How environmentally friendly is your company? You could make any number of minor changes to improve its impact on the planet. Here are seven sustainable business practices you can implement.
1. Closed-Loop Recycling
There’s been a 71% global increase in searches
for environmentally-friendly products since 2016. Demand has correlated in most of the world, considering consumers have become more aware of their environmental impact. Most want to feel good about their purchases.
Closed-loop recycling could be the solution you’re both looking for. It lets you become more sustainable even if you can’t make your product more environmentally friendly. Finding a way to transform an old product into something new may take some creativity, but it can be worth it.
The commercial form of this recycling style is a practice where businesses turn their original products into something else after customers are done with them. For example, someone could return their shampoo bottle once it’s empty. The retailer can repurpose or reuse it to resell it.
This method can increase consumer satisfaction
, reduce pollution and help the environment. People appreciate doing business with someone who cares about their products after the initial sale. On top of that, it’s even usually more affordable than creating new goods from scratch.
2. Eco-Friendly Packaging
Using eco-friendly packaging is one of the best sustainable business practices you can implement. A wide range of options exist to fit your unique needs. For instance, you could use compostable, water-soluble, recyclable, renewable or biodegradable material. Each type has a different style and feel, so you’re sure to find something you like.
Switching to an environmentally-friendly alternative has plenty of benefits. Customers will appreciate the change, and you’ll help the planet. It can even reduce your business’s material expenses
since sustainable options are often more affordable in the long run.
You may even see an increased profit. That may not be your goal, but it’s a good motivator. For instance, many consumers in Generation Z
will happily pay more for a product if they believe it’s environmentally friendly. They connect sustainability with performance and quality, so they usually feel something’s higher quality when it's green. Using eco-friendly packaging can be super advantageous.
3. Electric Company Cars
If you have company cars, consider switching them over to electric. Even if you don’t, you could install a charging station in the parking lot or encourage your employees to use them. It’s a super sustainable business practice both environmentally and financially speaking.
Since electric cars don’t have any tailpipe emissions, their carbon footprint is much smaller
than gas-powered ones. Even factoring in the battery production process, they’re a much more environmentally-friendly option.
Electric vehicles are also super affordable. Battery refueling, driving and maintenance are inexpensive — especially compared to alternatives. Installing a charging station in the company parking lot may be a bit expensive, but it’s pretty reasonable. You can get a crazy high return on investment, so it’s one of the best sustainable business practices to implement.
4. Environmentally-Friendly Fixtures
There are plenty of small eco-friendly business practices you could implement. Multiple minor changes add up, so they’re just as effective as a single big one. You can switch out some of your current fixtures to improve your company’s impact on the environment.
For example, you could use smart lightbulbs throughout the workplace. Since they’re LED, they use less energy
even though they last longer than regular bulbs. You could also install motion sensors or power strips to reduce your electric usage. Most sustainable changes act similarly. You end up saving money and getting a better performance while helping the planet.
The most considerable appeal of eco-friendly workplace fixtures is that most options are incredibly affordable. You only need a small initial investment to be able to use them throughout your entire workplace. Look at your building and consider which ones you could overhaul.
5. Reusable Company Resources
Plenty of workplaces offer free resources for employees. For instance, break rooms typically have coffee stirring sticks and styrofoam cups. Offices usually provide printer paper or company stationery. They’re small things, but their environmental impact adds up. Implementing a sustainable business practice is as easy as switching them out for eco-friendly resources.
For instance, you could offer reusable public coffee mugs or bamboo stirring sticks or start a new digital-only policy to reduce paper use significantly. This method has the unique benefit of involving employees in sustainability. It can help you create an environmentally conscious company culture.
6. Remote Work Options
Letting your employees work from home can be a beneficial business practice in general, so its environmentally-friendly factor makes it one of your best options. Its enormous positive impact should be appealing, considering making a sustainable difference motivates nearly 76% of female entrepreneurs
in Canada and over 70% in the United States.
People who telecommute stay home all day, so they don’t produce any greenhouse gas emissions while driving to and from work. On top of that, meeting virtually or sending a company-wide email can be good for business. Employees may perform better when they can reference recorded or written accounts of workplace expectations.
7. Renewable Energy Use
Consider incorporating renewable energy sources into your business. It’s an easy way to stay sustainable. Plus, installing one is reasonably straightforward. For example, you could put a solar panel array on your workplace’s roof. It could significantly benefit the environment even if you only use it to partially supplement your electric usage.
An on-site installation could significantly lower your business’s greenhouse gas emissions
because it can handle all of your energy needs. It can save you money because it’s typically much more affordable than using fossil fuels. You may even be able to fund the addition with various new government programs.
Make Your Business Sustainable
Think about how you’re currently running things and where you could focus for the most significant positive impact. You can implement any number of sustainable business practices to improve your business’s effect on the environment. Even minor changes can go a long way.