Small businesses can have a surprising impact on the environment – it’s just up to you as a business owner whether that impact is positive or negative.
Beyond your own desires to act as responsible as possible, consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever. Eco-friendly products and green businesses are going to be the ones that succeed in the future.
But making your business more sustainable is easier said than done. Here are just seven simple ways you can make yours greener.
Switch to eco-friendly products
Sustainability should start at the core of what you do, which means the products that you’re putting into the market.
Start by reviewing your raw materials. Where do you source them? Are your raw materials sustainable? Have your suppliers themselves made a commitment to sustainability?
Crucially, how far do your raw materials have to travel to reach you? Simply switching to a local supplier can cut your emissions by a significant degree.
Sustainable delivery methods
If you ship out products, your delivery process is a great area of your business to make greener.
First, there’s your packaging. Go with biodegradable packaging and don’t use a mishmash of materials to ensure the packaging can be recycled. It sounds simple, but it goes a long way.
Reduce your packaging size so that a shipment can fit more products in a single trip and cut back on your own waste at the same time.
Even simply reusing cardboard boxes for deliveries will help. Sure, it can look a little scruffy, but it demonstrates your commitment to sustainability.
Work from home
For your office staff, consider giving them the opportunity to work from home. While it may not be an option for everyone, or even all the time, it means less pollution from traffic and less time wasted.
Working from home can also create a better working environment, especially if you give the opportunity of flexible working hours and the non-obligatory chance to visit the office.
A simple but effective way to create a more sustainable business is to go paperless by investing in technical solutions and processes. It helps to reduce waste, saves time and will even save you money.
It’s also a great way to boost security, especially with the need to stay compliant with the GDPR and will make transferring information much easier.
Delete your old emails
Unfortunately, almost everything we do has an effect on the environment, even something as mundane as keeping hold of an email.
True, emails have replaced the need for paper, but they still contribute to carbon emissions, albeit far less than paper.
Nevertheless, unsubscribing from newsletters you don’t intend to read will mean energy is never spent on sending it to you.
More useful is to delete old or junk emails. According to The Good Planet, nearly 107 billion spam emails were sent and received a day in 2019. If every person only deleted 10 of those, 1.7 million gigabytes of storage and 55.2 million kilowatts of power could be saved.
Remove single-use products
Doing away with single-use products in your office is another good practice for sustainability. This could include getting rid of plastic cups for the water dispenser, paper towels in the toilets or single-serve coffee pods.
In some cases, it might not be possible to do away with these products completely, for instance, if your water dispenser is meant for customers or clients. In these cases, consider making an eco-friendly swap if you can, such as switching to paper cups instead of plastic.
Reuse and recycle
If going paperless and removing single use products isn’t possible, you can still give your business a sustainability boost by ensuring you have good recycling facilities.
Separate bins for plastics, glass and paper are good places to start. There are a number of companies that will recycle things like ink and toner cartridges for you.
Talk to us about your business practices.