How to make your business more sustainable

Making your business greener not only helps the environment but it can also increase sales. With consumers becoming increasingly aware of the impact that human activities have on the environment, introducing an eco-friendly approach to your business operations may give you a competitive edge that will translate into higher sales and profit margins as well as a better world.

However, to achieve any of this you must make sure that everything you claim to be doing towards making your business more sustainable in your advertising and promotional campaigns is actually true.

Green Energy

Switching to green electricity, be this in the home or in a business environment, is one of the most efficient ways to lower CO2 emissions.

The easiest and perhaps most popular way of doing this is to generate your own power using solar panels but there are other options too including using biomass, hydropower or wind power.

Alternatively, instead of generating your own power, you can switch to an energy supplier offering green energy.

Avoid Wasting Energy

As well as switching to a more sustainable energy supply, it’s also important that you avoid wasting the energy you do use.

You can do this by being conscious of the need to be sparing in the use of electrical equipment, appliances and light. So, make sure computers, screens, televisions and other electrical equipment are turned off when they are not in use.

Traditional light bulbs should be replaced with LED bulbs which not only last longer but are more energy efficient and lights should only be left where they are needed. So, if a room or office is empty, make sure everything is turned off.

Separating Waste for Recycling

Always offer the opportunity for waste to be separated and recycled – if this is easy to do then more people will be happy to bother to do so. Allocate waste bins specifically for plastic products and paper but don’t put these next to each other so it’s clear to employees that they are very different products that shouldn’t be mixed up.

Whilst we are becoming increasingly better at recycling, it still remains a fact that we continue to produce more and more waste and only by recycling can we help the environment. We need to stop our obsession with disposable products, often intended for single-use, which will reduce the amount of waste we need to recycle.

Sustainable Refreshments

Whether it be in the office or while taking a break, coffee, tea, soft drinks and water are never far from hand for employees and visitors. To make the taking of refreshments more sustainable, encourage employees to use their own mugs and glasses and make sure that visitors are offered their drinks from cups that are made of biodegradable material rather than plastic.

Print Responsibly

For a lot of companies in many sectors, whether they are large or small enterprises, running all their communication digitally is simply not a viable option but they can still help the environment by becoming more aware of the amount of paper and printer ink and toner they use.

Employees should be encouraged to use both sides of paper, whether in the printer or when they are writing and only recycled or printer paper with an FSC mark should ever be used and it’s a good idea to use an eco-font to reduce the level of ink used too.

Green Up With Plants

Not only do indoor plants brighten up office space, they’re an easy way to improve the quality of the air in a room and, even more importantly, it has been shown that when plants are placed in a work environment, productivity increases by as much as 15%.

Good Insulation, Sound Investment

If you’re thinking of allocating a budget to enhance your operation’s sustainability then perhaps one of the wisest choices would be to invest in good insulation for your buildings. Efficient insulation not only keeps the heat in and the cold out, it means you will need to use less energy, hopefully green energy, to ensure the business premises are always maintained at the optimum temperature whatever the season. After all, without effective insulation, a building uses up to four times as much energy.

Encourage cycling and public transport

Given the current situation, working from home has become a much more commonplace as well as an increasingly popular option but many businesses still prefer that their employees visit the workplace, if not on a regular basis then at least from time to time. When they are required to do so, employees should be encouraged to walk, cycle or use public transport to reach the business premises perhaps by offering incentives such as subsidised travel or bike subscriptions.