10 small changes to become a more sustainable business

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17 Apr 2024

10 small changes to become a more sustainable business

Promoting sustainability is important. But with problems as big as climate change, it can feel like there’s not much we can do to make a difference.

But the truth is that a big part of the solution to these problems lies in each of us taking personal responsibility for the environment immediately around us. Yes, governments and multinationals have major roles to play too. However, that doesn’t we can’t make a difference as individuals.

The thinking goes that no act of promoting sustainability is too small to matter. It’s a case of take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves. Think global and act local and if you’re a small business you might be surprised at how much you can do to help.

This year, Earth Day falls on April 22nd. This is a good time to remind ourselves that improving our collective situation is entirely possible. Small incremental actions made by individuals really do add up. Over time they can have significant impact.

So what can your business do to help celebrate Earth Day? What can it do to draw attention to the importance of community engagement on this issue? Here are ten simple yet effective strategies that require minimal investment but promise substantial benefits.

  • Promote a paperless office

Transitioning to a paperless environment is one of the easiest ways for small businesses to reduce waste. Encouraging digital documents and communication helps cut down on paper use. This not only saves trees but also decreases clutter and improves organisational efficiency.

  • Implement energy efficient practices

Energy conservation is crucial for sustainability. Start by switching to LED lighting which uses at least 75 per cent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. Encourage employees to turn off electronics when not in use. Invest in smart thermostats can further reduce energy consumption and utility bills.

  • Encourage sustainable commuting

Transportation contributes a significant share of carbon emissions. Small businesses can promote biking, walking, carpooling or using public transportation among their employees. Offering incentives such as transit subsidies or creating a bike-friendly workplace can support. Encourage these environmentally friendly commuting habits.

Likewise, facilitating remote working where viable. For even one or two days a week, it can take a lot of cars off the road. If you have the space, it’s also worth considering installing electric vehicle charge points. There are often subsidies and grants for this kind of activity.

  • Opt for green hosting

For businesses operating online, choose a web hosting service that runs on renewable energy. This can be a simple, yet impactful decision. As green hosting providers use energy from renewable sources and thus reduce the carbon footprint associated with digital operations. This leads on to. . .

  • Support local and sustainable suppliers

If a local business has made the effort to improve its sustainability credentials, consider giving them your business and letting them know why. Make sure your own employees know what you’ve done. That you are serious about sustainability.

Even smaller companies can make a substantial impact on their community by choosing to buy where possible from local and sustainable vendors and suppliers. This not only supports the local economy but also reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting goods over long distances.

  • Reduce, reuse and recycle

Emphasise the importance of the three Rs in the workplace. Reduce, reuse and recycle. Doing this can significantly lower a business’s environmental impact and save money into the bargain. Setting up clearly marked recycling bins and educating employees on what can be recycled encourages responsible waste management.

  • Use Environmentally friendly products

Switching to biodegradable or recyclable materials for office supplies and packaging is another straightforward way for businesses to become more eco-friendly. Products like bamboo office utensils or recycled paper are excellent places to start. If you haven’t looked in a while to see if there are green alternatives to materials or products you use in your business. Perhaps Earth Day is the time to take another look?

  • Engage in community clean-ups

Participating in or organising local clean-up events is a great way to build team spirit. It can enhance a company’s community presence. These activities can help raise environmental awareness and make a visible difference in the local area. They also let your staff and their families know this is something you think is important.

  • Educate your team

Knowledge is power. Providing regular training sessions or resources about environmental issues and sustainable practices can empower employees to make more informed decisions. Both at work and in their personal lives.

  • Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is an annual reminder of the importance of environmental sustainability. Small businesses can mark this day in many ways. This includes initiating sustainability projects, hosting educational workshops or launching a workplace green challenge. It's a perfect opportunity to reaffirm a company’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

If you would like more guidance and advice on making your business more sustainable, book a free one-to-one call with our V-Hub digital advisors who will provide tailored advice for your business.

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