It is no longer acceptable to just put a statement out saying that your business recycles. Recycling is now the bare minimum when it comes to being an environmentally aware company. Each and every one of us, and certainly every business has a responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint.
When you consider overflowing landfill sites, deforestation, the number of factories and homes, as well as accidental chemicals spillage, something needs to be done to counteract the damage. For business owners, it should be a simple choice, finding ways to ensure that your business is doing the right thing.
It can also be said that working on being environmentally friendly, or going green, is a financially responsible decision to take. All small businesses and larger businesses, need to take some steps in the right direction.
There are so many options out there to enable large corporations to go green. From who they choose to host their website with, to recycling used cooking oil, learn more about it, and the positive impact it can have.
#1 Giving back
When you take steps to prevent further damage to the environment, this doesn’t take away from the impact that has already happened. If you do have the resources and the means, it’s time to give back.
It could be supporting charities and companies that plant new seeds, or in fact, becoming a company that plants new seeds for trees. It could mean that you set up a volunteering program for your workforce to clean up rubbish in the local woods.
Or perhaps it will be regular investments and charitable donations to companies that are campaigning to protect the Earth, and promote environmentally friendly behavior.
The best thing here is to invest in companies that you know are giving training resources out, or visiting businesses the same size as your own. Encourage education.
#2 Energy source
Something that all businesses use almost continuously is energy from switching on lights in the morning, the PCs, coffee machine, and even the printer. All of these are using a mass amount of power every day.
Then consider the 24-hour CCTV, and the fact the server rooms will need to have energy 24 seven. Your business won’t survive without energy. But that does not mean that the energy you consume needs to have a negative impact on the world.
When looking to reduce your business’s carbon footprint in this area, it’s time to consider renewable energy sources: solar power, hydropower, and wind power.
There are so many alternative energy outlets to give you the option to have environmentally friendly power. It is often the case that can be very cost-effective for your business in the long run too.
For example, you can have solar panels attached to the roof of your building, which will mean over the summer months if you live in quite a sunny country, you’ll be generating your energy.
#3 Waste management
Part of becoming an environmentally friendly business is being aware of the amount of waste that you will need to dispose of daily. This can include chemical waste, old furniture, paper, and packaging, and almost expired goods.
When you go and take a look at the amount of garbage that your company disposes of, you might be quite surprised. Adopting a waste management process allows you to establish just how much you are wasting and how you can reduce it.
You can implement things like ultrasonic flow meters in the pipes to measure the water and waste, you can weigh the bins around the office. Once you have a clear idea of how much garbage and waste you’re disposing of, you can take steps to manage your current waste levels.
- You can partner with a business to provide waste disposal or recycled packaging.
- You can donate or sell the old furniture and equipment instead of sending to the landfill
- If you work in the food industry, you can partner with charitable organizations that will help you find a home for food that is still edible, but the law requires it to be removed from shop shelves.
- You can transfer all of the correspondence to digital form; this will drastically reduce the amount of paper waste that you create.
This is not an exhaustive list of ways you can take steps towards running an environmentally friendly business. By measuring the amount of waste that your business is creating, coupled with initiating a waste reduction plan, you will see a drastic decrease in waste.
#4 Business culture
Your business won’t be able to go green unless your staff is on board. This will mean that you will need to have training in place for your staff. As well as easy recycling programs.
Create a culture within your company that has clearly defined goals for sustainability. This will encourage staff to take part because they’re part of the team. Encouraging staff to do things like taking public transport or carpooling. Supply them with reusable water bottles and travel mugs to help them establish these good habits that you’re trying to keep as a business.
Every business from a single person home business to a start-up or a global corporation should consider the impact on the world around them.
Consumers care where their products come from, how they are sourced, and that the people behind creating and manufacturing these products are fairly paid. They want to know that the business they are buying from where they are spending their money is moral and doing the right thing – not just paying lip service.
Companies of any size can make a significant impact through learning and adjusting.
New processes and future thinking can make a drastic impact by implementing new technologies that look for creative and innovative ways to turn waste into something useful.
But this shouldn’t be done just for looks, it should be an authentic part of your business plan and model. Something that truly aligns with your company vision and goals is essential. But the first step usually starts with the owner or management.