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10 ways to make your business more sustainable

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Written by: The Business | Posted 29 September 2017 11:30

10 ways to make your business more sustainable

Paul Johnson, general manager of Hire Intelligence, offers his top tips for helping companies become sustainable – and boost their bottom line.

Sustainability is an important factor to consider for any modern business. Essentially, sustainability is a set of values that positively affects the way a business operates every day, both within the company and in the community at-large.

How a company manages environmental, social, and corporate governance practices can have a major impact on their bottom line.

A sustainable business is not only good for the environment and community, it is also good return-on-investment. In this world of socially responsible consumers, those businesses who make an effort to be sustainable are often favoured over their competitors who don’t.

Here are 10 ways to make your business more sustainable:

1. Create an energy efficient office

If your business uses a variety of office equipment from time to time, from laptops and printers to external monitors and projectors, consider hiring them rather than buying outright. You can save yourself the upfront cost while reducing excess energy usage from appliances and equipment that are used only sporadically.

2. Create a culture

Check in with your key stakeholders about what sustainability actually means for your business and set standards that creates a green culture from the top down. A general idea of sustainability is great, while a mission with agreed targets and goals is even better.

3. Co-work

Depending on the stage and size of your business, it may be a good idea to evaluate whether you really need an office. Offices often use up lots of energy, such as water and electricity. If you are a start-up or a small business, think of working virtually or from a co-working space.

4. Source materials from ethical, socially responsible suppliers

Business sustainability doesn’t happen on an island. Commit to working only with ethical and socially responsible partners and suppliers that carry the same green initiatives as you.

5. Reduce waste

If you haven’t started recycling yet, today is the best time to start. Over 60 per cent of the waste that goes into the rubbish can be recycled so it’s best to start making a more concerted effort. Small changes like printing double sided documents or recycling toner cartridges can be a big help.

Read more: Commercial property supply in Bristol diminishes further as prominent city centre office block fills up

6. Go paperless

Why not go one step further and develop a paperless office? Utilise interactive tools for project management and communication, use cloud storage for an unlimited number documents, and use your smartphone or tablet to have access to your office in the palm of your hand.

7. Try virtual meetings

Save money and time by holding virtual meetings with video conferencing tools. Screen-share during presentations, share files and connect with partners or clients as if you were meeting in person, without having to increase your carbon footprint.

8. Increase efficiency in production practices

Take a step to mindfully reduce your energy output by ‘greenifying’ your network and allocating resources to a long-term sustainability plan. With every step in the production of your products or services, try to find a way to reduce waste and develop green initiatives.

9. Make your packaging environmentally friendly

Either use less packaging or make smarter and greener choices for packaging. Select reusable, biodegradable or compostable options or simply opt to use less plastic.

10. Tell your customers

Making your business more sustainable is becoming less of a choice and more of a necessity in a world where we are seeing the impact of environmental damage. Establish a culture of environmental responsibility in your business; take it one step at a time and let your customers know of your initiatives so that they keep you accountable. You’ll find that a little thought and effort can go a long way into making a positive impact for your business and the wider community.

 

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