In today’s day and age, it is essential for both consumers and businesses to think about ways in which they can be more eco-friendly. Environmental damage and climate change are constantly in the news right now, and scientists from around the world are making it clear that serious action needs to be taken to protect the planet. While it is true that certain industries and businesses have more to do than others, it is still important for all small business owners to think about ways in which they can make their company more eco-friendly and there are a number of ways in which you can do this.
Businesses in all industries generate a tremendous amount of waste and this is a big problem in Australia. While some of this is unavoidable, you might find that you are actually throwing away materials which could be recycled instead. Make sure that recycling is a priority in your workplace by placing designated bins for different materials in easily accessible places in the office.
It is also important to address the behaviour of everyone in the office to see if there are ways in which you can work in a more eco-efficient manner. A few good examples include:
Printing less or printing on both sides of the paper
Reduce font size if printing
Switching off machines when not in use
Cutting down on handouts
Switching off lights when not in use
Not plugging in too many devices
Reusing materials where possible
Distributing reusable bottles
Buying fair trade coffee
Every business will rely on energy, but you may find that you could save money while reducing your carbon footprint by switching to alternative energy. While this can be expensive initially, it could help you to drastically reduce your carbon footprint and save a vast sum of money in the long run. Additionally, you can look into programmable lighting so that the lights will always be off when the office is empty and using energy saving mode on all devices. Smart thermostats can also be used to use less energy while making sure that the office remains at a comfortable temperature.
Eliminate Wasted Energy
Much like a home, a lot of energy can be wasted on a daily basis, so it is worth seeing if it is possible to eliminate this. This could involve:
Businesses should also look to their suppliers to see if they could be more eco-friendly. This could involve:
Switching to a local supplier to cut down on travel cost
Switching to a supplier that uses environmentally-friendly packaging
Switching to a supplier that uses eco-friendly practices and materials
Only placing orders when needed
Refusing products which damage the environment
Removing your business from mailing lists
Taking The Business Online
In many cases, a business will be able to run most of its operation online which can eliminate the need for warehouses, offices, stores, etc. This is particularly true if you operate a store as you can instead operate an ecommerce business and use established ecommerce platforms to sell your products entirely online. You can even use dropshipping so that you do not have to store the products as they are delivered from the supplier to the customer. What’s more, having remote workers means a reduction in emissions that are usually produced by commuting to work.
Walk/Cycle To Work
A business can become more eco-friendly by looking at the ways in which employees come to work and leave each day. While sometimes driving will be the only option, if possible you should encourage a walk/cycle to work scheme for eco-friendly commuting each day. In addition to the environmental benefits, this is also a healthy alternative with a number of other benefits too.
It is, of course, important to furnish the office so that it is a comfortable and welcoming space for employees and visitors. This does not mean that you have to buy brand new items each time and instead you should look to buy second hand and/or only purchase items which are recyclable. You should also donate old furniture and electronics instead of disposing of them.
In addition to taking steps to make your business operation more environmentally friendly, it is also worth doing your part by getting involved in green events. This could include:
Choosing a few or all of the above could drastically reduce your carbon footprint and, in some cases, help you to save money too. Not only this, but making your business more eco-friendly can help to improve your brand reputation as the public are becoming increasingly eco-aware in a time where this is constantly in the news.