Business Essentials

Starting small: sustainability in action - Brought to you by NatWest

Starting small: sustainability in action - Brought to you by NatWest

Thursday, 10 June 2021

Meet the climate-friendly SMEs that are lowering their impact on the environment.


No matter the size or stage of your business, it’s never too late to build sustainable and climate-friendly practices into your everyday operations.

Whether you’ve created a product or service aimed at helping tackle climate change, or you’re just trying to do your part to reduce your carbon footprint, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to sustainability. It’s about individually assessing the impact that running your business has on the environment, minimising this impact now and thinking about how your business can help build a greener future as you grow.

We spoke to three climate-friendly businesses that have all taken different approaches to sustainability – through clever production methods, creative use of materials, and tapping into the circular economy. Some are far along into their sustainability journey and have the accreditations to prove it; others are learning as they go. Their paths are all different, but their aim is the same.


JaneR Designs

Jane and Eric Roberts specialise in creating quirky lighting and restored furniture from found and reclaimed materials at their workshop in Dunbar, East Lothian. As well as helping customers reimagine unused items rather than disposing of them, the pair draw on the skills of their community to keep their supply chain local and their carbon footprint small. They were awarded the 2020 Good Practice Award at the VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards for their shepherd’s hut project, which saw them create a pop-up showroom from reclaimed materials to allow them to reach their local market more directly during the pandemic.

Watch Jane and Eric’s story below.



Lane 44

Blayne Shaw didn’t start Lane 44 with sustainability in mind – it was a happy accident. The business, based in Bangor, County Down, creates fully metallic razors that are designed to give a closer shave while also being made from easily recyclable metal, unlike the majority of plastic-based razors. Each razor also comes with a year’s supply of blades, helping to limit emissions resulting from production and transport. Blayne and the team are now setting their sights on reducing plastic use more widely – one bathroom product at a time.

Watch more about Blayne’s journey below.



Flawsome! Drinks

Karina Sudenyte and her partner Maciek Kacprzyk are the founders of Cardiff-based Flawsome! Drinks. Flawsome! creates cold-pressed juices from ‘wonky’ surplus fruit destined to go to waste, meaning that no additional natural resources are used in creating its drinks. The business recently became B Corp accredited and achieved carbon negativity in March this year. The team is also investing 2% of sales into environmental causes and charities around the world.

Watch more from Karina below.



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