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8 Ways Small Business Owners Can Make their Business More Eco-friendly
There is a lot of push from consumers for businesses to be more eco-friendly. What started out as an opinion has grown into a movement. Many consumers are choosing to only do business or buy from businesses that have put clear measures in place to become more eco-friendly or do as little damage to the environment as possible. Since sustainability and eco-friendliness are so important for businesses, how can your business be better aligned with what your customers require of you?
Offer Remote Work
As more people and businesses realize the benefits of remote work, they are seeing less need to go to the office. Remote work means there are fewer vehicles on the road. Even in cases where people decide to go to work, the smaller number of vehicles on the roads means they sit in traffic for shorter periods. All of this has reduced emissions and the impact commuting and vehicles in general have on the environment.
The other way remote work helps businesses become more eco-friendly is through office power and item consumption. Fewer workers mean businesses do not need to spend a lot of money paying for power as well as heating. Additionally, businesses do not have to spend money on one-time-use plastics such as water bottles and disposable cups.
Encourage Public Transportation
In cases where employees still need to go to the office, it is important to reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible. Businesses can encourage their employees to use public transportation, with research showing carpools, trains, and buses to be the greener modes of commuting. Businesses can encourage these habits through rewarding their employees for doing so. Human resource management software can be set up to identify employees who comply and help businesses reward them. Many cities also offer subsidized public transportation options for businesses, which they can then give to their employees.
Use Sustainable Products
There are many items a business buys to keep its operations going; printer paper, to-go containers, cleaning products and the like. These items can damage the environment if they are not handled and disposed of correctly. Additionally, many of the processes that create them are not environmentally friendly. Businesses can do their part in reducing the impact the items they use have on the environment. One way of doing this is ensuring any paper commodities they use are made using recyclable paper. These include reams of printer paper that should be made out of pre- and post-consumer waste. Such waste helps maintain the circular economy and leads to less waste ending up in the environment.
Cleaning products end up dumping a lot of chemicals into the environment if not disposed of properly. Fortunately, there is a whole industry of green cleaning products that do little to no harm to the environment. Using these products means fewer chemicals in our streams and waterways as well as fewer waste products that end up in landfills.
Encourage Customers to Recycle
Beyond doing everything they can to ensure the products they use do not damage the environment, businesses can also encourage their customers to do their part in saving the environment. A great way to do so is using recyclable packaging materials and other materials that reach their customers. People are more likely to recycle if they know what they are holding in their hands is recyclable. Once a business uses recyclable materials, it should make it clear to its customers that it is recyclable. Adding labels can help with this.
Marketing materials such as direct mail also often end up littering the environment. Using recyclable direct mail materials, businesses can ensure their customers get into the habit of recycling their marketing materials. To learn how to do this, check out this guide on how to recycle mail from Lob. Lob is already doing its part by ensuring all the mail it sends out is recyclable. Lob helps automate the process of sending direct mail and address verification to ensure effective and more accurate business communication.
Seek Out Sustainable Supply Chain Partners
Our supply chains remain some of the biggest pollutants on the plant. Although we still need products to be moved or shipped from one place to another, we can do so in ways that do little harm to the environment. Businesses can seek out supply chain partners who have demonstrated their eco-friendliness. These include those that use newer vehicles, service their vehicles regularly, or are pushing for the adoption of electric vehicles. Businesses can push supply chain partners to become eco-friendly if they band together and ensure measures to achieve this goal are negotiated within their contracts.
Consider Buying Second-hand
Businesses overhaul their offices and equipment from time to time and for various reasons. When they do, it does mean they have to buy everything new. Things like furniture and computer monitors can be bought used from reputable sellers who can ensure their longevity. By doing so, businesses can help stop these items from going into landfills. Also, new office furniture and equipment takes a lot of resources to make, some of which might be damaging to the environment.
Upgrade to Energy-efficient Equipment
Old office equipment does not usually meet the required energy-efficiency standards. To reduce carbon footprints, businesses can invest in energy-efficient equipment. While these investments can seem costly at the start, the energy savings over time will offset these investments and even reduce business expenditure. There are lots of things businesses that want to follow this route can do, including switching to LED lights, using energy-efficient applications, using smart thermostats, and automating their light fixtures.
Switch to Greener Web Hosts
Almost all businesses have a website, and these websites are hosted on servers that consume energy. Luckily, businesses have total control over where their websites are hosted, and they can choose to do so on green web hosts. These are web hosts who have demonstrated that their cloud services are carbon-neutral.
In the past, businesses did not have to think about being eco-friendly too much. With public and consumer sentiment changing, businesses have to do so or risk losing their valuable customers. Fortunately, what is required to become more eco-friendly is often attainable for most businesses.
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DISCLAIMER: We hope whatever you find on this site is helpful, but be cautioned that it may not apply to your own situation, or be totally current at any given time. Idea Cafe Inc. and all of its current and past experts, sponsors, advertisers, agents, contractors and advisors disclaim all warranties with regard to anything found anywhere on this family of websites, quoted from, or sent from Idea Cafe. and its related sites, publications and companies. We also take no responsibility for comments published by others on these pages.
TRADEMARKS: The following are Registered Trademarks or Servicemarks of DevStart, Inc.: Idea Cafe®, Online Coffee Break®, The Small Business Gathering Place®, Take out Info®, Biz Bar & Grill®, Complaint-O-Meter®, A Fun Approach to Serious Business, CyberSchmooz, and BizCafe.