Running any kind of business means keeping an eye on all the many moving parts. Both the practical, nuts-&-bolts day-to-day activities, as well as some of the more intangible aspects such as branding and a vision for growth or expansion. Another key issue to keep your eye on, is how environmentally friendly your business is.
In recent times, modern business owners have discovered that there is now a new box to tick when it comes to operating an ethical enterprise – the issue of sustainability and environmental impact.
So, to help you get inspired for this increasingly vital aspect of commercial success, here are some simple suggestions for how businesses can start to focus more on their eco-credentials and environmentally friendly practices.
Measure Your Business’s Carbon Output
There’s a popular saying in business circles that you can’t improve what you don’t track. This idea can be helpful when it comes to improving the impact your business has on the environment.
Before you can start making effective changes, it’s good to get a baseline measurement of what your business is already doing well, and where there’s room for improvement. To do this, give some thought to the best ways of measuring your business’s carbon output. This initial step may yield some ideas for improvements.
Beyond this initial assessment though, you’ll need to keep tracking your results, keeping an eye out for any trends (good or bad), as well as any opportunities for reducing your company’s impact on the environment.
When you know where you’re starting from, and how any additional measures are making things better, you’ll be well on your way to those all-important eco-credentials that make you proud of your business and also help to raise the image of your brand within the minds of your customers.
Encourage Employees to Adopt Eco-Friendly Practices
If you can get your employees on board with your plans for more eco-friendly practices, you may find that your business wins on two fronts.
Firstly, you’ll be doing your bit to help protect our planet’s finite resources. Secondly, you may find that with some savvy recycling practices, you can reduce costs and expenses within your business.
Some popular examples of businesses successfully recruiting their employees in environmentally-friendly initiatives utilise green ideas such as in-office recycle bins, and a company-wide philosophy of Reuse-Reduce-Recycle.
You may also find that your employees would welcome more work-from-home practices or cycle-to-work schemes – both of which can help to dramatically reduce the impact of commuter traffic on the environment.
Recycle More as a Business
There has long been a cultural shift towards recycling more, and this is good news for the planet. While many recycling initiatives are aimed at households and individuals, what’s less widely known is the enormous impact businesses can make in reducing the strain on the earth’s resources.
And it’s not just big businesses that can make a significant impact. Collectively, small and medium-sized companies could drastically reduce the environmental impact of business simply by adopting some basic recycling habits.
Starting with small changes such as recycling your paper and cardboard waste, to exploring options for recycling or upcycling computers and office chairs, there are many ways that any business could embrace recycling and boost their eco-credentials.
There are even specialist waste & recycling services that can help you do the right thing with your commercial consumption, many of which could pay for themselves in terms of reduced business costs or workforce satisfaction.
Green-up Your Supply Chain
Another way to make your business more of a force for good for the planet is to get picky about your suppliers.
When you adopt a philosophy of choosing providers and services based on their eco-credentials, you’re becoming part of a movement – one that’s taking a stand for better business practices that protect the environment.
One simple example of this idea is to choose an energy provider that is championing renewable energy sources or green fuel. Many businesses use an enormous amount of energy in their operations, so this single step of shifting towards a more eco-friendly supply is a relatively easy way to reduce your business’s carbon footprint.
It also sends a powerful message to the suppliers that ethical practices are not only good for the planet, but they can also be great for business success as well.
These are just a few of the ways that you could begin to get proactive and boost your business’s eco-friendliness.
While it may seem as if small simple changes won’t make such a big difference, the more companies that begin to embrace these philosophies, the more other suppliers and employees will come to see it as the norm – something that could have beneficial ripple effects for generations to come.