There are many benefits to engaging in going green for your business. This is not only good for the environment but also will help you save money on bills and cut down on how much energy your company uses!
In total, businesses that have implemented eco-friendly practices in their day-to-day operations have saved money. They also gained a lot of recognition from customers who were happy to support companies that went sustainable. The budget allocated to go green may seem high at first glance, but if you calculate how much it saves you every year, then you’ll find it is worth it.
If you’re concerned about how sustainable processes will affect the performance of your business, don’t fret because they have shown a positive impact on how efficient your company is, how much revenue it generates, how satisfied customers are with the service they received, and how competitive you are in the industry.
This how-to article provides tips and suggestions on how SMEs can go green without breaking the bank. Implementation of going green strategies can improve corporate image – helps a company with its public relations and ethical guidelines practices.
About 10 years ago even the mention of sustainability in small to medium enterprises would have brought about raised eyebrows and much ridicule. However, times are changing; new business opportunities and how we interact with our environment have resulted in more forward-thinking companies that want their businesses to be sustainable success for themselves and our world.
20 sustainable business practices for SMEs to consider.
#1 Let employees know how important it is to reduce energy use. Make sure that everyone in your company knows how much energy you’re using and how this affects your business costs over time, as well as the need to respect how green you are being by using energy efficiently. Use dashboard displays or emails if anything’s been going above expectations or out of kilter with usual patterns over the past few days/weeks/months.
#2 Monitor how much electricity your business is using on an hour-by-hour basis, how much power individual pieces of equipment are using, and how many energy-efficient light bulbs you have in use. Contact a local eco-friendly supplier to ask them how to calculate your CO2 emissions, especially if you’re involved in manufacturing or any other businesses that don’t involve customers visiting you all the time for products or services.
#3 Have company policy meetings about how your employees should reduce their own carbon footprints – recycle any waste that can be recycled.
#4 If you’re planning to buy new equipment in the future, look for energy-efficient computers and other pieces of kit that use less power but still have all the features you need.
#5 Work on how far up and down your supply chain you can get eco-friendly products from, make sure there are plenty of local suppliers that you can use. Get your maintenance contractors to follow green practices when they come out too.
#6 Make sure you are using energy-efficient lighting, look at how to make your heating system as green as possible.
#7 Make sure your company’s carbon emissions are monitored on a regular basis and that these are fed back into planning how eco-friendly your business can be overcoming months/years. Try not to rush the process of becoming more sustainable as this will only waste more resources; start small instead.
#8 Have an environmental policy within every department of your company, ensure they all know their role in how eco-friendly you are being.
#9 Make sure your website is accessible on mobile and tablet devices, make it as easy to use for customers on these screens as it is on their computers – if they find it easier to do things online then they will probably do so.
#10 Get some expert advice by working with your local council or a trusted eco-minded business on how you can make your business sustainable over the coming months/years. Get carbon offsetting prices from several businesses; you may well be surprised how cheap this can be.
#11 Work out how much CO2 emissions your business produces, how much energy it uses and how easy it may be to reduce these over coming months/years. Get your supplier chains working towards sustainable options too – how can you make this easier?
#12 Make sure your home office is eco-friendly and sustainable too – how can you generate your own power at home? You may want to install solar panels on the roof or a wind turbine in the garden. Again, how much money could you save if this became part of how you do business every day?
#13 Your car should be greener than most, try not to waste gas as fuel; instead, get an electric car if possible and charge it up in the evenings when electricity usage is lower. Invest in energy-efficient road bulbs for that extra eco-boost too!
#14 Make sure all your suppliers use eco-friendly packaging as standard so there is no waste when sending items out. Talk to your supplier chain about how each part can do its bit – how can they help reduce the carbon footprint of shipping over coming months/years? Each supplier may well have already started on how they can go greener and save money too! Make sure they are using sustainable practices too, how will you know they are really eco-friendly? If there is a lack of support or help from your suppliers how can you make your business more sustainable on its own?
#15 Consider how much waste your business will produce over coming months/years, how can you give each part of your company a role to help in how eco-friendly it is? How can you streamline these processes and how often do parts need replacing? Does this mean that more sustainable items may be needed sooner rather than later if replacements are required? For example, how can you use green energy during the manufacturing process to keep your carbon footprint down?
#16 Consider how much recycling is done within your company and how easy it is for customers that come into contact with your eco-friendly products: how easy are they to get rid of? Are there local reserves or charities that will take this waste off you so it doesn’t end up in landfill sites; how much CO2 emissions could be saved if these were recycled? Again, do all unit managers know how important this is and how their department can help reduce the carbon footprint of your business over the coming months/years?
#17 Start small: how much energy and resources are wasted on printing within your company every day? How easy is it for each member of staff to email others rather than print these out; how much money could be saved if eco-friendly printers were used that didn’t need ink or toner cartridges replaced so often? The same goes for how much paper is used: how many trees will be saved by reducing wastage?
#18 Start a recycling scheme within your company how much waste can be recycled rather than thrown away? How easy is it for your customers to send back their packaging or get a refund on an item if they decide it doesn’t suit them; how many items could you save by improving how easy this process is?
#19 Make sure there are eco-friendly alternatives for anything that creates too much energy wastage: how easy is it to go greener and how much money could you really save if each part of your company was using these sustainable methods over coming months/years?
#20 Look how much your company’s carbon footprint is and how it can be reduced over the next 12 months; how will this affect how you do business in the future? Does each part of your company know how important this is and will they be able to make a difference? Do all staff know how eco-friendly their unit must become if savings are to be made within the budget that has been allocated for this initiative? What barriers may hinder these changes?
Going solar is one of the low-hanging fruits of becoming a sustainable business. You can explore your options or even use a solar calculator just to establish how much you can save in terms of your carbon footprint or savings achieving in lowering your electricity bill. Check out this solar calculator for more details.