Remember the good old days when every single industry is based on its sustainability? Maybe you don’t, because that’s too ‘traditional’ for an industry. Think about it: For long, we have closely related industry with destruction of nature.
Even though that’s not always true, but for a long period of time the word industry has always been linked to resource exploitation and nature destruction. But as time went by, in the past decade, many environmentally-friendly businesses started to grow.
Well, gone are the days when business could turn a blind eye to environmental issues and the continuing climate crisis. Today, any savvy business owner knows that not only are companies expected to proactively take responsibility for their impact on the environment, but that doing so is financially sound, too.
An effective environmental business strategy is not only good for the planet, it’s good for your customers, your employees and for your bottom line. That’s why, having an environmental business strategy will also produce better results.
Interested about this topic? Here are some practical ways to go green in 2021.
Mind Your Paper Waste
The classic “reduce, reuse, recycle” still rings true. No matter your industry, chances are your business produces some amount of paper waste. The sad fact is that many of us are still not recycling paper, cardboard and packaging that could easily be saved from landfill. This is usually because breaking down cumbersome boxes takes time, or because it’s costly to arrange constant bin collections.
If your company produces large amounts of cardboard waste, a great way to recycle more is to invest in a cardboard baler. This is an easy-to-use device that compacts down bulky boxes and cardboard into manageable bales, which take up far less space and are easier to send off for collection.
You could also save time, space and money by investing in a paper shredder, which can help you repurpose old paper as packaging material. On the other hand, you could commit to simply using less paper in the office, and more streamlined, recyclable packaging for your own products.
Changing from using toilet paper to using water to clean might also help. Toilet paper is made of woods, just like another paper. It will not only save the planet more trees, but also your people from those ‘running out of toilet papers’ condition.
Mind Your Carbon Footprint
One of the main culprits driving climate change is, of course, transport emissions. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from cars, as well as noise and other pollution, can be greatly reduced if people opt for public transport, electric or low emission vehicles, ride sharing or even cycling or walking to work.
If your staff need to be on site, can you think of ways to incentivize more eco-friendly ways for them to travel to work? In the aftermath of the 2020 pandemic, many companies still have staff working from home, which saves CO2 but also saves both you and your employees time and money.
Even if most staff need to be on site, now might be the time to rethink their typical work week. Could you reduce commuting hours by asking employees to come into work for fewer days of the week, and work from home some of the time?
Chances are, your employees will appreciate more flexibility, and you’ll be doing your part to reduce the tones of carbon dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere. This method, even though just recently become a trend worldwide, I one of the most effective ways to reduce carbon emission.
Think About Your Suppliers
In the past, business owners could avoid choosing the more environmentally friendly option simply because the cost was prohibitive. Thankfully, the tide is turning, and today, greener and more environmentally responsible options are more accessible than ever.
This is because informed and conscious consumers are choosing to buy from companies that can demonstrate a genuine concern for the effect their business practices have on the planet. Communicate your own commitment to our shared future by looking at your supply chain with fresh eyes.
Could you spend a little more to buy from local, eco-friendly and ethical suppliers? Not only will this save on shipping emissions, but you’ll be supporting the kinds of sustainable business practices needed to really turn the environmental crisis around.
Take a closer look at where you buy your ingredients, raw materials or packaging and see if you can make small changes for the better. At the very least, you’ll be able to confidently show customers that you’re taking real steps towards change – and that can only improve your brand’s reputation.
Think About Your People
When people think about green business, they imagine things like upcycling office furniture and switching to energy efficient lightbulbs. While these are excellent ideas, why not also spare a thought for the most precious resource of any business: its people.
The world has been shaken up by the Coronavirus pandemic, to say the least. Employees and customers alike are questioning the status quo with everything from our habit of overconsumption to our stressful work lifestyles.
Successful businesses of the future will be those that value people. Can you think of ways to involve your staff more intimately in the fate of your company? Think about more flexible and progressive work hours, parental leave, benefits, and a cooperative, solutions-oriented workplace that celebrates diversity.
Saving the environment takes effort but it also takes innovation – and innovation starts with people who are inspired to make a difference. Even you can be that innovative person and start to make a difference too.
(This article was contributed by Imogen Clarke, a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and ethical living. She is passionate about the environment, as well as dogs and caffeine.)
‘Cardboard Recycling Balers & Compactors’, QCR Recycling Equipment, https://www.qcr.co.uk/balers-compactors/cardboard-baler/
‘Cars, planes, trains: where do CO2 emissions from transport come from?’, Our World in Data, https://ourworldindata.org/co2-emissions-from-transport
‘What is ethical manufacturing and how can you ensure you are working with an ethical supplier?’, Elizabeth Stiles, https://www.elizabethstiles.co.uk/blog-automatic/what-is-ethical-manufacturing-and-how-can-you-ensure-you-are-working-with-an-ethical-supplier
‘A Successful Eco-Friendly Business Starts With Company Culture’, The Environmental Magazine, https://emagazine.com/company-culture/
‘Environmental taxes, reliefs and schemes for businesses’,Gov.uk, https://www.gov.uk/green-taxes-and-reliefs