Why should you look to create an eco friendly business? Well, apart from having a better impact on the environment, it can save money, enhance reputation and give a competitive edge. When preventing physical waste, increasing energy efficiency and improving resource productivity, money will be saved. People look for businesses practicing sustainable principles so if your business is doing this, it will be held in higher regard and enhance competitiveness.
Here are seven things you can do right now to create an eco friendly business:
1. Use reusable/sustainable office supplies and products
So many small and simple changes can be made across your business here.
Where possible, use reusables. In your kitchen, or any area serving food and drinks, avoid take/throwaway products like cups, glasses, plates and cutlery.
For stationary look for paper and other supplies made from post consumer recycled paper and other sustainable materials.
For other paper items like toilet paper and paper towels, again look for products made from sustainable resources.
For any disposable items that need to be used, for example, gloves or coffee machine pods, look for brands that are biodegradable or can be recycled in some way.
2. Look for sustainable suppliers
Work with other green businesses. Look at your suppliers and investigate whether they have greener options available in the products and services they supply you. Look into other businesses that do offer greener alternatives or have sustainable principles practiced in their operations.
3. Reduce energy consumption
We’re getting so much better at this, however, I’m still often horrified at the energy I see over used. The obvious, turn lights off that aren’t being used. Even better, install a censor light in the areas that don’t get used often. Switch to energy efficient lights and choose electrical appliances with energy saving modes.
If it’s a pretty nice day and it’s possible, open the windows. You can never make an inside temperature that meets everyone’s needs, however, arctic air conditioning or heating that makes you sweat in winter is just not necessary.
Recycling is better than landfill. Start small and aim BIG. At the very least have a kitchen recycling bin that all recyclables that can go into your kerb side recycling bin can be put into. Ensure everyone knows what can and what can’t go in it.
Look into terracycle zero waste boxes that can be purchased to collect a range of post consumer packaging and waste to be sent back to terracylce for recycling. I’m talking so many varied things here from oral hygiene products, coffee pods and beauty packaging, to office supplies and safety equipment and protective gear….and so much more. Or, look within your business for anyone that might have children collecting these items for school, or within your business’s local community for community recycling hubs.
There are also many recycling programs for office supplies like printer ink cartridges, batteries and light globes.
5. Eco friendly cleaning
Look at your cleaning supplies and ask yourself whether there are more low waste and environmentally friendly alternatives you could be using. Many services offer bulk products more economically, or a refill service, so that your business reduces plastic use and uses products that are cruelty free and are safe for our waterways…..and so much healthier for us.
6. Use sustainable packaging
Does your business send post or organise deliveries of any kind? How about looking into biodegradable and compostable packaging supplies? Look at any product packaging or gift bags you give customers and explore more eco friendly options like reusable or recyclable options.
7. Environmental awareness raising
Have some fun and look at all the events throughout the year that celebrate the environment or bring attention to environmental awareness and create a calendar to look at how your business could be doing something to promote these events. Plastic Free July, Clean-up Australia Day, National Arbor Day are only three that come to mind. You may have someone working in your business that has a passion for environmental issues and might like to be a sustainability officer. Bringing awareness to environmental issues can also link your business with its local community and shared events can be celebrated.
Whatever you implement at your business, it’s a step in a positive direction.
What changes do you think you can make?