Everything you need to progress your CSR practices in one place.
If you're looking to learn more about sustainability and what it means for your business, you're in the right place. Check out our collection of free resources below, and if you need more help, visit our Services section for even more.
Definitions of key terms and acronyms
Frequently asked questions about sustainability and social responsibility for small business
Advice and updates on business sustainability
- What does sustainability mean for small business
- The business case for sustainability
- Simple sustainability framework
- 6 steps to apply CSR in your business
- Why sustainability is even more important for every business in 2021
- 15 experts’ #1 piece of advice for small business
- Other latest articles on the blog
Join our online community on Facebook for small business leaders who are looking to be more sustainable. A place to meet, share, learn and crowdsource.
Tools and templates developed by Small Mighty CSR to guide you on your sustainability journey and set up expected documents like policies and action plans.
Examples of small businesses achieving success through cost savings, market opportunities, employee engagement and customer support
A wealth of resources collected from across the interwebs, specific to individual sustainability topics and sectors.
This area is under construction, but you're welcome to explore the links while I tidy and add to them!
These are some key global initiatives that more advanced companies or CSR practitioners may wish to follow for announcements and resources or join.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a comprehensive set of 17 goals representing the most important sustainability challenges for the world to address by 2030.
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is a collection of global businesses dedicated to sustainable development and achieving the SDGs, including a range of sector and topic initiatives.
United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) is a commitment by businesses to implement universal sustainability principles, covering human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption (The Ten Principles) .
The Paris Agreement is a commitment by governments to work together to keep global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius, aiming toward 1.5 degrees Celsius. Many businesses declare their support for the Agreement and commit to reducing their own emissions in line with the 1.5 degree goal including through initiatives like the We Mean Business Coalition.
CDP (previously Carbon Disclosure Project) is an agreement by companies and cities to report their environmental impacts annually, including carbon emissions, water use and deforestation, and progress in reducing them.
ISO 26000 Guidance on Social Responsibility is the international standard for businesses that wish to apply best practice social responsibility management. It is not a certification standard, but provides guidance on the principles and core subjects that should be considered.
Resources to help you measure and reduce your energy use including calculators, energy auditing, information on specific equipment and technologies and local financing schemes.
Energy Star provides guidance on energy management in commercial buildings and industrial plants including energy use benchmarking, efficient products, energy ‘treasure hunt’ and Building Upgrade Value Calculator.
Energy.gov.au has compiled a range of information from basic energy management to industry sector guides to equipment and technology guides to government grants and funding information across all states.
Sustainability Victoria offers energy efficiency resources by system, including on compressed air systems, HVAC, lighting, motors, packaging, pumps and fans, refrigeration, steam, hot water and heating. They also provide video masterclasses on business gas efficiency and refrigeration efficiency.
CCIQ ecoBiz is a Queensland government program that provides resources on energy, water and waste efficiency for businesses, including this ‘Definitive Guide to Energy Efficiency’ and a number of energy webinars and factsheets. If you operate in Queensland you can also access free advice.
NSW Energy Saver provides guidance to evaluate energy usage and optimise or upgrade equipment and technology. NSW businesses can also access financing schemes and free energy coaching.
Victorian Energy Saver provides guidance for saving energy including for specific equipment and technologies as well as different types of food businesses (farm and processing). If you operate in Victoria you can also access financing schemes and discounts on energy-saving products.
Sustainable Business Network NZ provides an Annual Carbon Emissions (ACE) calculator that considers electricity, fuel consumption, travel, waste and refrigerants and also a resource sheet on measuring and reducing your energy use.
Energy Efficiency Toolkit for Corporate Buildings by WBCSD is a detailed resource for decision makers to evaluate efficiency investments and a step-by-step approach to developing an energy efficiency program.
NABERS rates the efficiency of different types of buildings and offers training modules and a rating calculator.
Choice provides a good overview of the different carbon offset standards to help you choose a high quality offset.
Driving & logistics
CCIQ ecoBiz provides a fact sheet on efficient driving and fleet management.
RACV provides a guide to buying electric cars, including range, charging options, cost calculator and station lookup.
WBCSD provides Smart Freight Procurement Guidelines to help businesses procure low-carbon freight transport and logistics.
Renewable energy generation
CCIQ ecoBiz provides webinars and factsheets on solar power, solar hot water and battery storage.
Business Queensland provides a guide on solar for small and medium businesses, including and electricity cost calculator.
The Distributed Energy in the Property Sector Guide provides information on clean energy technology options for different building types, locations and loads.
The Materials Management Wizard (MWiz) offers a wealth of materials management resources, including on construction & demolition, electronics, food, industrial byproducts, paper, plastic, glass and metal.
CitySwitch is an initiative for office-based businesses that provides a wealth of resources including a waste assessment snapshot tool, waste management tips, Choose.Reuse behaviour change toolkit, eliminating single-use plastics toolkit and Beyond the Bin recycling directory.
CCIQ ecoBiz is a Queensland government program that provides resources including a series of webinars on waste and specific fact sheets for hospitality businesses including on single use plastics and reverse logistics.
Sustainability Victoria provides a number of materials efficiency resources including a waste assessment audit tool, process mapping tool, process optimisation guide, reuse and recycling tips, and save paper fact sheet.
Sustainable Business Network NZ provides a resource sheet on minimising office waste including a sample waste policy, waste audit manual and case studies.
Business Recycling by PlanetArk provides a directory of recycling for around 90 different materials and supporting services in AU and a War on Waste Toolkit. Small businesses may also find PlanetArk’s personal recycling directory and resources useful.
ASPIRE is a circular economy matchmaking tool developed by CSIRO in AU that identifies opportunities for businesses to share and reuse each others’ waste resources.
TerraCycle provides recycling programs for a broad range of wastes in 21 countries, both free and paid depending on the waste.
RecycleNow provides a directory of recycling options for a range of waste materials in the UK as well as a number of recycling and waste management resources primarily for the home and office.
https://www.packagingcovenant.org.au/documents/item/1091 - APC Sustainable Packaging Guidelines
http://www.sustainablepack.org/piqet_subdomain/login.html Packaging Impact Quick Evaluation Tool – paid
http://www.sustainablepack.org/resources/page_id_30.html packaging regulations by jurisdiction - paid
https://cfpub.epa.gov/giwiz/ - green infrastructure resources – stormwater focus
https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/environment/saving-water/workplace (high level)
https://www.ceres.org/resources/tools/ceres-aqua-gauge-comprehensive-assessment-tool-evaluating-corporate-management 2011 - actually intended for equity investors
https://www.smartwatermark.org/smartwateradvice/saving-water-business/ sector-specific advice
https://www.buildinggreen.com – knowledge base about materials, appliances, design, plus specific product guidance and database for US (limited free content + paid)
http://sustainablesources.com/ - knowledge base on materials, water & energy efficiency etc
https://www.gbca.org.au/education/videos great catalogue of webinars but paywall
http://sustainable.org.nz/the-circular-economy-model-office-guide/ Refurbs & new build
https://www.wbcsd.org/Programs/Redefining-Value/Resources/Staying-competitive-in-a-fast-changing-world more relevant to large business
Life cycle assessment
https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/Business/Energy-efficiency-for-business/Lifecycle-management (very similar to our 3BL approach)
Action planning/business assessment
B Corp Impact Assessment https://bimpactassessment.net/
Site efficiency audit
https://ecobiz.cciq.com.au/do-it-yourself/getting-started/ (energy, water, waste)
https://www.energyrating.gov.au/calculator provides expected energy usage of rated appliances. Water Rating labels also provide litres per minute
https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/Business/Energy-efficiency-for-business/Energy-efficiency-apps - options for self-assessment
https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/about-epa/publications/1255 ‘hints and tips’ – basically a really long checklist
Labour standards and audits
ETI Base Code https://www.ethicaltrade.org/eti-base-code
https://www.globalslaveryindex.org/2018/findings/importing-risk/g20-countries/#figure:1 list of high risk products
https://www.modernslaveryregistry.org/ look up company responses
https://themekongclub.org/tisc-compliance/ overview of global laws
https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/criminal-justice/files/modern-slavery-reporting-entities.pdf pg 44 on scoping org’s risk, 47 on due diligence and 52 possible actions. Appendix 1 has useful lists of risks to consider
https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@dgreports/@dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_575479.pdf exploitation statistics
https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ilab/reports/child-labor/list-of-goods - actual cases by product and country
https://www.verite.org/commodity-atlas/ focus on individual high risk commodities
https://www.fairwork.gov.au/find-help-for/contracting-labour-and-supply-chains labour contracting, incl one targeted at small business
Design for Environment
https://chemistryaustralia.org.au/programs/quickstartpublications - focused on use of plastic
Supply chain management
https://www.ceres.org/resources/tools/engage-chain-investor-guide-agricultural-supply-chain-risk 2017 - focused on beef, corn, dairy, fiber-based packaging, palm oil, soybeans, sugarcane and wheat.
https://sustainable.org.nz/smart-procurement/ registration wall but also provide separate older guide https://sustainable.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Smart-Purchasing-Guide.pdf
Marketing / appealing to sustainability minded people
Assurance of non-financial information
Communication & behaviour change
https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/your-environment/recycling-and-reuse/business-government-recycling/recyculator converts savings into communicable amounts
This guidance helps businesses engage their customers and employees in sustainable behaviours through the Good Life Goals, which are a series of personal actions that everyone can take to support the SDGs. https://www.wbcsd.org/Programs/People/Sustainable-Lifestyles/Resources/The-Good-Life-Goals-Business-Guide
https://mneguidelines.oecd.org/sectors/ - extractive, mineral, agriculture, garment, financial
https://docs.wbcsd.org/form/download/DRA_ERM.html sector risk assessment
https://www.ecoefficiencygroup.com.au/resources-2/ - somewhat dated, also has metal, foundry, marinas and retail food
Food service https://www.unileverfoodsolutions.com.au/chef-inspiration/chef-training-and-resources/managing-food-waste.html case study https://wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/WRAP%20-%20Unilever%20case%20study%20-%20March%202014_0.pdf
Apparel https://www.business.vic.gov.au/marketing-and-sales/sustainable-business/design-sustainable-fashion, https://www.business.vic.gov.au/marketing-and-sales/sustainable-business/checklist-designing-sustainable-fashion
Higg Index https://apparelcoalition.org/the-higg-index/
Design https://www.business.vic.gov.au/marketing-and-sales/sustainable-business/sustainability-in-graphic-and-web-design, https://www.business.vic.gov.au/marketing-and-sales/sustainable-business/checklist-sustainability-in-graphic-and-web-design
Timber / natural resources https://www.wbcsd.org/contentwbc/download/7723/122348
Did you find what you need? Let me know what additional resources you would find useful on your sustainability journey.
Do you know of a handy resource that isn't included here? Let me know.