Business sustainability doesn’t just benefit the planet. Done right, it can work wonders for your brand reputation and your customers.
Whatever you sell or your business involves, you can always find ways to be more sustainable, and it’s more important than ever. The business sector has produced as much as 17% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions in recent years. These top tips are small changes that will not only improve your conscience but they might save you money, too! Here are our top tips for making your business more sustainable.
Why should I make my business more sustainable?
We all have a responsibility to protect the environment. It’s becoming more apparent that we must implement change in our home and work lives. National governments, including the UK, are setting targets to reach Net Zero and placing obligations on businesses.
Net Zero by 2050
The UK is the first major economy to create a legally binding target to bring greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050. This is an ambitious target that will have a significant impact on businesses. But it’s great to see a focus on becoming a more energy-secure nation. The good news is that many opportunities exist for those committed to achieving this target. By embracing innovative technology and sustainable practices, companies can reduce emissions, cut costs, and create new jobs and industries. Net Zero by 2050 presents both challenges and opportunities, businesses must act now to ensure a sustainable future.
You can learn more about the initiative and its expectations here.
Consumers like sustainable businesses
As people become more mindful of their impact on the planet, studies show consumers are more proactive in adopting a sustainable lifestyle. They choose brands with environmentally sustainable practices and values and no longer use companies if they are concerned about their ethics.
Therefore, showing your commitment towards sustainability as a business is essential. Many consumers have stated they don’t know who or what to trust. Making a solid commitment and highlighting your clear position on sustainability on your website is a great way to assure your customers that they are working with an ethical business. This could include Net Zero commitments and greenhouse gas reduction targets.
7 tips for making your business more sustainable
Going green makes better business sense than ever. It’s also easier; here are 7 tips for making your business more sustainable.
Start by reducing your waste
Whatever the size of your business, reducing your waste is vital. Whether it’s cardboard, plastic, or electrical items, you can find ways to decrease the waste you produce.
Go paperless : If you still use paper, encourage employees to avoid printing and opt for digital copies. Additionally, send out marketing materials to customers via email instead of traditional mail. Certain documents may still need to be printed, so switch to recycled paper.
Recycle: Recycle everything you don’t need and get everyone involved! Consider introducing recycling bins. This will encourage the responsible disposal of waste. It is essential to label the containers clearly to avoid confusion and ensure proper sorting of recyclables. Remember to recycle old tech properly to prevent toxic waste from harming the environment. You can also consider donating old tech to local charities to help those in need. This tip can significantly impact the environment and set an example for others.
Switch to sustainable materials for your products, packaging, and marketing
Opt for eco-friendly packaging. The UK government urged innovators to create sustainable packaging in 2018, and customers are also trying to reduce their consumption of products with excessive packaging. There are numerous options available to businesses looking to improve their packaging methods. These include biodegradable packing peanuts, cornstarch packaging, recycled paper and cardboard, and organic fabrics. The crucial thing to remember is to use the smallest amount of packaging possible. Minimising the amount of packaging you use is an excellent step towards becoming a more sustainable business.
Reduce and donate your food waste
Food waste directly impacts carbon emissions because it wastes the energy and resources used to grow, produce, package, and transport food, and it also leads to methane production, a greenhouse gas. If your company has a cafeteria, the amount of food that goes to waste can be significant. Consider local food donations or participate in programs facilitating composting and turning food into animal feed or other products.
Make a switch to sustainable uniforms
When considering uniforms for your staff, it’s essential to be mindful of the materials they are made of. Choosing fairtrade, organic or recycled clothing is brilliant. If you want to positively impact the environment and support a more ethical textiles industry, choosing organic cotton grown without synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is a great way to do this. This is better for the environment and the people involved in the production process. Not only are you wearing your values, but you’re also helping to create a better future for everyone.
Additionally, selecting a local supplier for the uniforms or purchasing office supplies and raw materials from local suppliers can help to decrease your business’s carbon footprint by reducing the distance travelled.
Consider your carbon footprint
Although probably the easiest of our tips to actually facilitate, this tip is the most challenging! Encouraging your employees to change their daily routine and travelling methods is difficult, but it goes a long way. Suggest a car-sharing program at work, with incentives like gift vouchers, sweet treats or even half a day off per month. Another effective option is to offer a cycle-to-work scheme for employees who live near the office and provide similar benefits.
Reduce your energy use
There are small ways you can reduce your energy usage within your business. First, encourage employees to simply turn off electrical devices at the plug at the end of each day; it’s a simple yet effective step towards energy efficiency. You’ll be surprised how many people completely overlook this. You could also consider switching from traditional halogen bulbs to LED lightbulbs and installing motion sensors in your offices. This means your staff won’t even need to worry about turning lights off behind them.
If you’re committed to going green, consider installing solar panels to create electricity or investing in double glazing to improve your insulation. These are more considerable investments to help you reduce your heating bills and energy waste.
Switch to eco-friendly cleaning products
Many cleaning products include harsh chemicals to get the job done effectively, such as volatile organic compounds or VOCs. These can cause people many problems, such as headaches, nausea and irritation. Not ideal in a place of work! These types of cleaners also use chemicals that cause concern regarding water pollution in the UK. It takes a considerable amount of energy to treat wastewater to make it safe for consumption.
You can switch to eco-friendly cleaning products and minimise the byproducts your business puts out into the atmosphere. Many eco-friendly and biodegradable products are just as effective, if not more, than traditional cleaning products. One thing we love is that they are designed to last longer, and fewer harsh chemicals equals more room to breathe!
These tips can help your business save money on resources, attract environmentally conscious customers, and become more sustainable. These are small changes that can have a huge impact, and there is always time to start making a positive difference.