In recent years customers have become more conscious about the impact their purchases are having on the environment. If you are the owner of a small business, it is highly recommended that you evaluate the impact your business methods are having on the environment. By making any effort to do this your customers will be impressed and it will make you appear more trustworthy and respectable.
Here are some tips to help your business become more eco-friendly.
Use More Sustainable Products
The items companies purchase to ensure their workplaces function well be it printer paper, cleaning products or to-go containers can be toxic to the environment due to the processes that go into making them.
For all those paper items commonly used, such as rolls of toilet paper and reams of printer paper, office managers can look for labelling that says it is made from post or pre-consumer waste. Recycled products such as these maintain a circular economy and reduce overall waste.
For cleaning products, there is a whole cottage industry of green cleaners that don’t include toxic chemicals, opting instead for natural ingredients that work just as well. Using these products keeps toxic ingredients out of the streams and their waste out of landfills.
Write a sustainability page or policy
A brilliant way to share your sustainability values and efforts with both your customers and your staff is to create a sustainability policy or page and have it published on your website.
If you’re a business with many staff, a policy outlining the goals and steps to becoming more sustainable will help make sure that everyone who works at your organisation is on the same page. Your policy can literally be “Our organisation is aspiring to become eco-friendlier, here are the actions everyone in the business is required to take and the values that need to be considered when making future decisions within our business.”
If your business has a website, adding a sustainability page will help outline your values for your customers and explain what steps you’re taking to become a more conscious business.
This page can consist of a list of steps you’re both currently doing, and a list of steps your organisation is moving towards. Sustainability can be a work in progress, too as long as you’re moving in the right direction. If you don’t wish to have a whole page about your sustainability police, you can simply add a blurb or paragraph to your “About page”, “Values page” or even a blog or a post on your social media platforms.
Offer Your Employees the Opportunity to Work Remotely
Because we live in a world where it is possible for more work to be completed online, there is less need for people to be in a physical office. Remote work has taken off over the past few years, allowing employees to have work-life flexibility and substantially reducing their time spent commuting.
Working from home has become a hugely popular lifestyle for millions of employees around the world during the covid-19 pandemic. By maintaining and expanding the number of employees working from home, emissions from commutes are greatly reduced. The less cars on the road the less emissions.
Give Your Staff Public Transport Commuter Benefits
When employees do need to be in the office, how their commute contributes to greenhouse gas emissions still can be influenced.
Public transportation (buses, trains, vanpools) is the greenest way to commute, and companies can encourage employees to take advantage of these transport options.
Small businesses can provide employees with public transit benefits that help the environment, either directly or through their human resources (HR) software.
To provide these benefits directly, many city transit agencies offer subsidized passes for businesses. Alternately, these benefits may be available to add through HR software that centralizes all benefit programs.
Encourage Your Employees and Customers to Make Environmentally Friendly Purchases
Many car companies are encouraging their employees to go electric when choosing a new car. Many businesses are incentivising employees to buy an electric car by providing them with a monthly voucher covering a portion of their lease or finance payment. Some businesses are encouraging carpooling to and from the office. Some businesses have switched to all LED lighting in their offices and have installed solar panels to offset their energy usage.