Every year, Earth Day reminds us that we must do more to protect the environment. However, sustainability and environmental awareness are ongoing concerns that we can all try to address at home and at work.
The theme for Earth Day 2022 is climate change. Now is the time to change the political environment, the business climate and our approach to climate change.
A good option to reduce your business energy costs and do your part for the environment is to install renewable energy technologies in your business. However, the technology does not come cheap.
To help your business become more sustainable, we’ve come up with some smart and easy ideas. However, before discussing how to become more sustainable, let’s clear up the carbon jargon a bit by defining the technical expressions you might encounter on the road to greening.
Some important terms to know
Making the necessary adjustments to transform your business into a more sustainable one can be difficult, especially with the ambiguity of green jargon.
Therefore, let’s clear up any misunderstandings and define what all this carbon talk actually means.
Carbon footprint is the volume of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of an individual, organization or community, such as travel and energy consumption.
Carbon intensity is the amount of carbon dioxide (measured in grams) needed to produce one kilowatt hour of energy. Better results come from small numbers.
Carbon neutral involves removing as much carbon dioxide from the environment as you add.
Climate change is the effect of human influence, which causes the earth’s temperature to change. Typically, this manifests as long-term changes in weather patterns.
Climate crisis – we have gone very well beyond the simple concept of “climate change”, and the term “climate crisis” better reflects the seriousness of the threats that climate change poses to the globe.
nature friendly is anything created with the intention of causing little or no harm to the environment, including property, packaging, activities and services.
Environment- Broadly, this term refers to parts of the natural environment that are impacted by human activities.
A green business is one that benefits the environment, the local community or the economy (or has negligible negative effects).
Sustainable Business Strategies for Small Businesses
The sustainability of your business can be greatly improved by small adjustments. Test your ability to implement each of our top suggestions.
1. Get rid of the plastic.
Reusable or paper substitutes are replacing plastic bags in a growing number of businesses. A 5 pence price tag was placed on all plastic bags in the UK in 2014 when the plastic bag levy came into force.
The program aimed to persuade customers to use their own bags for shopping or to purchase reusable “bags for life”. It was successful. The use of single-use plastic bags has dropped by 80% since the program started.
For a small business, eliminating plastic bags may seem like a costly action that won’t have as much of an impact as in large supermarkets and malls.
But in many ways, it’s the actions of small business owners that really make a difference. It all comes down to setting an example for customers in your neighborhood.
As a community hub, you can demonstrate that your business is contributing to the problem by introducing reusable or paper bags. By helping the environment, you inspire your dedicated consumers to do the same.
2. Organize a green team
Why not create a special team to maintain sustainability if you have a respectable number of employees? Give your employees free rein and encourage them to make original suggestions to help your company go green.
Consider giving points to consumers for bringing their own bags or recycling discarded packaging from your store. Incentives are known to increase customer loyalty.
You can encourage employees to consider using reusable water bottles. To foster a good spirit of solidarity in the office, you could even have them made with your company logo, if you can afford it.
You can collect suggestions from all workers and customers based on what your company offers if you don’t have enough people to form a “green team”.
If you own a nursery that sells plants, for example, you can give your customers a point every time they use another plastic plant container.
When they accumulate five or ten points, they could subsequently receive a prize.
Innovative concepts and small incentives can help customers really gauge how much plastic they are consuming.
3. Beware of recycling
Many companies recycle and emphasize how important it is to do so. However, workers are sometimes unaware of the environmental effects of our disposable society.
As a small business owner, you might try to encourage employees to recycle responsibly. Why not have a fun learning day for your staff so you can spend some time understanding what you can do as a business and how to improve your system?
Get their input by asking them, then develop a solid core strategy or, a simple and powerful message could be sent by adding a second container for recyclables in the office.
4. Adopt a green workplace
Even a few plants in your workplace or workspace can have a huge impact. It may not seem like much. If you want to dig a little deeper into the science, more plants generate more oxygen, which can also help create a pleasant workplace for your staff. A small amount of grass and trees can really brighten up a room.
Additionally, using plants to decorate the office can serve as a constant reminder of the value of going green.
5. Look for a greener supplier instead
Achieving sustainability within your own business is only half the equation; if your suppliers aren’t on board, your efforts can be overlooked.
Ask to see their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy if you have questions about the environmental credentials of anyone in your supply chain.
A CSR policy is used to demonstrate how a company operates ethically and takes into account the effects its actions will have on society, the economy and the environment.
Start exploring other sustainable vendors if your current vendors aren’t up to snuff. Be sure to make a Business energy comparison from multiple energy suppliers to find the best one for your business.
Either way, subscribing to a green energy plan is a more environmentally friendly way to run your business. All of these actions may seem trivial, but they all add up to keep your business eco-friendly and help fight global warming.