Going green is now a worldwide trend – as it should be! As a small business, you also have a part to play in protecting the environment by adopting sustainable practices. This will improve your bottom line in the long run because consumers are more inclined to purchase sustainable products and choose businesses that make efforts to be eco-friendly.
Let’s look at some simple ways your small business can be more eco-friendly.
Procure Sustainable Goods and Services
One of the top ways to keep your business environmentally friendly is to procure goods and services sustainably. It’s a simple enough practice to adopt, and doing this is not too difficult because there are many companies and organizations in your supply chain that offer products and services in a sustainable fashion.
To begin with, it’s best practice to seek out the services and products of local businesses instead of dealing with businesses that are located far away. This helps the environment because your business won’t need to transport goods over long distances, which increases carbon emissions and your carbon footprint.
Another way to source goods and services sustainably is to ensure that they are made in a way that does not negatively impact the environment. For instance, some goods rely heavily on the use of fossil fuels and generate toxic materials or ozone-depleting free radicals. It’s best to avoid dealing with such suppliers. Instead, you can find a better supplier that offers goods made from renewable materials that can be recycled. Last but not least, you should avoid goods that come with excessive packaging. The waste paper contributes to environmental pollution and also uses more energy during the manufacturing process.
Look for Smart Ways to Reduce Energy Consumption
When you consider that energy bills are one of the major expenses small businesses have, it becomes worthwhile to adopt smart practices that reduce energy consumption in the office. Fortunately, there are many ways to lower your energy bills. You can begin by getting an energy audit to determine how much energy your business is consuming and discover ways to minimize that consumption.
If you want to save money on energy in the long run, then your next step should be to purchase energy-efficient office equipment. Office technology is one of the most crucial investments for small businesses, and investing in energy-efficient equipment helps you save more money while benefiting the environment. Other ways of minimizing energy usage include programming your office thermostat so you don’t use energy during off-hours. You should also encourage your staff to switch off lights and computers when not in use. It also helps if the lights are energy-efficient, as this is one of the simplest ways of saving energy and being more eco-friendly.
Utilize Digital Resources
In today’s world, office technology has improved in leaps and bounds, and it’s now possible to run business operations digitally. The great thing about going paperless is that it impacts the environment positively and helps reduce overhead costs. One of the best ways to go paperless is to switch to electronic payroll and accounting. There are many cloud-based solutions that allow you to reduce the number of paper invoices your business produces and to easily track expenses. Another effective way to go paperless is by focusing on online marketing instead of utilizing direct mail campaigns, which can consume a lot of paper resources. Similarly, you can also switch to digital communication with the right office technology and reduce the wasteful use of paper.
However, keep in mind there’s always going to be some need for paper in your office, so you should keep the room in your budget for office materials like quality printers and ink. Although going paperless does have its benefits, there’s still an essential need for printers and ink when you need hard copies. For instance, you may need to provide hard copies for authentication purposes. Sometimes hard copies are better for long-term storage, especially for backup purposes, in the case of data breaches or hacks.
Hopefully, these simple suggestions will prove that you don’t have to expend a lot of effort or break the bank to make your small business more environmentally friendly. There are many other practices you can adopt to make your small business greater, but you’ll often find that even the simplest of changes can significantly and positively impact the environment. The most important thing is that you’re stepping to the plate and making the environment a better place by shrinking your carbon footprint.