Now more than ever, businesses should be looking for ways in which they can operate in a greener, more sustainable way. There is no denying that human activity is contributing to climate change, and National Geographic is always trying to draw attention to the fact that the effects of global warming aren’t lurking in the far-flung future — they’re already taking hold.
As a business owner, taking steps towards working in a more eco-friendly way should be especially attractive. Not only will you be doing your bit for the environment, but you could secure extra business and make more money as a result. This is supported by a survey carried out by the European Commission, which found that 80% of Europeans are concerned about the environmental impact their purchases can have. So, as consumers’ attitudes are changing, companies that manufacture their products and operate in a responsible way are likely to become the most competitive. In fact, the same study also discovered that people are actually willing to pay more for products that have come from an environmentally-friendly company. So, going green isn’t just good for the planet — it’s likely to be good for your bottom line, too.
Here, we’re going to outline just some of the ways in which you can give your business a green overhaul. Read on to learn more.
Ensure any promotional products are eco-friendly
Most companies, from small businesses to large corporations, will have a need for promotional items at some point. If you often attend conferences or trade shows, they offer an easy and affordable way to get your brand name in front of more people. They’re also nice to have on hand when a customer or potential client visits your premises. But, pens, highlighters, and notebooks with your logo won’t always be manufactured in an eco-friendly and sustainable way so, if you’re looking to develop your green credentials, looking for a supplier who can provide you with environmentally-friendly promotional products is a great place to start.
Custom Planet offers a wide range of eco-friendly promotional products that have been made responsibly with natural or recycled materials. They’re ideal for when you want to get your company name in front of more people without increasing the size of your carbon footprint.
Use less plastic
We all know that we should be buying less bottled water, drinking our morning coffees out of a reusable cup, and saying no to straws in bars and restaurants. But, your business could still be contributing to the huge amount of plastic Brits throw out every year.
Is your office water cooler accompanied by a stack of disposable cups, or do you frequently treat clients to sandwich platters that are wrapped in layers of plastic that you throw straight in the bin? Reviewing everything you do to see if you could create less waste and run your business in a more sustainable way is going to help you get the results you’re looking for.
So, invest in some reusable drinking glasses for your staff, or encourage them to bring in refillable water bottles. And, when clients visit, you could shop around for food that comes in biodegradable packaging or buy from a local business that will use reusable platters or food boxes that you’ve provided. Making small changes such as these can make a huge difference.
Recycle old or broken electronics
If you decide any of your company’s electronics are past their best and need replacing, don’t just throw them out — it’s likely they can be recycled. With the rise in companies making an effort to work in a greener and more sustainable way, it’s never been easier to recycle the old, unsalvageable electronics you might have lying around.
Consider powering your premises with renewable energy
An increasing number of businesses are deciding to power their workplaces using renewable energy, and with good reason — it can save money, improve your green credentials, and make you less reliant on the world’s finite supply of fossil fuels.
Solar power is a particularly popular choice among businesses that are interested in running on energy that comes from renewable sources. This is because, although they are an investment, solar panels are relatively easy to install, and will pay for themselves over time. However, they aren’t the only option available to you: there’s also wind energy, biomass energy, and more. Business Juice has a guide to all of the renewable energy options for businesses. It’s a great resource if this is something you’re seriously considering.
Encourage your employees to use greener forms of transport
Transport emissions are responsible for 21% of the UK’s carbon footprint, according to the British Assessment Bureau, and commuters contribute a lot to this problem. So, if you’re serious about reducing the environmental impact your business is having, you should devise a way to encourage your staff to choose greener forms of transport.
If any of your workers are given company cars, consider offering electric vehicles as an option. You could also arrange a carpooling system, or look for an effective way to encourage your employees to walk or cycle to work. Perhaps everyone that chooses an emission-free form of transport so many times in a month could be entered into a prize draw — it’s all about finding ways to keep your staff happy while working in a more environmentally friendly way.
Even implementing flexible working hours could reduce the environmental effects of your employees’ commute. If they’re allowed to arrive at work earlier or later, they’ll be more likely to miss rush hour, which will result in them idling in their cars a lot less.
Take these tips on board and you’ll be well on your way to reducing your business’ carbon footprint. We all need to take responsibility for the impact we’re having on the world and, as a business owner, this should apply to your work life, too.