2020 has already been quite a year, but with all of the current changes going happening in the world, the environment hasn’t been forgotten about! In fact, the current pandemic has even highlighted how our planet has been flourishing thanks to the simple act of staying inside by populations all around the world. While businesses are currently trying to get back up onto their feet and adapt to the ‘new normal,’ it is important to remember to add sustainability into these new and modified business models. Because going green isn’t only better for the planet, but it could even benefit the business itself, saving you money in the long run. Not only that, but due to the current shift in consumer patterns and behaviours influenced by present and recent events around the globe, more and more clients are looking to purchase from ethical and environmentally friendly brands. By creating a greener business, not only do you have peace of mind knowing that you aren’t contributing to the problem, but a sustainable business model could actually set you apart from your competition. While it can seem overwhelming at first, with so much available information on the topic, going green can be easier than you think!
Here are four ways to help get you started…
Offer flexible, remote working options
Now part of the new normal due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more businesses are starting to wake up to the fact that they can still thrive with their employees at home. Obviously this depends on the type of business that you have, and having your staff permanently working from home won’t be possible for all, however, this is an area that can really make a difference when it comes to an environmental standpoint. Working remotely means that less energy is being used within the office or workspace from various electrical appliances such as computers, lights, kitchen appliances, etc. It also cuts down on your water and gas usage. Not only is this good for your bills, and therefore your business, but all that saved energy is also really great for the environment. The more employees you have at home, the more you are also cutting down on traffic pollution due to fewer staff members needing to use cars or public transport to get to work every day. If you run the type of business where it’s impossible to keep all of your staff at home, why not consider a hybrid, flexible option of coming into work three times a week and staying at home for the other two days instead? Not only will your staff probably really appreciate the flexibility, but you will be keeping them safe and social distancing at home when you can while contributing to an overall greener society.
Offset your Carbon footprint
It’s easy to say that every business should be environmentally friendly and sustainable, and in an ideal world, that would be true. But sometimes businesses in their models, practices, and very nature can’t be changed, either through lack of resources, finances and sometimes simply due to the very product or service itself. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world, and while it’s easy to say that if a company cannot be sustainable, it shouldn’t exist, sadly that’s just not realistic. While it’s not always possible to be green, businesses can look into offsetting their carbon footprint to make up for it instead by planting trees and putting money into projects and organisations that help the planet and focus on environmental causes instead. Websites such as Carbonfootprint and Offset Earth calculate your carbon emissions for you, making you aware of your impact on the planet. They also have information about live projects that you can invest in and give you the option for donating monthly payments used to plant trees and to invest in other sustainable activities. For bigger companies, a good option would be to look into more sustainable material and resource options as alternatives to current methods, such as cooling towers made from environmentally conscious manufacturers, eco-friendly packaging when shipping, or looking into eco-friendly equipment.
Support local businesses
This again also relates back to the pandemic, but supporting local businesses will help the local economy get back on its feet and contribute towards greater sustainability, meaning that you are getting a two-for-one! Most local companies tend to source and produce locally, and without all of the unnecessary packaging. This means that their carbon footprint will be a lot less compared to the majority of large companies and corporations that often produce in mass. Not only do they contribute to high carbon emission levels, but they also tend to leave behind more waste, none of which is good for the environment. Smaller businesses tend to also care more about what they are doing and have a much bigger focus on sustainability. Do some research into the companies in your area and support them by ordering your next round of office stationery supplies, kitchen cutlery, and lunchtime food orders from local suppliers instead. By supporting local suppliers, not only will your own business be more sustainable, but you will also be helping your local community, and it’s members.
Did you know that the internet contributes to 2% of greenhouse gas emissions? Even though the internet is in a virtual world of its own and isn’t tangible, it’s existence, and increased usage across the globe also consumes natural resources, and consequently, puts a strain on the environment. Of course, no one is telling you not to use the internet as a tool to strengthen and grow your business. With the current focus and move to e-commerce, that might very well just be a death sentence for your company. But even though individual usage doesn’t necessarily have a huge environmental impact, every little helps and there is a more sustainable way to go about your online activity through the likes of green hosting. Switch over to the green web to host your company’s website instead and reduce your carbon footprint. It’s easy, affordable, and you won’t even notice a difference. Try out GreenGeeks, Dreamhost, or Hostpapa and give yourself the peace of mind knowing that you are doing everything you can to contribute to a better planet – leaving you free to focus on business.