We’re all busy running our businesses but there’s still scope to be a bit more eco-friendly. Here are some tips for small business sustainability.
Reduce energy consumption
Implement energy-saving practices, such as using energy-efficient lighting and appliances, turning off lights and electronics when not in use, and using natural light when possible. The computers we use can make a difference too – look out for low energy devices and turn them off when not in use.
Implement a waste reduction program, such as recycling and composting, and encourage employees to reduce waste by using reusable containers and bags. Plastic bottles are easy to cut out by using a water filter and metal or glass bottles.
Use sustainable transportation
Encourage employees (if you have them!) to use public transportation, carpool, or bike to work, and consider using electric or hybrid vehicles for business transportation. Care share schemes are in most big cities and getting a cab can work out cheaper and more eco than buying and running a car.
While it’s nice to meet clients face to face at least once, calls and video chat can reduce the need to travel for business.
Sustainable practices in the office
Use paperless options, such as electronic billing and communication, and choose eco-friendly products for office supplies. Extending the life of IT equipment beyond what manufacturer’s want can save a huge amount of cost and resources. I keep my phones for around 5 years for example.
Choose sustainable suppliers
These days it easier to find suppliers who are committed to sustainability and use environmentally friendly materials and processes. Watch out for greenwashing though – many companies are just using sustainability as a marketing tool without actually living the principles. Our internet, mobile and green web hosting are all quick ways to be more eco-friendly, as well as boycotting companies like Amazon and HP for their questionable sustainability.
Encourage sustainable behaviour among employees
Educate employees on sustainable practices and encourage them to adopt sustainable habits in their personal lives. Incentives can be used to encourage this, and sharing what our businesses are doing can lead by example!
Focus on local sourcing
Source products and materials locally to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation and support local businesses.
Consider sustainable packaging
If you sell products, consider using eco-friendly packaging materials, such as biodegradable or compostable materials, and minimize packaging waste by reusing packaging.
Communicate sustainability efforts
Share your sustainability efforts with customers and stakeholders to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability and encourage others to adopt sustainable practices. We can inspire each other and share tips too – a client recommended the mobile phone supplier EcoTalk to me for example!
Measure and track sustainability
Set sustainability goals and track progress using metrics such as energy consumption, waste reduction, and carbon footprint. This might be via a service that help you track your carbon footprint, or a goal like “this year I will work with one new eco focused web design client a month”
Overall, small businesses can make a significant impact on sustainability by implementing eco-friendly practices. By reducing energy consumption, waste and carbon footprint our small businesses can contribute to a more sustainable future.