A wonderful council-funded program called Better Business Partnership is assisting our local businesses to be even better via sustainable practices. It’s free for businesses to participate and can even save them money!
Better Business Partnership (BBP) aims to promote and support businesses to be more successful through sustainability. The advice from BBP is completely free and they work with the business to implement their suggestions. The result not only achieves environmental and social gains for the business, but economic gains as well.
“Better Business Partnership was created in 2009,” says Program Coordinator Amanda Choy. “The concept was built on existing sustainability programs to make it easier for small to medium local businesses to make sustainability improvements, as well as the encouragement of good environmental and social practices.”
“Start-up funding was initially through a NSW Government Environmental trust grant and it has been supported since then by Ku-ring-gai, North Sydney and Willoughby Councils.”
While many business owners will want to take part in the program for its positive environmental outcomes, they’ll also be happy to know about the economic gains that can come from participating.
“BBP educates our member businesses on how to become more energy efficient and resourceful with waste, which translates into real cost savings,” confirms Amanda. “We guide on the benefits of setting up a business plan, establishing your sustainability philosophy and provide a practical sustainability action plan. With our connection into all levels of government, we are knowledgeable on the latest money-saving initiatives or business upgrade offers that specifically target small business. All of this makes a difference to a business bottom line and have longer term success.”
The support and benefits of the Better Business Program don’t stop there, however. BBP actively assists with promoting its member businesses. “We want our businesses to flourish and we proactively help to grow their customer base with promotion via BBP communication channels and our business directory, council networks and their marketing channels, networking sessions, and holding every second year the Better Business Awards which generates broader community publicity,” says Amanda.
“BBP has launched a new initiative called ‘Buy Better Buy Local’, encouraging the public to support and buy from their local Better Businesses who are all for planet, people and prosperity. These businesses are undertaking actions to minimise impact on the environment and many support broader social causes, all of which helps build a more cohesive and vibrant community. It’s easy to find out who is a BBP accredited member by looking through our business directory on our website bbp.org.au”.
Anne Thompson, founder of social enterprise, Worn Up, which won the Social Enterprise and Community category in the 2021 Better Business Awards, and has been with BBP for 4 years said, “BBP has helped us grow and develop as a business, with the support and guidance that we really needed.”
So how does a business become a better business? It’s not only worthwhile but very simple.
“As long as the business operates or is registered in either Willoughby, North Sydney or Ku-ring-gai council areas, they are eligible to join. From a sole trader, to a small or large sized business any organisation can undertake the free online assessment ‘How Sustainable is my Business?’ You’ll find this located on the www.bbp.org.au website at www.bbp.org.au/assessment. A feedback report with ratings and suggested next steps is emailed immediately following the completion of the assessment, and businesses can build their own Action Plan which is also emailed out to them directly.
The online assessment is followed by a 1:1 session with a trained sustainability expert to assess the business baseline in up to 9 key areas of business sustainability. These are Energy, Water, Waste, Single Use Plastic, Staff Engagement, Community Engagement, Sustainable Transport, Sustainable Purchasing and Business Health.
Businesses are awarded badges on the key areas and provided with a certificate of accreditation for the year. Action plans are agreed, and there are regular follow ups by a BBP Program Manager to provide support in implementation” says Amanda.
BBP has successfully worked with around 800 local businesses over the last ten years, and their assistance is now considered a real bonus for businesses. Being a BBP accredited member means there is a reputational tick of confidence that this business wants to do the right thing for the environment and the community.
If you’re ready for your business to become a better business, click through to the free online assessment below…
Better Business Partnership
Facebook Business Support Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/supportingbetterbusiness/
Free Online Assessment for your Business: www.bbp.org.au/assessment