Building a more sustainable business is a win-win for both your company and the environment. Aside from potentially allowing you to cut down on expenses, you’ll be doing our planet a huge favour by going down this route.
Yes, promoting sustainability is a long-term commitment that may come across as overwhelming to some (especially for those whose business practices have become somewhat routine for a long time now).
For those who feel that way, keep in mind that you need not give your business a total green overhaul and change everything right away. You can take “baby steps” and simply try to incorporate environmental practices that you can right now without having to go to great lengths. These will still go a long way in promoting sustainability in your business. Below, we provide you with some tips on how you can start running a more sustainable business.
Make it a habit to turn off all the electronics and gadgets that you don’t currently need. Or better yet, pull the plug on these for maximum savings. This simple green and budget-saving practice is often overlooked by a lot of businesses and offices. An example of this is the fact that employees tend to leave their computers on at night even though work hours are over, just so that they can turn it back on the very next day without having to go through startup. It only takes a few seconds (or in some cases, minutes) for a computer to boot, which is a small sacrifice compared to paying tens of dollars for wasted electricity. So before going home, make sure that everything is turned off and all plugs are disconnected. To save even more on electricity, opt for energy-efficient appliances and lighting.
Paper is perhaps the most used—and most misused—resource in your office. While it’s true that paper isn’t really expensive, can you imagine how much you’ll be able to save from your budget simply by asking your staff or co-workers to do the following?
- Don’t print unimportant documents, especially those that’d be sufficient as digital copies. People usually do this with e-mails even though doing so isn’t necessary most of the time.
- If you really need to print a document, use scrap paper if it will suffice.
- Instead of storing folders upon folders of physical back-up copies of important documents, assess these digitally through hard drives or cloud systems. On top of being able to save paper, you’ll be glad that you can make use of the space that was meant for storage for other things. A foosball table in your office is never a bad idea.
- Lastly, if you’re going to use paper, you might as well utilise sustainable paper.
We already talked about how you should be re-using scrap paper for your not-so vital printing requirements. You should apply the same concept for your other needs. For instance, should you require additional furniture for your office or your store, don’t buy new. Check out the second-hand variety instead—you’ll probably be able to save more than a few bucks by going for such. There’s no shortage of classified ads sites throughout the web that can aid you in this endeavour.
If you own a retail or food services business, opt for recycled packaging materials such as those from Packqueen for shipping your products. It’s a good idea since today’s recycled materials are on par with a lot of high-quality materials that are available in the market. This way, you’ll be promoting and further encouraging green business practices.
We’ve barely scratched the surface here. There are tonnes of ways in which you can build a greener—and better—business. Never let up in coming up with ways on how you can make your company more sustainable. Just be sure to encourage your employees and peers to do the same. Your efforts won’t go to waste, as the people around you—especially your customers—will surely take notice and appreciate the good that you’re trying to do.