Making your business green isn’t solely a PR exercise in the twenty-first century. With the world facing uncertain times, and the coronavirus outbreak making all ventures reassess their future plans, the concept of sustainability is becoming a genuine way of future-proofing businesses. Being sustainable is so much more than paying lip service to an eco-friendly policy or a green strategy at work. You need to be proactive in changing your business functions from being purely profit-driven to helping your business survive and thrive in the long term. With energy turning to renewable resources and other market leaders across industries focusing on sustainability, it makes sense that you should do the same. Those businesses that rely on coal or care little about their carbon footprint may find themselves heavily taxed in the near future as the global economy seeks to revive itself after the Covid-19 pandemic.
If you are keen to jump on the green bandwagon, you need to go back to your business plan, which should be a well-thumbed working document anyway. You need to take a look at your company ethos and see how you can adapt to a more sustainable world. Take a look at how you can future-proof your business by enhancing your eco-credentials.
Facilitate Better Employee Habits
While you can cycle to work, use a recyclable cup for your coffee, and switch your monitor off at the plug when you leave the office to go home, you need to facilitate these sorts of behaviors within your staff team. This takes work and won’t happen overnight. Embark in some staff training to help your team understand the importance of limiting the carbon footprint, being green, and playing a part in the sustainable revolution.
Set up a staff contract that everyone must sign up to. Lead by example and hold some sessions where everyone can voice their worries and priorities when it comes to a greener policy. Think about taking away the disposable coffee cups, so your staff are no longer reliant on convenience. Put recycling bins across your site, so your staff are empowered to make greener decisions. By making slight tweaks to your office environment, you can encourage your workforce to bring in reusable cups and refillable water bottles. Transitions from paper towels to hand dryers in restrooms and enjoy having a more sustainable site where your staff can work.
Procurement And Sales
Your fundamental procurement processes and supply chain management practices also need to ooze all things green. When shipping your products or components in a B2B sense, utilize a firm that uses recyclable or reused materials. When shipping larger products, employ the services of an integrated pallet pickup business solution that make it a priority to use recycled pallets for your heavy goods, which will re-enter the supply chain once you have used them. This continual cycle of pallets and reused materials means that it becomes self-perpetuating with little wastage.
When sourcing components, products, or ingredients, consider more local producers and manufacturers. This limits your air miles and shipping carbon footprint massively. Supporting local businesses rather than ones that are thousands of miles away helps you to be more environmentally aware.
Ensure that any goods you purchase are made in a sustainable way, can be recycled or have already been recycled, and are not packaged in excess plastic. By focusing on your supply chain management from beginning to end using spend management tools you can ensure that all of your steps are as green as possible.
Make Your Own Energy
While this can be expensive initially, formulating ways to generate your own energy as a business can pay for itself and then see you in the black in years to come. If you own a warehouse or office, you may wish to power your machines or hardware with energy produced off-grid and on-site. Consider installing solar panels to use the energy from the sun to create electricity. This can power your manufacturing processes and your laptops. Anything that you have surplus can be sold back to the grid. You could also install some wind turbines if the weather makes this a feasible source of energy for your site.
If generating your own energy is not viable because your funds won’t allow this, consider limiting your energy usage. Ensure that you reduce emissions that your site produces, limit excess electricity usage, and consider high-efficiency architecture for your office block or warehouse. By moving to a site that utilizes an energy-saving shell construction, you can save up to 80% on your heating bills. This is an astronomical amount and well worthy of your consideration.
At the very least, you can limit your water usage on site. This can help conserve vital environmental resources in your local area, such as dams and reservoirs. Fix leaking taps, install low-flow toilets across your site, and use a pressure washer with a high efficiency if you need to clean large vehicles on site.
If you are going all out to be more sustainable as a business, it’s okay to shout about it. Allow your customers to hear your new eco-friendly message across your social media channels and website. You may even find that your customer base widens as more sustainably-minded individuals are attracted to your business practices. Being sustainable in the current climate is a positive thing that can have a massive impact on your PR prowess. Back up your new credentials with actions and exploit this message as part of your digital marketing strategy. Being sustainable can allow you to put a premium on the products that you sell to your end-user as customers will be willing to pay.
Choose to partner with suppliers, fellow businesses, and clients that are also green in their approach to enhance your sustainable ethos. Being green is no longer just a buzz word, it’s a practice that can future-proof your business and allow your venture to thrive.