Businesses, especially small ones, usually have the misapprehension that they’re not making that big of an impact on the environment. But have you ever thought of how customers see it from their perspective? You might be surprised to know that most consumers nowadays are becoming more and more conscious of the brands they support. This is perhaps the reason why sustainable businesses are all the rage right now—and for good reasons.
The decision to go green isn’t only a good move for the benefit of the environment. You’re also making your company a desirable target among consumers who support environmental and social causes. If you’re ready to make the switch, here are some initiatives and ideas you can try to make your business more sustainable:
Tap into Renewable Energy Sources
It’s already a given that your business will use energy for almost everything. From manufacturing to administrative tasks, you can’t do anything without electricity. Aside from ensuring you have energy-efficient equipment, tools, and appliances in the workplace, you can also tap into renewable energy sources to create a more significant impact on the environment. Several solar companies in Miami or in the area where you operate can help you make this happen.
While tapping into renewable energy sources may seem like a big expenditure on your end, it’s a business investment that can reap benefits in the long run. Your monthly electric bills will significantly go down, and you may also be eligible for tax exemptions and deductions. Thus, you won’t only be saving money, but, more importantly, you’ll be able to minimize your carbon footprint.
Other renewable energies you can tap into for a sustainable business operation are wind, hydropower, geothermal, and biomass. As the reality of finite sources sinks in, there’s all the more a pressing reason to consider cleaner and greener energy alternatives that can help lessen energy problems.
Reduce Energy Consumption
Aside from tapping into renewable energy sources, you can also develop ways to reduce energy consumption in your workplace. Make it a point to constantly remind employees to turn off their equipment and other appliances when not in use, such as computers, televisions, and lights. You can also utilize natural lighting when possible. Doing so won’t just lower energy bills, but it can also help boost productivity.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
The benefits of recycling can’t be emphasized enough. If the goal is to reduce waste going to landfills, then the best way to do so is to make sure you don’t send scraps there in the first place. The key is to recycle as much as you can ruthlessly. In every aspect of running your business, reusing and recycling supplies are of high importance.
For instance, in your cafeteria, you and your employees could use ceramic and real glass cups, plates, and other kitchen utensils instead of opting for disposable ones. If you can’t fully implement paperless processes, encourage staff to print on both sides of the paper. Make sure you have enough recycling bins all over the building to motivate everyone to recycle when possible.
Turn To Sustainable Packaging
If your business heavily relies on packaging materials for your products, it’s an excellent idea to turn to sustainable packaging when selling and shipping your items. You can choose cost-efficient materials that won’t negatively impact the environment when discarded or thrown away, including recycled cardboards, plant-based plastics, and corrugated bubble wraps.
This approach is actually more attractive to consumers who support brands that offer compostable and sustainable packaging. You can also encourage your customers to switch to reusable shopping bags and other recyclable materials that can help lessen the use of plastic bags.
Use Sustainably-Sourced Goods And Services
Another way to make your business more environmentally friendly is by reviewing and amending how you procure your goods and services. Whether food supplies for employees or the selection of contractors for your projects, being more conscious of the sourcing process is an excellent way to stay in the zone of your sustainability goal.
An excellent way to start is by looking for a local supplier instead of getting your goods and services from faraway locations. Make sure the products are manufactured in a responsible, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Also, there are goods produced using renewable materials and don’t contain ozone-depleting or toxic substances. It’s recommended to be educated on the subject to know more ways to utilize green procurement for your business.
Lower Your Water Consumption
Becoming a sustainable business also means being responsible for how you use water in your facilities. Even when you’re not located in a drought-stricken area, you still need to make sure your enterprise utilizes different ways to help lower water consumption.
Dripping or broken taps, for example, should be fixed. You can also install faucet aerators and low-flow toilets in restrooms or washrooms to ensure water usage is kept at a minimum requirement. To add, cleaning or janitorial tasks in the building can be done using pressure washers that feature high-efficiency specifications.
Partner With Other Green Businesses
Sustainability isn’t all about going green in your facilities. You can also practice the advocacy by supporting other companies with the same vision and mission as yours. From shipping carriers to software businesses you partner with, you can choose those that are just as sustainable as you are.
You can also think of ways to work with groups that advocate environmentally-friendly causes. It could be a government agency that can help you grow your business or a non-profit organization to make your donations and other contributions when necessary.
Takeaway: Creating A Culture Of Sustainability
Aside from all the tips mentioned above, it’s worth noting that you should include your staff and colleagues in every step of your sustainability switch. This means encouraging them to participate and instill the values even when they’re already out of the office. These initiatives could go a long way in helping the planet and minimizing carbon footprint.
Now more than ever, it’s essential that your business has a clear insight into how to conduct your operations. With sustainability as one of your core principles, you can make a more positive impact while also reducing operational costs. To add, you can expect customers and clients to continue supporting your brand when they know you’re doing your share in making this world a better place to live in.
Jason is the Marketing Manager at a local advertising company in Australia. He moved to Australia 10 years back for his passion for advertising. Jason recently joined BFA as a volunteer writer and contributes by sharing his valuable experience and knowledge.