The potential effects of climate change are among the main long-term concerns for many individuals all over the world. As the impacts become more noticeable, consumers are demanding sustainability, governments are imposing new rules and regulations, and businesses are following suit. ‘Going green’ is no longer an option, but rather a requirement for most companies. If these social and environmental changes have forced your business to focus on sustainability as well, here are some simple ways you could begin your journey towards eco-friendliness:
1. Reduce your carbon footprint
Many countries around the globe are aiming to reach net-zero carbon emissions in the near future, which makes reducing your company’s carbon footprint a necessity. But even if it isn’t a requirement in your area, lower carbon emissions can still have great benefits for the environment, making them a brilliant green goal to strive towards. When attempting to reduce your carbon footprint, it’s recommended to start small. Recycling, using reusable products in the office, using electric company cars, encouraging employees to use public transport, holding events online, and planting trees in your community can all be good places to start. Then, you can move on to some bigger changes described below.
2. Minimize your energy usage
One of the most important areas to improve is your energy usage. Start by using smart meters for monitoring your company’s consumption, and consider the changes you could make to minimize it. For example, you can use LED lighting and take advantage of natural light, use timers for your lighting and HVAC systems and ensure you’re never heating or cooling an empty office, or even invest in energy-efficient appliances, machinery, and tools. Acquiring an energy performance certificate could also give you a detailed assessment of your energy usage and highlight potential areas for improvement. Switching to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar is the best way to reduce your company’s carbon footprint.
3. Focus on waste management
Regardless of the type or the size of your company, all businesses must produce a certain amount of waste. What matters most is how you go about reducing it. While some solutions could be quite simple, like going paperless or not investing in new tech unnecessarily, others will be lengthier and more complex, such as doing a detailed waste audit, identifying the biggest waste-producing sectors, and implementing new solutions where needed. For the waste that has to be created, management solutions could be of great help. For instance, investing in high-quality waste chutes is a brilliant option. Not only are these chutes robust, durable, and hygienic, but they are also custom planned to suit the unique waste requirements of your business.
4. Use more sustainable materials
Another way your company could become more eco-friendly is by using sustainable materials, particularly when it comes to your products and services, packaging and shipping, as well as marketing. If at all possible, attempt to reduce the amount of materials you use during your operations. When it comes to packaging materials, you could opt for greener methods such as recycled plastic material, organic fabrics, recycled cardboard and paper, biodegradable packing peanuts, and cornstarch packaging. Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental issue surrounding excessive packaging, and many governments around the world are requiring more eco-friendly efforts as well.
5. Partner with local companies
Sourcing goods locally and partnering with suppliers and other businesses in your area can have a number of benefits for your company. Sustainability is among the most important advantages, as locally sourced goods can significantly reduce your environmental impact due to the fact that the goods and materials don’t have to travel long distances in order to reach you, effectively minimizing your business’s carbon footprint in the process. Local partners might also be able to provide some unique business opportunities for your company, not to mention that sourcing local goods can do wonders for improving your brand image and making a positive impact in your local community.
6. Set specific eco-friendly goals
No matter how many eco-friendly changes your business makes, they won’t be effective unless you actually stick to them. For that reason, it’s recommended to set company-wide green goals, whether your main objective is to become a zero-waste business or to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the upcoming years. Make these goals as clear and specific as possible, and ensure your entire organization is on board. Educating your employees on the importance of sustainability can be of great help, as it will raise awareness while motivating your entire staff to become more dedicated to the cause. And when everyone is making equal efforts to contribute to important goals, they will be much simpler to reach.
Each business’s journey towards sustainability will be different, but it’s more important than ever to begin and get it right. The helpful tips mentioned above will get your company on the right track, enabling you to achieve all of your eco-friendly objectives.