Sustainable Practises for Small Businesses
Sustainability can be seen as an abstract concept, but there are some quite simple and concrete actions that can help to save your business some money as well as helping it to run in a better way.
There are some business owners who are environmentally conscious and want to create a green workplace in order to attract more customers and help the environment.
Sustainable business practises you can start today
There are some practises that you can bring into your business starting from today. Some of them are quick and simple to do whereas others may take a little longer.
Reduce your packaging
If your company is shipping directly to the consumer, a quick and simple way to become more sustainable is to reduce the packaging you use and make sure that packaging is recyclable. By reducing the overall amount of packaging used you will be reducing the outlay for your business and thus saving money. Also make sure that the packaging is labelled clearly as recyclable so the customer is able to tell that they can recycle it.
Renewably Sourced Energy
If you are able to, make sure that your electricity supplier is using renewable energy, such as wind or solar power. There may not be much of a financial change by making a switch such as this, but it will help your business to become more sustainable.
Buy locally sourced products in order to strengthen the community
By buying locally you are supporting the surrounding community and also lowering the carbon footprint of your business. A simple example of this is buying local ingredients for your restaurant kitchen, or hiring a local tradesperson for any work that's required in the office. Also, let your consumers know that you're helping the local community, having a little section on your marketing materials can help to spread the word.
Bigger Decisions to make
The previous section looked at small changes that can be made in your business in order to improve the sustainability, but there are also larger ones that can be made. This next section may not apply to all businesses, but can still give an indication as to how changes can be made in the future.
Company car fuel efficiency
This might be second nature to think about for your personal car, but business vehicles may be around a little longer and be driven for further distances. So getting a fuel efficient vehicle can save money by not needing to be fueled as often and can also help by lowering pollution.
Good insulation can bring the heating bill down for your premises. But don't forget about other factors that can cause heat loss; drafty windows and doors for example. It might seem as though it's not worth it for your business, and that it's a big outlay. But over time you can see your heating bill reduce and the value of your premises increase.
It may seem as though making your business sustainable doesn't bring any immediate benefits. However, if your consumers are environmentally focused, then they could be more willing to spend a little extra for sustainable items. Also, if you want to improve your business by making it sustainable there can also be cost improvements and benefits for the environment.
There are also grants available so do your research and find out what help is there if you're looking to become more sustainable.