Turning your business into a lean green economic machine sounds more challenging than it actually is. Thankfully with the advancement of technology and sustainable partnerships, businesses are in a position to help close the loop and minimise ecological impacts that could harm the environment. It doesn’t matter if your business is big, small, new or old.
There are actions that you can implement in the next 60 days that will transform the role of sustainability in your business.
Consider the proximity of your business’ location
Your business’s location has an impact on carbon emissions caused by your employees’ commutes and the distribution of products or services. Businesses can adopt simple changes like allowing their employees to work from home, thus minimising their need to commute. Businesses can measure the employees’ productivity to see if it is economically viable.
There are brick and mortar businesses that need their staff to be on location. What the business could do is incentivise them to live closer to work. Businesses could provide employees with ‘rental assistance’ or a ‘location bonus’ to relocate to an area within a 20 minute commute.
Another consideration is the impact on the business’s supply chain. If your business’s premise acts as a distribution centre, it’s ideal to keep your business close to ports so that emissions from vehicles are reduced.
Improve artificial lighting consumption
If your business is still using incandescent light bulbs, then upgrading to energy efficient LED lightbulbs will be the quickest way for your business to improve its eco-friendliness. Incandescent light bulbs waste up to 90% of consumed energy as heat.
Several businesses that have retrofitted their premises with LED lights have minimised their energy consumption by at least 60%, thus creating a more positive cashflow for their business.
Improve the use of solar lighting in your business’s premises
Sunlight is the best asset for businesses that want to achieve their sustainability goals. Typically, 15% of overhead energy consumption costs are attributed to artificial lighting. The dependence on artificial lighting occurs from the building design, which doesn’t allow enough sunlight into the premises.
Your business can choose to:
- Migrate to another green-friendly building: Typically, the building will be designed with more windows and skylights to amplify the amount of natural light into the premises.
- Upgrade the premises to capture more natural light: This can be achieved by investing in skylights, large windows and solar tubes. Additionally, the interior design of the building can use mirrors, light coloured paints, metals and glass objects to reflect more light around the room.
Partner with recycling firms to help your business close the loop
It’s challenging for businesses to start and manage sustainable practices within their business. That’s why it’s more economical to partner with an external organisation that can manage certain areas of the chain so that your business can focus on the most important things. For example, many recycling organisations offer a pick-up service, which means your business only needs to worry about collecting and organising the items that need to be recycled. A good example is printer cartridge supplier Cartridges Direct who have partnered with Planet Ark to collect used printer cartridges for recycling. In some other cases, these recycling companies are happy to pay you a fee for your items, thus adding to your business’s revenue stream.
Incentivise your employees to get involved
Reward your employees with prizes or gifts for improving their green initiatives in the organisation. Things they could do include:
- Improving their commute to work, such as car-pooling with other employees, cycling or walking.
- Improving recycling and waste habits within the business.
- Engaging in fundraising or charity events that will help improve the business address sustainable causes.
These are practical actions that your business can implement immediately and start seeing an economic and ecological benefit in the medium to long-term. It’s your opportunity to make a real difference.
Seize it now!