Become an Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Small Business
Over the last few years, everybody has been trying to understand how their actions impact the environment. We all want to help save the planet. In particular, business owners are conscious that consumers care about going green when it comes to products and services. In fact, a lot of consumer purchase decisions are now based on the environmental ethos of businesses and their commitment to going green. Therefore, sustainability has become an important aspect of business for companies around the world.
So, is it time for your business to begin its eco-friendly journey? Let’s take a look at how you can promote sustainability in today’s eco-conscious world.
It Starts with Planning
Without a plan, you can easily get lost when you’re going green with your business. It can be a big transformation and preparation will be the key to success. This means sitting around a table and creating a strategy. This is going to allow you to track your goals and whether you are achieving them. It’s important to be realistic with your targets at this stage. This means starting small and working your way up.
It’s always important to know the cost of the actions you plan to follow. Share this with your team and make it a group effort. This is going to make sustainable actions achievable in the long term. This may take some encouragement. Perhaps you can even try incentives such as bonuses or extra holiday time for cycling to work or recycling.
You’re making big steps towards going green and transforming your business; make sure your customers know about it. Of course, your employees will begin to learn about the strategy you have in place, but you’ll need to market this progress to your customers to feel the real benefits of your work.
Don’t forget about your competitors. Consumers have so many choices when it comes to buying that they now look into the brand they’re purchasing from. It’s not all about the price or quality of the item anymore; they want to know more about you. In fact, studies show that customers are now willing to pay more if they believe the company is sustainable and making positive moves to help the environment and social causes. So, make sure that you boast about your eco-friendly efforts to promote your business.
Do Not Use Standby
There are easy changes you can make around your business that can make a difference. For example, do you leave appliances or electronics on standby? According to statistics, £227m is wasted every year in UK households because people are not switching off their appliances. You can easily reduce your carbon footprint by making a conscious effort to switch off lights and heating. You’ll definitely notice a reduction in your bills. You can easily retain heat by closing doors and making sure windows are closed, as well as adjusting your thermostat. Did you know that lowering your thermostat by 1 Degree Celsius can actually mean you save £60 a year on heating?
We know that it can be hard during the colder months of the year to switch off your heating. But you can still make a difference to the environment by using timers. This is something you can also do with your lighting and making it only turn on with monitor detection sensors. With some more investment, you can use smart energy apps like Hive and Nest. This allows you to monitor your energy usage.
Switching Energy Sources
It’s time to consider renewable energy sources for your business. This is the transition that a lot of small businesses are going through right now in order to help the environment and save on energy. This includes using solar and wind power to generate electricity and heating. For example, you can use solar panels to generate electricity or collect rainwater to use in your plumbing system. If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge straight away, you can start smaller. This includes changing your lights. You can save money and lower your carbon footprint by switching to energy-efficient LEDs.
Suppliers and Packaging Revisions
Examining your core business areas will reveal where you can make sustainability changes and make a positive impact on the environment. For example, take a look at your existing suppliers. Are their practices sustainable? Do they use any toxic substances that are harmful? Packaging is another aspect you can look at. Examine whether there are ways you can cut down on packaging or reuse resources to help the environment. Studies find that more consumers are now looking for products that use eco-friendly packaging. In addition, they’re willing to spend more cash on sustainable goods.
Reuse and Recycling Practices
Ever heard of the phrase, reduce, reuse and recycle? This is something you can do in your small business to help the planet. Instead of just thinking about how your products are made, you should also remember to think about what happens after they’ve been enjoyed. For example, can it be reused or recycled in the future?
Already, there are stores across the country that run eco-friendly initiatives that are popular with customers. This includes vouchers for recycling clothing. Incentivising eco-friendly efforts with your customers can build rapport and is beneficial to the environment at the same time.
There are also practices you can change in your business every day to improve sustainability. This includes creating less waste during production. While this may seem like a daunting and expensive task, it’s often more efficient in the long run. Trying out some of these small changes can really make a difference:
- Use recycling bins in the office
- Recycle or repair appliances
- Switch to rechargeable batteries
- Use recycled office supplies
- Promote reusable Tupperware
Time to Make Changes
Becoming a sustainable business definitely has its benefits. You can improve your brand image and form a trusting relationship with new and old customers. You can also increase your productivity while reducing your costs too. Reducing your waste remains one of the easiest ways to become eco-friendlier. But hopefully this guide gives you some inspiration to assess your business and create a strategy for success!