Environmentally conscious businesses are the hottest thing right now.
People are becoming increasingly concerned over the deforestation of the Amazon, the increase of wildfires and According to a survey of consumers from both the United States and the United Kingdom, 96 percent believe that small actions like recycling and buying from sustainable business make a difference.
What’s more, 51 percent believe that these types of actions make a big difference in the world.
These beliefs are reflected in their buying preferences. A recent survey revealed that 65 percent of American buyers would like buy from brands that are advocating for and using sustainable practices. Catering to this increased demand for eco-friendly practices and sustainable business models can represent thousands, if not millions, of dollars’ worth of revenue.
You may be daunted by the prospect of using environmentally friendly business practices, but the change doesn’t have to happen overnight.
Here are eight small but effective methods you can employ to gradually make your business more sustainable.
1. Go Paperless
So many businesses have had to change the way they operate in the past year, specifically to accommodate more digital forms of communication.
Now is the perfect time to reduce the amount of paper your company consumes. For example, a digital PR agency that used to print all sorts of press releases or internal memos can switch to sending out email blasts or using instant messaging.
Going paperless isn’t just eco-friendly, it also reduces costs as you no longer have to spend on buying paper, printer ink, or cluttering up the office storing paper documents.
2. Arrange a Company Carpool
If your business still operates from a physical location, your employees either have to take their cars to work or commute, both of which use fossil fuel. You can reduce the amount of gasoline your company inadvertently burns by arranging for a company carpool.
However, don’t just select people because they live in the same neighborhood. To make things more sanitary and safer, arrange for people who already work in proximity and live along the same paths. This will make contact tracing and similar medical efforts much easier.
3. Partner with Local Suppliers
Transportation produces so much carbon emissions, and it accounts for 28 percent of the total greenhouse gases produced by the U.S. A large percent of this transportation is because of goods traveling from one end of the country to the other via trucks and airplanes.
But when you partner with local producers and suppliers, these products travel significantly shorter distances, meaning they burn up less fuel to get to you. You’ll also be encouraging and empowering local businesses, helping your community in general.
4. Prioritize Recycling and Reducing Drives
Every little effort counts and your employees can help your business become greener with every small gesture. Hold regular and recycling efforts in your business. For example, if one of your employee’s perks is free food and beverages, rather than give each employee a plastic bottle of drink, encourage them to bring reusable containers like tumblers and coffee mugs. Make sure your company segregates its waste properly to make it easier for recycling businesses to sort through them. Finally, reuse everything that you think you can, from paper scraps to different materials.
5. Be More Energy Efficient
If you have a physical location, all your equipment and appliances require a lot of energy, especially if your business operates long hours.
Ensuring your company is energy efficient reduces the amount of electricity it consumes and thus the effort and carbon it takes to generate that power. Simple measures you can take to ensure energy efficiency include turning off any appliances that aren’t currently in use.
You can also make sure each piece of equipment you purchase has an Energy Star label.
6. Work with Other Endeavors
The odds are there are already ongoing efforts within your community to reduce waste. A local environmental awareness group may already have a recycling drive, other businesses could be taking waste products for upcycling.
Do your research on which efforts are in place in your local area and reach out to them. Working with other businesses can make recycling and be environmentally friendly not just easier, but also more profitable.
7. Raise Awareness in the Community
Finally, use your business as a platform to promote these other efforts and raise awareness in your community about important issues regarding the environment. You can hold contests, seminars and other events to not only market your enterprise but also help people learn more about what they can about the environment.
Businesses are powerful pillars of the community and you can use your influence to make a great change. What’s even better is that this change doesn’t even have to come at a loss. Investing in sustainability and environmentally friendly efforts can be a huge win for your company and the planet.