The environment is a topic on everyone’s mind, and climate change is one of the most defining issues of current time. According to Deloitte sustainability report, around 32% of consumers are highly engaged with adopting a more sustainable lifestyle and around 28% of consumers have stopped buying certain products due to ethical or environmental concerns. Therefore, businesses need to adapt and change their ways, becoming more environmentally aware, in order to keep consumer demand. Here are six simple ways that you can adopt to make small businesses more sustainable.
1. Minimize travel
As more business activity is done online, there is less of a need to physically travel or commute to an office location. Remote work offers employees greater flexibility, and an improved work-life balance, and significantly reduces time spent commuting. A reduction in the number of cars on the road and time spent idling helps the environment by reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – a contributor to climate change.
2. Purchase green products
Every business needs to purchase supplies and equipment to keep its operations going. When it comes time to make decisions on which items to purchase, small businesses should choose ones that are greener and more sustainable for the planet. Examples might include choosing toxin-free cleaning products or using recycled paper for printed publications.
3. Use eco-friendly packaging
Most products will require some type of packaging to indicate how to use them, display them, protect them, and meet labeling standards. If possible, small businesses should consider more recycled options when selecting packing material. While shipping and transporting products, think about the size, shape, and weight of boxes or envelopes to improve energy efficiencies and minimize waste.
4. Create more green space
Small businesses should think of adding indoor plants to the work environment. Not only will this create a more relaxing atmosphere, but many plants can improve the air quality around, helping keep people healthy. Some plants like snake plants, peace lilies, and spider plants, have properties that help remove contaminants and toxins from the air. One can also consider adding a compost bin to the household, which can be a rich source of nutrients and soil for plants.
5. Second-hand items
Small businesses can use second-hand items wherever they can. If one has a small office space that needs to be furnished then one should look for a second-hand desk from a local charity shop. “Choosing functionality and sustainability doesn’t have to come at the cost of style either. There are great vintage pieces waiting to be discovered”, Charlie Duke, Senior Product Manager at Mettle said.
6. Go digital
Many business owners use technology in their business, which can provide opportunities to enact more paperless options. Think about which tasks might be able to be done without printing and do some research to see which apps and software might be best for use. Consider signing up to receive information electronically rather than via printed mail. This could include things like bank statements, invoices, insurance, and other correspondence.