Today, more and more businesses are making the commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly business practices, not just to appeal to discerning customers, but to save money in the long term, too. Big or small, businesses can’t afford to ignore the growing climate crisis and the responsibility to do their part. Fortunately, giving your business a green makeover is easier than it sounds, and a little goes a long way.
Here are 4 practical tips for eco-friendly businesses in 2020 to get you started as told by S Jones Containers.
Reconsider your recycling policy
When did you last think about how your business produces and processes its own waste? Whatever your industry, your business likely generates some wastepaper. Being one of the easiest materials to recycle, there’s no excuse for not sorting and managing shredded paper, cardboard boxes, packaging or documents. Depending on your needs, install some sorting bins and set up clear guidelines for employees to follow. You could also purchase a recycling compactor to help press down bulky boxes and packaging, so you can easily store and send them off for recycling. It’s not just paper though; you could also get a compost or food scraps bin, recycle electronics or even upcycle old office furniture.
Consider green building alternatives
During the peak of the coronavirus emergency, enterprising medical staff found ways to use converted shipping containers as mobile treatment and testing units. Now people are asking whether the same containers could be remodelled into mobile vaccination units. Creative, eco-friendly and budget-friendly building solutions are cropping up everywhere, and business owners are finding modular eco office ideas very appealing in the current economic climate. Whether you need extra office space, site accommodation or pop up facilities, it’s time to think outside of the box. According to S Jones Containers, the sky’s the limit, with modular and temporary buildings now being used for classrooms, emergency support, accommodation, storage units, site offices, wholesale and more.
Consider remote work for employees
There’s no question that the world of work has been forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but many businesses are seeing the blessings in disguise. While transitioning employees to work from home can be challenging, there’s no doubt that fewer commute hours is brilliant for the environment, cutting down on damaging greenhouse gas emissions. What’s more, there’s no evidence that remote workers are any less productive than those who go to an office or work on site. If it works for your business, consider cutting the number of office days or organise remote working for staff where possible. You’ll have lower overheads, happier and more relaxed employees, and the environment will thank you.
Commit to a more ethical supply chain
Consumers in every industry are becoming more aware of the incredible environmental and social costs that come with their favourite products. As they consciously choose to buy local, cruelty-free or Fairtrade products, businesses who can demonstrate a commitment to sustainability will have a competitive advantage. Whatever the nature of your company, you can likely make good changes by switching to more ethical suppliers, considering your carbon footprint, changing to local suppliers and working more closely with the people who provide your raw materials, packaging, or services. With careful rebranding and marketing, you can convey to customers a genuine commitment to being part of the solution that will distinguish your business as one with a conscience.
Reduce your energy use
Cutting your business’s total energy spend not only saves you money, but it also reduces your carbon footprint. Solar panels are becoming more attractive to business owners, who can expect their initial investment to pay for itself within just a few years and provide free green energy for decades afterwards. But you don’t need to do something this drastic to have an impact. By getting rid of energy-guzzling appliances and machines, replacing old boilers or even switching to more energy-efficient lightbulbs, the savings start adding up.
A yearly energy audit can help you identify where you’re wasting energy and give you an idea of where you can improve. Some businesses are now switching to alternative green energy suppliers, both for the environmental impact and for the savings to their energy bills each month.
No matter the size, nature or financial goals of your business, there is always something you can do to reduce its environmental impact and improve sustainability in the long term. It’s easier now than ever to make smart changes that benefit you, your employees and the planet we all share. Whether you give your business a complete eco-overhaul or simply commit to reusable mugs in the office kitchen, it’s a step in the right direction!