3 simple ways your business can be more environmentally responsible
Earth Day is an ideal opportunity to pause and reflect on what impact your current business practices may have on the planet.
The next step is challenging yourself to do better.
And while change may seem overwhelming, it all starts with small adjustments to the products you use, the suppliers you partner with and the packaging and shipping choices you make.
- Review and improve your energy usage
A quick win for a greener business is to minimise the amount of energy used in your workplace. Start by auditing the energy your business currently consumes. This should identify if you are expending more than your operations really require.
From there, begin optimising your processes and creating new, more eco-friendly business practices. For example, changing standard light bulbs for energy-efficient variations is something every business should be mindful of. Go one step further by installing automatic timers on meeting room lights so they’re not left on when no one is in the room. Not only is this a smart environmental modification, but it also saves you money on electricity bills.
Additionally, there is the issue of passive use of power when devices are left on when not in use. To counteract this, install energy-saving features or simply establish a habit of turning devices off when they are no longer needed.
Updating electrical equipment can aid efficiencies too. Older devices that are not operating effectively can draw unnecessary power consumption.
When it comes to thermal amplitude in the workplace, make sure your thermostat is optimised to an efficient temperature, keep doors and windows closed when the air-conditioning is on, and avoid heating or cooling spaces that are seldom used.
- Create a green supply chain
Like it or not, your company’s environmental reputation is linked to the suppliers you choose to do business with. If they do not share your vision for change and drive for positive environmental impact, their actions could tarnish your efforts to do good.
Often, the best way to promote eco-aware processes and procedures in partner companies is to influence through collaboration and shared successes.
By agreeing on what best practice could look like, you can start monitoring your mutual sustainability efforts and keep each other accountable toward your shared eco-goal.
Performance indicators could include a reduction in the amount of landfill waste by using biodegradable and plant-based products (link to product page), minimising environmental risks associated with everyday business processes and reusing the packaging deliveries arrive in.
Challenge yourself to address this topic with your suppliers and partner businesses and make sure your values are aligned moving forward.
- Go paperless in the workplace (where possible)
Going digital is an easy step toward more sustainable workplace practices. During the height of the COVID pandemic, most businesses relaxed their reliance on printing unnecessary workbooks, presentation slides and business proposals and realised a ‘soft’ copy is just as effective and more convenient.
This shift toward digital document sharing has started a planet-positive reduction in printed materials, but it is important to maintain these habits when returning to the office.
Instead of a bulletin board to share information, use an intranet or digital screen. Replace notebooks with a notebook app and reconsider the frequency the stationery cupboard needs to be restocked.
Where legal documents and agreements once needed to be in hard copy, most sectors are now comfortable with e-signatures and electronic record filing, so make any induction manuals and company policies available online for employees to access when and where they need them.
Earth Day on 22 April is a fantastic opportunity to set an environmental goal for your business and embrace new earth-friendly habits.