What Small Changes can Businesses Implement to be more Sustainable?
Green concerns are extremely pressing at the moment, and these concerns have filtered through to the business world. Running an organisation that’s environmentally sound can be tremendously fulfilling – and signalling your green credentials to your would-be customers can be financially rewarding, too.
Let’s look at five small changes every business might make to drive sustainability.
Cut back on commutes
If workers are allowed to work remotely, then they’ll cut out what might be a highly polluting journey. Per passenger mile, cars tend to place an extreme burden on the environment. On the other hand, you might incentivise carpooling, public transport, and walking to work wherever possible.
Where remote work is concerned, it’s worth factoring in the environmental costs as well as the benefits. After all, if you have to heat ten different houses for a day, you’ll probably emit more than if you’d heated a single office containing ten workers, instead.
Try to use sustainable suppliers and partners
When trying to weigh the environmental impact of your business, it’s critical that you consider not only the ecological harms you’re causing directly, but those you’re causing indirectly through your choice of collaborators. So, for example, if you’re making wooden furniture, you should source timber only through FSC-approved suppliers. The same goes for your signage and printing spending.
Use second-hand items
The more you can reuse, the better. By shopping for second-hand items, you’ll avoid the emissions that come with building new ones. Since businesses are constantly scaling and closing down, you might find that there are plenty of common purchases that can be made much more cheaply, and greenly, if you’re willing to go to the used market. Think computer equipment, office furniture, and company cars. Certain materials, like steel, involve very energy-intensive manufacturing processes – so try to rescue them from the dustbin wherever possible.
Use electricity effectively
It should go without saying that your appliances and electrical items should be as efficient as possible. When your halogen light bulbs start to break, swap them out for LED ones. It’s also a good idea to make maximum use of natural light, too, by making windows as big as possible, and making sure that work is done near to them.
It might be that you can save a substantial amount by cutting back on your printing activities. Not every internal memo or bill has to be a physical thing you can hold in your hand and throw into the waste-paper basket.
When it comes to environmental issues – and to any other issue for that matter – some businesses have greater scope for change than others. That said, the potential is there for businesses of every shape and size to make a positive change. The above suggestions are a good first step.