10 simple ways to make your business greener
Now more than ever, businesses are recognising the importance of being greener. Investing in sustainability is attractive for customers that are making more conscious choices. It also puts you ahead of the game when it comes to the shifting regulatory landscape.
Best of all, the small changes that you make can be impactful on the environment, future sales and your business reputation. Here are ten quick fixes to make your business greener than ever.
Undertake a self-audit
Before you start making changes, take the time to identify where changes need to take place. You’ll have a clearer picture as to where you need to target resources and take green action. Areas to look at should include:
- Waste and recycling: do you currently have clearly marked recycling bins?
- Consumption and disposal of materials: do you buy from sustainable suppliers?
- Transportation: do you have a ‘bike to work’ or carpooling scheme?
- Water usage: do you encourage the use of reusable water bottles or use greywater?
- Energy consumption: do you use A-rated appliances? Are electronics turned off at the end of the day?
- Ethical food sourcing: do you use Fairtrade foods and drinks?
Identify areas of weakness wherein you can make a real and effective change. Then develop and implement a green strategy based upon your self-audit.
Meetings online instead of in-person
If you routinely travel for meetings or expect employees to come to you, move those meetings online. By limiting the number of face to face meetings, you’ll cut down on unnecessary travel. Use a collaborative workspace, and you may even eliminate the need for face-to-face meetings.
Turn off electronics
This is an easy win that makes your business more sustainable and saves you money. Electronics on standby are still quietly consuming electricity so turn them off either individually or using a power strip to control several devices at once.
Green team building activities
If you want to implement change across your business, try green team building activities. These could be relatively simple, such as planting trees, cleaning up a local park or something with a more competitive edge. For example, an office green-off where individuals or teams look after plants, recycle or upcycle objects and implement energy-saving initiatives instils sustainability across your business.
Recycling should be embedded across your business from employees to customers. Clearly labelled recycling bins will help you to divert waste from landfill. Place them anywhere where waste is generated. Aim to buy recycled paper and ink cartridges and invest in refurbished electronics that can be recycled at the end of their life cycle.
Use sustainable suppliers
Before you order, take the time to research your suppliers’ green credentials. Green procurement can help you to significantly reduce your carbon footprint by using products that are sustainable, recyclable and made using renewables. Build sustainability directly into your procurement processes to help reduce energy and water usage, lower emissions and reduce waste.
Shift your company culture to green thinking
Any greening of your company culture will only succeed with buy-in across your business. Create green goals and celebrate your success at meeting them. Get feedback from your employees on new green initiatives and consider a volunteer effort in the local community.
Embedding green values across your firm is a cost-effective way to start implementing your green programme.
Install a smart meter
There are plenty of easy wins when it comes to saving energy:
- Switch light bulbs for low energy LEDs
- Use rechargeable batteries
- Turn down the thermostat by one degree
- Install a smart thermostat that allows precision control of heating
- Replace appliances with A-rated models
To track the efficiency of your changes, install a smart meter. Supply of real-time data on energy use helps you track where energy consumption is highest and make cost and environmental savings.
If you haven’t already, implement a ‘bike to work’ scheme or reward employees who use environmentally friendly methods of transportation for the commute. Start a carpool or create a ‘leave the car at home’ day to encourage employees to use public transport or alternative green methods to get to work.
If you use transport for business, run an audit on how green your trucks and vans could become. Could you implement e-vehicle technology and use smarter routes to reduce mileage? Do you partner with green energy providers?
Use Cloud technology
Cloud storage allows your business to go paperless. Both convenient and environmentally friendly, popular cloud options encourage collaboration and communication across the company. By going paperless, you’ll also address waste paper and ink issues.
Remember, greening your business and making it more sustainable starts with the little things. Join the ranks with other small businesses that are making a significant impact by being a leader who makes sustainable choices.