Five ways to make your business more sustainable

Here, we look at five ways that you can make your business more energy efficient and sustainable.

If you are sat at work clock-watching, now may be the moment for your business venture to join the green revolution and transform that waste of time into a wasteland of opportunity. The modern business landscape continues to evolve and disposing of any rubbish habits will have a positive impact on your company and help protect the environment. Along with its many sustainable, eco-friendly benefits, it will also enhance the competitiveness and reputation of your business.

Think Paperless

Going paperless could saves the most precious commodity of them all – time. It is estimated that employees spend one-third of their time looking for paper documents. Adopting a paperless strategy means that important information can be accessed within seconds and provided electronically to customers. The satisfaction levels and loyalty of your consumers will increase as a result whereas your operating costs will reduce significantly.

Paperless companies are ultimately more efficient and expandable; therefore, this is one admirable approach to protecting our planet and a few trees along the way.

Recycling agenda

This process is the primary thought when an organisation contemplates its green credentials. Begin with paper and card as they are more often than not the most visible and highest volume waste product in the office – 50 per cent of all waste from businesses is made up of paper. This recycling system can then branch out into other materials such as food packaging, plastic, drinks cans, cartridges, toners and glass.

Make your staff aware of the procedures and ensure clear communication channels so that this salvaging practice is taken seriously. Investing in high-quality waste bins is paramount and comprising waste bins for each recycling option will diminish the risk of waste streams becoming contaminated.

If necessary, run a recycling awareness day to promote the financial and environmental costs associated with waste production and highlight the potential savings if everyone pulls together in the same direction.

Energy efficiency

According to Phil Gilbert, director of Customer Solutions at E.ON, ‘Investing in energy efficiency or in new generation technologies can make sound investments, often paying back in only a few years.’

This is because cutting down on the amount of energy used in the workplace can help a business become more sustainable and slash a company’s carbon footprint.

All this often requires are subtle changes and eliminating harmful traits. This can include turning off machines when not in operation, investing in low energy lighting and implementing energy efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment.

Supply chain

Work in tandem with like-minded companies who themselves have a functioning and sustainable approach to their day-to-day work. As this blog post by Applied Acumen highlights, there can often be supply chain disconnects between company departments that could ultimately lead to waste. To avoid this, you should focus on making clear planning decisions early on – this will help shape and drive a useful supply chain model for your business.

A supply chain audit can help you evaluate your own performance and consider not just the ethical and environmental implications, but also the distances involved in transportation.

Greening your reputation

Keep your customers in the loop about your eco-friendly principles and what steps you are taking to further your green image. This can even encourage other businesses to follow suit and join you on the path to sustainability.

Carbon-footprint labels, which indicate a product’s environmental impact, are becoming more widespread and are a way to attract customers and investors who look favourably on companies with environmental policies.

It is now expected that businesses take a more proactive approach in their waste management and make a positive contribution to the environment. Remember that even if steps seem small at first, those efforts can build to produce tremendous results.

Further reading on energy sustainable businesses

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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