Sustainability needs to be brought to the forefront of our thinking as a business community. Not only does sustainability and eco friendliness help protect our natural assets and future of our children, but it also often helps trim down on waste and save money.
What steps can you take to make your business more sustainable?
Embrace remote working
While the pandemic has had the effect of mandating remote working where possible, this shouldn’t stop when restrictions do.
According to the Global Carbon Project, global emissions fell 7% during 2020 due to restrictions on movement. This was the largest relative fall since World War 2.
Remote working reduces:
- vehicles on the road and the associated CO2 emissions
- power, air-conditioning and heating needs in the office
- stock transportation and storage
If transportation and commuting is unavoidable, what can you do to incentivise public transport, carpooling, walking, and the use of bicycles?
Use green web hosting
Data storage and servers require a ridiculous amount of energy. While it’s unavoidable to use cloud services, web hosting, data storage etc. there are ways to minimise this impact.
Research alternative hosting services that use sustainable and renewable energy sources to power their data centres. With the growth of renewables around the globe, it will become increasingly cost effective and available to source greener hosting solutions.
Partner with green companies
Whenever you source suppliers, services, products and partnerships, push for green credentials.
Do what you can to choose to work with other businesses who prioritise sustainability and low carbon footprints. If you’re unsure, simply make some enquiries about how they approach sustainability. If you seek this out in your supply chain, you’ll magnify the effectiveness of your sustainability significantly.
This will also have a trickle-on effect outside of your own sphere as it will in turn influence other businesses to prioritise sustainability.
Ditch the paper
There’s no longer a driving need for paper and printing. With the evolution of capable devices, online communication, and modern software, you can likely almost eliminate your need for paper.
Do an audit of every circumstance you rely on paper and implement a digital solution. Still receiving snail mail and paper billing? Request a change to email and e-invoicing.
If you do need to print something, use recycled paper and print on both sides of the page.
Reuse and recycle
There are many ways you can take a step back from modern consumption and put a less wasteful solution in place.
You may have noticed that many cafes now ask if you really need a lid for your coffee. There’s also an increase in or providing ‘boomerang’ mugs and keeper cups for you to return when you’re done.
Thais core lesson of avoiding single use items can be expanded to a variety of businesses and actions, no matter your vocation.
When consumable items or single use packaging are unavoidable, there’s a growing variety of recycled and recyclable alternatives you can use instead. For example, try to seek out biodegradable products and packaging which were sourced sustainably.
Energy efficient alternatives
Depending on your business, there’s likely a host of upgrades you can make to embrace energy efficient options.
Can you switch to energy efficient lighting or make better use of natural light? Are you able to implement solar? Do all your systems and utilities need to be on all the time?
Donate to charities
While you may not have deep enough pockets to be making large personal donations to leading environmental charities, you can work this into your business model.
By offering customers the chance to include small donations in their purchases, you help raise both awareness and money. Perhaps you add a few percent to your sales price, noting that this is destined for a not for profit.
Make ’green’ a part of your brand
While you should be aiming for less waste and more sustainability for its own sake, you can also capitalise on this with your branding and marketing.
Green companies are progressive and attractive to consumers and other businesses. By integrating your sustainability into your business purpose and brand identity, you can hinge a lot of your branding and marketing pursuits around these admirable credentials.