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Establish yourself as the preferred supplier for your customers

Many buyers are increasingly asking for evidence of carbon reduction strategies before awarding contracts. The following short guide provides tips on how to become a good supplier to climate-conscious customers. 

1. Measure, monitor and disclose

 Precise data, particularly your carbon footprint (as well as other significant metrics like energy, fuel, water, and waste), holds immense worth. Ensure you have this information readily accessible to address supplier inquiries promptly, or display your commitment and measures on your website.

 

2. Set targets and promote progress

 Consider implementing a formal net zero emissions target when feasible, such as part of the All Wales Plan to reach net zero or the UK SME Climate Commitment which enables you to join the government-supported Race to Zero campaign. Use your sustainability efforts as a marketing tool to showcase your dedication to the cause. Incorporating an annual update or report on your progress can greatly contribute to the value of your documentation for customers.

3. Understand your customer

To excel as a reliable supplier, it is crucial to comprehend the risks faced by your customers, furnish them with essential information, and proactively undertake measures to minimize those risks. One effective approach is to thoroughly examine your customer's environmental policy, the commitments they have made, or any sustainability reports they have published. This will enable you to gain insights into their values and priorities, facilitating a better understanding of their requirements.

 

4. Engage and collaborate

Customers often find it beneficial to receive advice and recommendations from their suppliers. It is possible to identify potential areas for enhancing environmental performance or achieving greater efficiency that they may have overlooked. This could potentially open doors to offering novel products and services.

 

5. Consider your supply chain

Your customers are also part of your supply chain, which is why incorporating sustainability into your procurement process can mitigate risks for them in the long run. Consider implementing supplier surveys and including sustainability criteria in your tender invitations to showcase your commitment to responsible sourcing and enhance your social value.

 

6. Implement policies 

Ensure that your company has a comprehensive environmental policy in place and is able to provide evidence of compliance with all applicable environmental regulations upon request. It is important to showcase the actions and strategies implemented to minimize the environmental footprint of your operations, products, and services, with a particular emphasis on the areas that have the greatest overall impact. Additionally, consider the potential advantages of obtaining external accreditations or certifications to enhance your reputation among potential buyers.

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