As a responsible business owner, turning your entrepreneurship green is one of the best things you can do for your brand, employees, and our planet. Of course, sustainability might sound scary and difficult at first, but you don’t have to push yourself to make every single change possible at once. Check out the following sustainable business ideas, and take things towards a greener path at your own pace.
1. Minimize the commute
If you’re just starting out and still have to find the perfect office for you and your staff, focus on the location first. You know the addresses of your employees, which will make it easier for you to pick an office location that’s not too far from the employees’ homes. That way, you’ll be able to minimize the use of cars and public transport, and replace those with greener alternatives such as cycling or walking. It’s green and healthy!
2. Reduce paper use
Waste production is one of the biggest reasons for concern when it comes to modern offices nowadays. In order to minimize waste in your own office, consider turning your business paperless. After all, with so much available technology and tools, it’s not a true necessity to continue using paper for all your documentation and data.
What’s more, you can even cut the paperwork and middle man from the payment process and encourage your staff to use personalized employee income cards. There are also no additional fees or waiting involved! Of course, you don’t have to ditch paper completely if you have some essential use for it. But you can definitely reduce it.
3. Choose sustainable suppliers
Every office needs a range of different things to function properly. This doesn’t only include furniture and technology, but other essentials such as bathroom necessities, cleaning supplies, décor, and so on.
Replacing plastic products such as plastic bags, wrap films with polythene products can be a big step in making your business sustainable. For example you can promote your brand with printed polythene bags which are specifically designed to reduce wastage and minimise harm to the environment.
If your goal is to create a sustainable brand, it would be wise to look into sustainable suppliers for all your office needs. For instance, buying furniture from local suppliers or companies that use recycled materials for their products is a good start.
4. Stop wasting water
Reducing the water waste may seem like something that’s easier to achieve in your home than an office, but with the right approach, everything is possible. For starters, talk to your employees about the importance of sustainability for your brand. Suggest that they always turn off the water taps when they’re not actually using the water. You can even print out pictures and messages and post them in the washrooms as a friendly reminder.
There are also low-flow caps on the market that can be easily added on regular taps which will automatically minimize the water flow. Of course, make sure to have any leaking pipes repaired as soon as possible and save precious water.
5. Recycle your electronics
As a modern business that’s also looking to go paperless, chances are you rely a lot on technology and electronics. But those also have an expiration date. A computer and a printer cannot last forever. But, instead of throwing them out and contributing to landfill growth, you can always opt for recycling. There are special recycling services that deal with electronic waste.
And in case your machines and gadgets are still in good working order, just not up to par with what your business needs, don’t hesitate to donate them to schools and charities. You’d be doing a good deed and saving the environment at the same time.
6. Organize meetings online
If you’re looking to hire new staff, you don’t have to limit your search to a geographical location anymore. What’s more, if you already have offices in different cities, you can minimize the cost and the carbon footprint caused by frequent traveling.
In this day and age, connecting with whoever necessary is rather easy thanks to the quick Internet connection. There are plenty of communication tools with available video chat that can easily replace traditional meeting rooms. The entire shift will save you money and time, as well as boost the sustainability of your brand.
7. Utilize outsourcing
In a similar vein to the previous tip, you can also outsource different non-essential services. For instance, if you deal with selling goods online, you can outsource your entire HR department and even do the same with more technical aspects of your business, such as website design, for example. Basically, any employee who doesn’t have to sit in the office and be an official part of your team can easily be outsourced and hired as a freelancer. Again, you’ll be saving money and supporting the growing sustainability of your business.
Small but steady steps can make a huge difference in the long run. Even if you don’t feel comfortable to take up all the challenges of going green right now, don’t miss the opportunity to make a change where possible for your eco-friendlier business.
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