Are you considering making your business more sustainable?
That’s a great call because sustainability is on the rise and it’s here to stay, in the USA, Germany, China, and around the globe.
Not to mention, going green is a great way to save hard earned cash.
Here, you’ll learn traditional methods as well as some non-traditional methods to make your business eco-friendlier.
Simple Steps for a Greener Business
1. Digitalize Documents
This may seem like a no-brainer because it’s 2021, but it’s shocking how sending everything via snail mail is considered essential. In Germany, each bureaucratic process only seems to be official if you receive a confirmation, stamped and enveloped, in your mailbox. Not only will this be more environmentally friendly, but you’ll save money and headaches because you can file everything more easily.
2. Transition to Remote Work
Hopefully, this step doesn’t come as a surprise. Yes, collaborating remotely sometimes takes more thought and work than working in an office because you don’t have an opportunity to just “bump into” the person you need to talk with.
However, this can greatly reduce overhead costs,
making your business seem more appealing to potential investors.
Additionally, it cuts down on unnecessary commuting, which equals less CO2 emissions.
3. Switch to Eco-friendlier Energy Sources
Did you know that just the small act of transitioning from regular lightbulbs to LEDs can reduce energy consumption by 20%-30%? Even if the price tag of LEDs is higher, they still save you money in the end because they last longer.
If your business has a physical location, consider this investment. If your employees work remotely, consider encouraging them to make the transition. But of course, use what you have on hand first.
Another idea could be switching to alternative energy sources. Maybe discuss the possibility of investing in solar panels, which could save you money in the long-run.
4. Buy second hand
Before you think about spending hundreds of dollars on new office furniture, consider whether used products could satisfy your needs.
Buying pre-used items doesn't mean you have to compromise looking professional.
Mixing and matching demonstrates its own kind of flair.
We've been hearing this for decades, but according to NPR the United States is far behind Europe in terms of plastic recycling. In comparison to the latter (35%-40%), the USA is recycling a scant 10% of its plastic waste.
Yes, recycling paper, plastics, cans, bottles and even electronics is a great way to help the environment.
However, how you recycle is also important.
Among other things, remembering to avoid packing your recycling materials in a plastic bag is important. Find local guidelines for your area to optimize your recycling efforts.
Going the Extra Green Mile
So, we’ve covered some of the basic ways to be more environmentally friendly. However, any old company could do those things.
Here are some strategies to set yourself apart from your competitors and win favor in the eyes of your customers.
1. Set Up a Sustainability Committee
Just like you have an accounting, marketing, and HR department, you can have a sustainability department. This proves to your customers you are invested in sustainable operations.
Don't forget, this is a great opportunity for the marketing team to partner up and make public the steps your business is personally taking to make the world a more livable place.
Like and share, please.
2. Greenify Your Supply Chain
Customers care about authenticity and transparency. They want to know you mean what you say. They want to know where and how their products are made. You should know too.
Be intentional and choose suppliers who share your sustainability goals. Visit regularly to maintain flawless communication and get to know their processes.
3. Hold Sustainability Challenges
Have you heard of company-wide Fitbit challenges?
Why not hold a company-wide sustainability challenge?
Engage your employees at home or in the office to reduce their carbon footprints. You could have people track their emissions with an app and see who achieves the lowest score.
Aside from a great team bonding activity, you're set for social media content for months. Your followers will be cheering your team members and your company on.
4. Teams that Plant Trees Together Stay Together
Integrate team building activities with your company's goals and mission. Plan outings to plant trees, host a clothing drive, or organize a farm market.
Better yet, ask for employee suggestions and incorporate those. This is another excellent method to engage your team and your customers.
5. Reevaluate Packaging
Have you heard of the Belgian food products brand Alpro? Although not perfect, they've been working on making their food packaging eco-friendlier.
Recently, the company started producing yogurt containers without the typical plastic lid. Not only would this save the company money in the long-run, it made consumers (like me) extra happy and more likely to purchase their product over that of another company's.
This is just to say that small incremental changes can make a large impact on your bottom line and on your customer's perception of your brand.
The Next Steps
So, you've just learned some simple ways to be greener. What now?
One, take some of these ideas to establish a business sustainability strategy that works for you and that your company can maintain in the long-term.
Two, implement your carefully crafted strategy.
Three, share your journey on your website and social media. Get the word out about your company's new goals, both nationally and internationally.
Get everyone involved.
Inspire and lead.
Before you know it, you will have loyal fans talking about your business and your products and services around the globe.