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How to Make Your Business More Sustainable

Trying to make your business more sustainable? All businesses, even small ones, can make a big difference to the planet by opting to make small changes.

Not only will you be doing your part for the environment, but you’ll also attract more customers. Protecting the environment has become a priority for consumers. More people are starting to choose who to buy from by paying attention to how sustainable a company is.

If you want to give your business a sustainability makeover, here’s some of the things you can do…

Invest in sustainable flooring

The flooring you install in your business has the power to help or hinder the environment. If you are using old, outdated vinyl flooring for example, it could be releasing toxins into the air. Even new flooring can be detrimental to the environment if it isn’t created in a sustainable way.

When thinking about sustainable flooring, it isn’t just the materials you need to focus on. Make sure you buy from a company that sells sustainably sourced floors such as the online retailer Stories Flooring.

Assess where your product materials are sourced

The first thing you’ll want to do is look at where your product materials are sourced. Does the supplier follow eco-friendly practices when sourcing and manufacturing its products? Look at their energy use to see how much they use and whether they follow fairtrade practices. You should also pay attention to whether the materials are recyclable, renewable, or biodegradable.

Switch to sustainable packaging

Alongside your actual products, pay attention to the packaging your business uses. Consumers are continuously choosing businesses based upon the type of packaging they use. According to the 2020 Global Buying Green Report, a whopping 74% of consumers would pay more for products with sustainable packaging.

It may seem like a small thing, but single-use plastics make up a large portion of the waste at landfills. Where possible, look to switch to more sustainable packaging such as wood pulp, corn starch, and mycelium.

Upgrade old equipment

Is your business using old equipment? If so, it could be using way more energy than it needs to. Older equipment can take a real toll on your energy usage. This isn’t just bad for the environment, it’s also bad for your bottom line.

By upgrading to newer, more energy efficient equipment, it will cut down your energy use, as well as make your business more efficient.

Choose a renewable energy source

Did you know most energy suppliers offer renewable energy options? Take a look at your current plan and see where it is coming from. If you aren’t currently on a renewable energy plan, it’s worth making the switch.

If you have the budget, you can also invest in your own renewable energy source. Solar panels can help to drastically reduce your energy use, saving your business potentially thousands of pounds in the long term.

Consider remote working

The pandemic saw a switch in the way businesses operate. As premises were locked down, businesses were forced to switch to remote working. While it may have taken some time to get used to, companies are now realising the benefits of operating a remote workforce.

One study carried out by the International Energy Agency found that working from home helps to cut emissions and energy consumption. Employees who commute by car more than 3.7 miles each day could drastically cut emissions when working from home.

Remote working has a lot of benefits and aiding in sustainability is just one of them. If you haven’t considered making a permanent switch, now is the time to do so.

Recycle and reuse

Are you guilty of generating a tonne of business waste annually? Get in the habit of recycling and reusing wherever you can. Anything that you can stop going to landfill will help to protect the environment. It will also aid in boosting your reputation, making customers and clients more likely to choose you ahead of your competitors.

Limit waste

Another way to tackle your business waste is to limit the amount you produce in the first place. Look at where the waste is coming from and implement solutions to reduce it.

It could be that you need to reduce how much paper your business is using, or how much packaging you use. You should also make sure you have an efficient waste management system in place. The more waste you can reduce, the better it will be for the planet as well as your bottom line.

Choose local suppliers

Importing materials and products from overseas can save you money. However, shipping the goods over uses a lot more fuel than it would from a local supplier.

You may need to pay a little bit more, but there are multiple benefits of shopping local. You won’t just be reducing your carbon footprint; you will also be helping to support local businesses. As the recent pandemic showed, shopping local can also help to avoid economic disruption. The last thing your business needs in a time of economic crisis is to run into supply issues. Local suppliers will be there to deliver when international services fail.

Offer green delivery and shipping

If you need to ship your products to customers, the delivery options you choose can impact the environment. The shipping industry has advanced in recent years, offering more eco-friendly options to businesses and customers alike.

Choose a green company that uses electric vehicles where you can. Or if you are delivering the products yourself, make sure you invest in an eco-friendly vehicle. Like using a local supplier, local couriers are often much cheaper than national ones. They also tend to offer a friendlier, more personalised service.

Taking steps to make your business more sustainable will contribute to helping tackle the climate change crisis. We all have a part to play in reducing our carbon footprint, and businesses can make the biggest difference. Follow the advice above to start making your company more sustainable.

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