Let’s face it – many of us spend a lot of our time in the workplace. That means this space can have a strong connection to the impact we have on the environment.
By being conscious about business practices and procedures, you can help reduce the carbon footprint of you and your employees. And though it might seem that making this shift could be costly, it can potentially be good for your small business in the long run.
Many consumers today choose to support green friendly businesses. According to a study from Deloitte, 40% of consumers surveyed choose to purchase from brands that have environmentally sustainable practices and values.
By implementing sustainable practices, you may attract more customers. And there are some ways you might be able to save money by reducing the amount of energy your company uses as well.
In this blog, we’ll share a few tips that can help you make your small business more environmentally friendly.
Source Sustainable Products
Who you choose to do business with matters. Vetting your suppliers and working with those who share your commitment to eco-friendly practices can play a significant role in your business’s environmental impact.
You might consider if the items you source from others are recyclable or are made with renewable material. You could also choose to work with vendors who use renewable energy.
If possible, you might also want to think about working with green-friendly suppliers located near your business. Doing so may help reduce emissions associated with transportation and could potentially save money on your supply chain expenses as well.
It may take a bit of time and research, but developing these partnerships can make a big difference. If you do make this shift, you might want to advertise that your products and services are sourced from sustainable materials so that your customers are aware.
Use Green Cleaning Supplies
Another way to make your business more environmentally friendly is to be mindful of the types of cleaning products you use. Some cleaning products contain harmful toxins that not only cause air and water pollution, but they can also be hazardous to your health.
When purchasing cleaning products for uses such as electronics, equipment, and restrooms, consider options that are toxin-free. And remember, if there are industry-specific, local or other regulations regarding the types of cleaning supplies your business is required to use, you will need to keep those in mind.
If you outsource your company’s cleaning, be sure to check the types of products being used. If they aren’t using them already, you might request that your service provider switch to green products. Make sure they are compliant with all necessary regulations as well.
Reduce Paper Usage for your Small Business
In today’s digital age, many companies have shifted toward a paperless business model. This can be a great way to reduce your environmental impact.
Keeping electronic files in a cloud-based storage system is one alternative to printing them. In order to minimize the amount of energy used by your cloud storage, you may want to periodically review your files and remove ones you no longer need. There are also tools available that can help you measure the carbon emissions related to your cloud storage.
Another way you might consider going paperless is by sending electronic invoices to your customers and vendors rather than hard copies. In addition to having a positive impact on the environment, this may better protect the data of your customers while saving you money. The cost of paper and ink to print hardcopy customer files can add up, and there is a chance that these documents may be left in plain sight, exposing sensitive information. Paperless billing can potentially reduce these concerns.
If there are still items that must be printed, there are good eco-friendly practices to implement, such as using recycled paper or printing on both sides of the sheet.
This might seem like a basic step, but simply conserving energy can be great for both the environment and for business. By reducing your usage, you may be able to lower the cost of your energy bill.
If your workspace allows, consider using natural light instead of light bulbs whenever possible. Depending on your climate, you might also think about opening up the windows for airflow rather than using air conditioning.
You can also foster a workplace that encourages employees to be mindful of their energy usage. This could include requiring staff to turn off lights when leaving a room and shut down their computers at the end of each workday.
Upgrade to More Energy-Efficient Equipment
The equipment your company uses matters as well. For example, LED lights can save a significant amount of energy compared to normal light bulbs. And though they may cost a bit more upfront, they tend to last much longer than normal lights, which could save you money in the long run.
In addition to lighting, replacing out of date equipment and appliances may help you save energy as well. Whether it is a refrigerator, washing machine, or desktop computers, newer equipment tends to be more energy-efficient. When making equipment purchases, you might want to consider items that have the Energy Star Label. This label is an indication of being a government approved energy efficient product.
If you choose to replace older equipment, check to see if any of it can be recycled or donated rather than thrown away.
If transportation is part of your business, you may also consider switching to electric vehicles or fuel cell electric vehicles. This could be a great way to reduce your company’s impact on the environment as these cars produce significantly less emissions than gasoline and diesel vehicles.
As an added benefit, your company could save on fuel costs by making the switch to electric vehicles as well. And depending on the vehicle you buy; you may be eligible to receive a tax credit for the purchase.
If you do not have the cash on hand for purchasing new equipment, you may consider small business financing as an option.
We hope you found the information in this blog post useful as you consider ways to make your small business more environmentally friendly.