Environmental sustainability has become a major focus for small businesses and consumers. While it may seem overwhelming adding energy efficiency to a business owners’ plate, integrating sustainability into your business model is imperative.
But, small business owners are time poor and need practical sustainability solutions that can be incorporated into their businesses easily, with minimal effort and time.
So how can they make the shift?
We’ve looked at 10 ways that small businesses can start to become more sustainable;
- Energy Efficiency – Implement energy saving practices such as switching to ELD lighting and turning off equipment when not in use. Consider investing in energy efficient appliances and encourage employees to conserve energy by powering down computers and other electronics when not needed.
- Waste Reduction and Recycling – Set up a recycling program within your business and provided clearly labelled bins for paper, plastic & glass and other recyclable materials. Encourage employees to reduce waste by using digital documents instead of printing, promoting reusable containers for lunches and coffees and considering eco-friendly packaging options for products.
- Support Local and Sustainable Suppliers – Prioritise working with local suppliers who share your commitment to sustainability. Look for vendors with eco-friendly products, use sustainable materials and practice ethical manufacturing processes.
- Water Conservation – Install water saving fixtures such as low-flow toilets, faucets and showerheads. Regularly check for and repair any leaks or water wastage and educate employees about conservation practices.
- Transportation and Commuting – Encourage employees to carpool, use public transportation or bike to work. If feasible, consider using electric or hybrid vehicles for business operations.
- Sustainable Packaging – Evaluate your packaging materials and explore eco-friendly alternatives. Use recyclable or biodegradable packaging options and minimise excess packaging.
- Collaboration and Engagement – Engage employees in sustainability efforts by creating a green team or sustainability committee. Encourage employee input, ideas, and initiatives to promote a culture of sustainability within the business.
- Education and Awareness – Provide training and educations resources to staff about sustainability practices. Keep them informed about the company’s sustainability goals and progress. Educate customers and stakeholders about your sustainable practice and the benefits of supporting environmentally responsible businesses.
- Engage with your community – Participate in local sustainability initiatives, sponsor environmentally focused events, and collaborate with other businesses to promote sustainability collectively.
- Communicate your efforts – Share your sustainability journey with your customers, suppliers and the community. Seek feedback from employees, customers and stakeholders to identify areas for improvement and innovation.
Sustainability is an ongoing process but if every business implemented just a few of these ideas it could make a considerable difference to the environment. By implementing these steps, small businesses can contribute to a more sustainable future whilst also lead to cost savings, improved brand reputation and increased customer loyalty.