Small businesses are among the most contributing organisations in any country’s economy. They provide jobs, nurture innovation and help the community. However, not all of them can resist the highly competitive market. For example, back in 2020, 60% of small businesses closed their activity due to the social and economic struggles the world was going through. These worrying stats show us that small companies are generally unprepared for dangerous situations and don’t conduct better audits on the steps required to help the company face certain conditions. Read on to see how you can make your business more sustainable.
But what makes small businesses unique is the ability to adapt and change. Of course, this is possible only with the help of the right strategies and enough financial resources. Still, it’s easier for a smaller company to change a product or service to remain stable and relevant in the market.
Small businesses are more flexible, and this greatly benefits them. And since they are more sustainable than bigger companies, as most of them choose environmentally friendly processes and approaches, why not become fully green? Here’s how you can drive change.
Change your company culture
Although making a difference means using sustainable materials, it all starts at the core of your business. Therefore, the inside of your company should be where these ideas come from, which means you must encourage your teammates to prioritise climate change actions so they can better understand the company’s goal.
You can develop your company culture into becoming greener by following these tips:
- Define a set of desired values, such as recycling more or choosing to buy more sustainable products;
- Connect culture with accountability for all co-workers;
- Align your culture with your brand, which means you must adopt a newer strategy for approaching sustainability;
- Measure your progress, but don’t rush it; allow every participant to involve themselves in the process;
Changing your company culture takes time and patience. Don’t expect your team to adapt at the moment, but rather make it so that it’s easy for them to get engaged in the subject. Of course, that doesn’t mean you’ll only talk about sustainability in your meeting, but it should be a prioritised topic.
Some organisations’ strategies are better said than done, but you’re not one of them. As a small business, you should make a difference by taking action and actually changing the materials you’re using with something sustainable. For example, you should check more into your source materials and ensure they’re sourced sustainably, are fairtrade and made with recyclable or renewable materials. Although changing all your products is unnecessary, you can start little by little and then expand this strategy in time.
Then, try eco-friendly packaging instead of the old and standard plastic. You’ll contribute to a better environment because containers and packaging are part of 25% of the landfills in the US, according to EPA.
Starting to recycle and manage waste the right way is also an excellent solution for taking action. For example, getting presse pour plastique to recycle your plastics will significantly benefit your company if you have to deal with numerous amounts of plastic in manufacturing processes.
According to Statista, paper production volume has dramatically increased from 1961 to 2021. The average yearly paper production is 400 million metric tons, with China and the US as leading producers. Although this is a good thing because paper and cardboard packaging has increased, the paper used in offices is wasted as paper documents are eventually thrown away or piled up.
Therefore, you could go paperless as there are many other benefits besides being a green organisation. First of all, you’re increasing your storage space for other important things rather than paper, and you’re also becoming more automatised as a business. However, there might be times when you need a piece of paper for something, so you can reuse or recycle your paper after you’re done with it.
You can go paperless by:
- Integrating DocuSign eSignature for the apps you’re using, such as Gmail, Docs, Sheets and Chrome;
- Digitalising financial transactions by using accounting software solutions;
- Opting for digital document storage that is easier to access by everyone and maintained more efficiently;
- Getting electronic receipts for purchases and storing them digitally;
Contribute to charities in your local area
Making charitable donations as a business is quite underrated. Besides all donations being tax-deductible and improving your company’s reputation, you’re also helping the environment and the locals. Many charities are helping the environment, and with a bit of help from businesses, they could make considerable changes.
For example, some of the most known charities include the following:
- Plastic Oceans UK works in education, activism and science to advocate against plastic pollution. They’ve been making exciting movies for a while to spread awareness, such as Against the Current or The Erie Situation;
- Marine conservation societies are fighting for a cleaner, better protected and healthier ocean by banning disposable vapes, joining a legal case against the government for failing to address issues and demanding better ocean solutions;
- Surfers against sewage have specific goals of ending sewage discharge into UK bathing waters by 2030 through campaigns to eliminate plastic pollution and adopting ocean-based solutions for achieving net zero sustainability;
You can also approach environmental promotions for your business, such as planting trees for every ten or 20 products sold. Or, you can start fundraising in your local community to promote eco-conscious initiatives. Of course, plenty of methods exist to help the environment, like using green hosting for your websites, but assisting charities is remarkable.
Donating to charities fighting for the environment also helps build a strong network and associate with people in your community that boost your brand and offer something tangible to locals.
Companies should be more environmentally friendly in their processes because they can improve operational efficiency, drive down costs and help nature heals. You might find it challenging to become sustainable or have better practices as a small business. However, it isn’t that difficult to make small steps toward your goals and help the community.