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Five steps to building a sustainable global business

5 steps to building a sustainable global business

As the Managing Director and founder of a successful global engineering and reliability business, I am sometimes asked to speak about what motivates me to keep getting up in the mornings and drive the business forward.

We started out with just five staff and a few machines in 1979, more than four decades ago.

Today, our global headquarters and main manufacturing base continues to be in Rotherham in South Yorkshire, but AES Engineering Ltd group has around 1,850 employees in over 40 countries.

AESSEAL HQ Rotherham 2023

Our turnover for the 12 months to June 2023 was £255 million ($330 million).

Since the business is by any standards successful and growing, it is a pleasure to continue to work with a great team.

So much so, one of my colleagues suggested that a better question to start this article with would be ‘What keeps me awake at nights?

The short answer is the obvious impact of global warming and the role that our customers across many important industries continue to play in climate change.

This is the first in a short series of articles about AES Engineering’s sustainable business philosophy, which I have been asked to write to promote the Betterworld.Solutions project that I founded a few years ago.

This project is devoted to knowledge-sharing and encouraging environmentally friendly investment. The (very small) Betterworld team felt it would be useful to share some insights about how business growth and sustainability can be combined.

Betterworld is a bit different from some other environmental projects in that it tries to persuade the industry that it is in their own best interests to take more account of the planet’s needs.

I personally feel that it is much more urgent to act than that sounds. Sometimes carrot is better than stick, but I predict that more aggressive measures are coming down the track.

That’s why AES Engineering has taken a lead by proving we are a Net Zero company (with figures audited by BSI).

It is also why we launched our 29by29 pledge to invest £29 million ($40 million) in environmental projects such as solar panels, battery storage and other energy-saving measures by 2029 - the business’s 50th anniversary.

Over the next few weeks, I will be publishing articles outlining how a sustainable business can also be a successful business.

Five steps to sustainability upcoming articles:

  1. Have a higher goal
  2. Understand reliability and your environmental impact
  3. Have a ‘Grow your own’ culture
  4. The power of trust
  5. Deliver solutions

It’s hopefully a short, but interesting, journey for the reader and I will consider it a worthwhile effort if it helps even a few people to take their own steps towards combining sustainability with business success and greater care for the environment.

Each article will be accompanied by links to real case studies or news items that we have found to be useful in demonstrating the ‘win-win’ nature of making sustainable investments.

If you are interested in AES Engineering’s story or want to get some ideas about how to promote sustainability, follow me on LinkedIn and follow Betterworld. Please let me know what you think about the posts and what you can do to make your business more sustainable.

Visit our websites:

#sustainability #sustainable #sustainablebusiness #netzero


If enough businesses act, together we can slow down or help to prevent Global Warming.

A Summary of Evidence

We estimate that widespread adoption of more climate-friendly policies in industry globally, could have the equivalent impact of taking 630.5 million cars off the roads.

Real World Examples

Just a few examples where we have the know-how to do things differently and help both the environment and the bottom line.

Create your Policy

The case for a great return on investment, from water and energy savings is very clear. "Adopt an Investment Policy to Prevent Global Warming".