibilites while continuing to grow
  • Working to a framework for indentifying and monitoring improvements
  • Recognition and celebration of improvements in sustainability
  • Enhanced credibility with a certificate - visible proof that you are a sustainable organisation
  • Increased customer confidence
  • Identification of efficiencies and cost savings
  • Stronger community links
  • Positive brand perception
  • Happy and loyal workforce

Core themes

The Standard has core themes that are relevant to every organisation, regardless of size.  You'll need to take action under each theme.  You'll decide what those actions are, based on what is most relevant and highest priority for your organisation.  We offer plenty of free guidance and suggestions to help you.


Environmental Action

Ensuring your organisation's day-to-day operations are environmentally responsible e.g. sustainabilityreducing waste or energy use.

Community Involvement

Having a positive impact on society by supporting local and global communities to be better places e.g. volunteering or fundraising.

Ethical Trading

Creating a positive working environment and treating customers and suppliers ethically and with integrity e.g. supporting staff wellbeing or paying suppliers promptly.


Standard Requirements

Committed - a basic step towards making improvements in sustainability

If you want to get recognised for improvement and good practice, then this level is for you.

It's very simple:

  1. Create a 'Commitment Statement' using our template.  This will include a short list of actions.
  2. Generate an 'Annual Report' - a simple form to update us on your progress (not required for your first assessment)


Certified - This level will take you a step further, helping you build a simple management system.

Our templates and advice will guide you through these core steps:

  1. Create a Policy
  2. Find out how your organisation is performing now and get ideas for ways to improve
  3. Create an Action Plan for good practice
  4. Create a Communication Plan for staff engagement and understanding
  5. Monitor your progress
  6. Evaluate performance annually

The SME Centre has developd a dedicated management system speficially for SME businessess to manage their sustainability.  Committed Certification pricing from £95+ VAT, Certified levels from £349+VAT. 

Visit for further details and to signup to start your certification journey. 


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