Being as eco friendly as possible has been a big goal of mine since starting my business nearly eight years ago. We have been able to slowly make this transition work for us, especially now that other businesses recognise the importance of it too and are offering alternative products and services which we can use to help minimise any negative impact to the environment. We have learned some tips along the way which we are looking forward to sharing with you…
1) Go paperless
Give your clients the opportunity to opt-in to receive their invoices and order confirmations electronically. These days most consumers and businesses will be happy to accept this service as it helps to reduce their own carbon footprint. Stop to think about any avoidable single use paper on the business premises. Can you swap paper towels for a more sustainable solution? Is there unnecessary printing in the business and is your toilet roll responsibly sourced? When there is unavoidable paper that comes into the premises, implement the resources and collection for recycling.
2) Perfect packaging
Postage and packaging play a key role in sustainability for any business owner. You have a duty to minimise your environmental impact when choosing your stationery and packaging suppliers. Eco savvy customers will also be looking to minimise their own environmental impact too, so you risk losing out to more eco-conscious competitors if your own packaging appears wasteful. When choosing your supplier, look a business that has not only eradicated plastic from their products, but also their supply and production line. Even the most unusual product range can be posted in sustainable packaging, without compromising on effectiveness, when you employ a bespoke packaging supplier.
3) Travel tips
Encourage your employees to think about their method of transport to and from the workplace. Schemes such ‘Ride to Work’, encourage travel by bike for example. If public transport or travelling on foot really isn’t option, can colleagues at least lift share? Since the Covid pandemic, virtual meetings have become a more than acceptable way to do meetings, conferences, training and networking. This reduction on travel has had a very beneficial impact on the environment. Encourage your colleagues, clients and suppliers to think about whether meeting in person is really necessary or can a virtual arrangement do the same job.
4) Reduce energy
A relatively easy task would be to switch to a green energy supplier, who generate power from sustainable sources, such as wind, hydro and solar. Then remind your colleagues to eradicate energy wastage by switching off electricals not in use. This is easily achieved with stickers on light switches, printers and computers. Even better, install motion sensitive lighting, particularly efficient in toilets, cupboards, corridors and stairwells.
Go one step further and seek to offset any unavoidable carbon emissions produced by your business. Donate money and/or time to an environmental charity or plant trees. There are plenty of initiatives out there that your company can get involved with.
I hope you found these tips useful? Remember you don’t need to implement them all at once! Small steps can make a bigger impact and are actually way more realistic!