With the changing times of the twenty-first century, it is becoming more essential to integrate environmentally friendly products and ideas into businesses. This can help contribute towards a more sustainable future, and ensure that your business can flourish in the near future. Businesses come in all shapes and sizes, and there are far more options than there ever have been in terms of the services or product offered, the type of venue used as a base, and how sustainable they are.
These are five things and services that you can consider, to make your business more sustainable. Depending on how your business functions and what type of product you offer, the ideas below offer some great starting points to help you consider a more environmentally conscious way of doing business. I chose these because they cover a broad range of ideas, which makes it more likely that there will be something relevant to your business in the following list.
This table includes details for each idea and what type of business it would be the most appropriate for. Of course, they may not all be relevant to you, which is why there are five options for products or services that you can pick from.
|Use Local Suppliers||This would work best for a small business that has yet to come into fruition|
|Consider Your Product Packaging||Suppliers or businesses that provide a product rather than a service|
|Aim To Become Paperless||Businesses that need more paperwork such as legal firms or those that deal with accounts|
|Sustainable Swag||Anyone that wants to advertise their brand in a more sustainable way|
|Green Cleaning||Businesses that use an office base or storefront|
Why Should I Make My Business More Sustainable?
Everybody should do what they can to use environmentally friendly product, services, and techniques. We live in a world that is constantly changing, and it is more important than ever that we preserve our planet’s natural resources. This can help protect vulnerable species from extinction, and ensure that the climate can repair itself over time.
I’m not saying that your business alone can do these things, but every small amount of effort can contribute towards reducing pollution and your brand’s carbon footprint. It can make you seem more approachable to customers who might be interested in your products or services. For this reason, I would suggest the following ideas to make your business more sustainable.
Use Local Suppliers
You could put pressure on your current suppliers to get a better picture of how environmentally conscious they are. Consider their delivery methods, and the distance that they travel on a regular basis. There are a lot of tools available online that can be used to find suppliers within your local area, but if you provide a craft or service that needs large stocks of a particular item, then you could check wholesale suppliers.
Using local suppliers can cut down on your business’ overall carbon footprint as well as save time and money on delivery costs. It can also provide your business with the chance to work with smaller suppliers and brands within the area. This can be rewarding in the long run to contribute to their growth, and can be a great way to join forces with another business over time.
Consider Product Packaging
Another thing that will allow you to rest easy with your business is finding more environmentally friendly solutions to cut down waste overall. There are a lot of packaging providers that aim to use more sustainable materials, and you could consider changing to recycled product packaging or materials that customers can easily reuse or recycle.
While more people are trying to use general paper waste to create their own paper products and even create their own packaging, it can be time-consuming and a little tedious. This is especially true for those that have larger orders to fulfill, which is why you should consider finding a packaging supplier that works on reducing their total waste and carbon footprint.
Something that is more suitable for legal businesses that handle a lot of paper documents is to consider going paperless. This can help eliminate a great deal of waste, and even has the potential to provide additional client confidentiality. When forms and applications, or client details are stored in filing cabinets, they are easy for the wrong person to access and make a copy of.
Making the move to a paperless office can ensure complete confidentiality, and provide additional security. This can also make it easier to work from home if needed, because the forms and tools will be easily accessible using a computer. Where possible, you should consider updating your business’ filing methods and aim to use online methods in order to reduce paper waste.
Another method to promote your business that won’t create unnecessary waste is to create swag, or merch, that is sustainable. One way that you can prevent waste without compromising on your branding is to create promotional items that people will actually use. Depending on the intended target audience you want to reach, try to make the products relevant and usable. These can be mugs, water bottles, T-shirts, hoodies, stickers, or business cards. Try to avoid things that someone will throw away to ensure that they are thinking about your business and what it can offer them.
Finally, you could consider creating a greener cleaning regime within the office. This can be as simple as filling up soap dispensers with natural handwash, or as complex as seeking a cleaning service that uses natural formulas. This includes detergent and surface cleaner, and it could be worth comparing different local cleaning services to see which would be the most willing to follow this procedure.
Offices can be a breeding ground for viruses due to unsanitary surfaces, keyboards, and equipment. Keeping the working area clean and fresh ensures employee health, and can even encourage productivity. Mass-marketed cleaning products tend to have harsh chemicals in them, which can be harmful over time if ingested. That is why you should try to use natural cleaning methods where possible.
Q: Should I try to make my business more sustainable when it is small, or wait for it to grow?
A: When it comes to setting more environmentally friendly habits, it is definitely better to start sooner. This way, you can learn from your mistakes and avoid falling into unsustainable habits in the first place which will need to be challenged.
Q: Why should I collaborate with other small businesses?
A: It helps the local economy and creates a sense of community. It can also be rewarding to see your business’ growth impact your chosen supplier or business partner.
Q: Should I consider setting up an office space for my business?
A: It depends on what type of services you offer and whether you think an office would allow you to be more productive. Consider your employees if you have any, and how they want to work. This can be the most important factor that can determine a company’s next steps.
Overall, there are a great number of ways that you can create a more sustainable business. Whether you are based from an office or from your home, you should consider packaging and other suppliers and consider how much waste on average you could avoid. Greener cleaning methods and local brands are also great ways to reduce your carbon footprint and create a more environmentally conscious business.