Today, more than ever before, business leaders are looking towards green initiatives to make their businesses more sustainable. As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, and the climate crisis takes hold, there’s little point in arguing that a more sustainable economy is a better economy, and businesses—both large and small—should be at the forefront of this green revolution.
The good news is, making your business more sustainable doesn’t have to be difficult, and there’s a raft of measures you can take today to embrace the green revolution. Here we look at 10 tried and tested measures to get you off the ground. Read on and discover a more eco-friendly vision for your business.
1) Get a Green Audit
Whether you run a small business or a giant corporation, organizing a sustainability audit is a great way to begin. Today, there are many companies who can help you with this, and usually it’s a simple matter of inviting an advisor onto your premises. However, it’s also possible to take care of this yourself. For example, take a look at your waste management facilities and identify where waste can be minimized, invest in smart meters to measure your energy usage, and check all of your equipment and appliances are low energy.
2) Build a Dedicated Sustainability Team
Engaging your existing staff with your sustainability measures is another surefire way to wholeheartedly embrace the green revolution. Very often, staff can provide insight and observations that you might miss. A dedicated sustainability team or individual can do this continuously, ensuring you meet your goals on a day-to-day basis while bringing new ideas to the table as your eco-plan develops.
3) Set Monthly Green Goals
Once you have completed your audit and built your team, setting realistic green goals on a monthly basis will allow you to continually develop your plan and achieve measurable results. These can range from simply increasing your recycling or reducing energy usage to organizing national/community events that help to both bring greater awareness to your cause and push brand recognition at the same time.
4) Use Refillable Office Products
On a the more practical side of things, among the most wasteful elements in any business is related to single-use plastics. This can include everything from toiletries and cleaning products to those bottles of hot sauce in the fridge! Of course, single-use water bottles are perhaps the biggest offenders and investing in a water dispenser or filter can completely eradicate plastic bottles and most likely save you money at the same time. Additionally, when it comes to cleaning products and toiletries, buy in bulk and use refillable containers.
5) Provide Reusable Containers
Many employees like to bring their lunch to work, and gently guiding them towards reusable containers is a great way to minimize waste. The same is true for drinks, and a well-designed (and branded) refillable water bottle or coffee cup will not only push your green credentials forward but will also help your staff engage with the company’s sustainability efforts.
6) Set Out Your Recycling Stall
Organizing your recycling bins and educating both staff and consumers on how to use them correctly is as quick, simple, and extremely effective way to reduce waste. If you’re regularly sending out products and packaging that can be recycled, you can also encourage customers to recycle products or return them so that you can recycle them yourself.
7) Turn to Renewable Energy
The big guns of the business world including Apple and Google are turning to renewables to power their headquarters and servers. Unfortunately, most businesses won’t have quite the same financial clout as these multinationals, however, that doesn’t mean renewable energy is out of reach. Solar panels are fast becoming affordable when small scales are considered, and today there are plenty of energy companies that offer renewable programs that you can use should these still remain out of reach.
8) Go Paperless
The paperless office has been something of a dream since before the millennium. However, today it’s finally possible to go truly paperless. Ditch the printer and sign up for a trustworthy cloud storage provider to begin with. Integrate electronic form filling options and other digital processes, and finally, if you’re posting items through the mail, try something along the lines of RePack and lose the envelopes entirely.
9) Set Up Ride Sharing Schemes
Commuting to work has long been seen as a big problem. Too many cars on the road make everyone late and release significant amounts of C02 into the atmosphere. However, both of these problems can be mitigated when employees share the burden. Set up a ride sharing scheme in the office and provide incentives for those that take part. Five people in one car is infinitely better than five separate cars.
10) Introduce Donation Schemes
Alongside your recycling schemes, ensuring products and equipment your no longer have use for are kept in circulation is a great way to conserve resources. Setting up donation schemes for all kinds of items is also a great way to give back to your community. Old computer equipment is a good start, and if it still works then someone will surely take it off your hands. Outdated furniture and other office supplies (like all that paper you’ll no longer use) are also ideal for donation.