Most business owners would likely agree that they could be greener. However, the truth is that even small changes can have a big impact on the environment, especially in businesses and manufacturing. As more people recognise the value of corporate social responsibility and the environmental impact that operational and purchasing processes can have on a business, it's critical to consider how you can become more eco-friendly for the sake of your company's reputation among customers, employees, and stakeholders.
As Gen Z becomes of age, they join the throngs of younger Millennials who choose to change with their wallets and make more conscious and eco-friendly choices regarding who they shop with and the companies they want to work for. So investing in being more green in your business practices will help you appeal to a wider audience.
What are the best eco-friendly changes to make in your company?
Use Green Products
Eliminate single-use plastic from your company and encourage staff and clients to use greener alternatives such as reusable coffee cups. Switch to recyclable or reusable pens and stationery for the whole office, and look for eco-friendly swaps for any consumables you use to run your business. Apply this to marketing and promotional material too. For example, choose printed kraft business cards that use recycled materials and switch to brown paper for wrapping and packing.
Use Sustainable Suppliers
Obtaining more eco-friendly products can be as simple as asking your current suppliers to provide a more environmentally friendly service or product range or even requesting a copy of their CSR Policy. Many other businesses will ask the same questions as you as more companies look to improve their green credentials. If your current suppliers don't have any green products or aren't interested in becoming more environmentally friendly, start looking for other sustainable providers.
Meanwhile, it's also important to consider what you're currently purchasing and whether any internal or external changes can be made to improve your eco-credentials quickly.
Use Less Energy
Switch your lighting to more energy-efficient lighting such as LED bulbs or automatic lighting that turns on and off when people enter and leave the room. Turn down the thermostat and keep your premises at a consistent temperature to avoid excessive heating. Replace equipment with energy-efficient models that consume less energy and can reduce your energy bills too.
Add Greenery to the Office
Go green literally by adding plants to your office. Plants can help to increase oxygen levels in a room and improve air quality, making it healthier for everyone. Plus, they also make any area look more attractive and can add talking points for visitors. Plants need little maintenance but have a dedicated staff member to tend to them, or a company comes in and takes care of plants and shrubbery to keep them looking their best and healthy all year round.
Use Less Water
This is one way to help you save money while also helping the environment. For example, fixing leaky faucets can literally save your company gallons of water, so check to see if this is happening. If you're not sure how to make changes in your business specifically related to water, seek advice from a plumbing expert on reducing your water footprint. You could also look into alternatives such as eco-friendly water systems to reduce waste.