With Earth Day 2023 just around the corner, you’ll find buy-in from people across the board – employees to partners – to integrate sustainable initiatives within the organisation’s day-to-day culture. Everyone is pumped and raring to go!
In fact, according to Deloitte’s global survey, millennials and Gen Zs remain deeply concerned about climate change and the environment, so much so that more than a quarter of them confess that certain businesses’ impact on the environment has influenced their buying decisions.
As a business leader, if you don’t know how or where to begin your eco-friendly journey, consider this guide as a great starting place.
In this blog, we will dive deep to understand 10 sustainability tips for businesses you can make your own. Let’s begin.
9 Easy and Implementable Sustainability Tips for Businesses
Reduce Energy Consumption
It is important to start with the basics and take baby steps if you will. So, if your organisation isn’t implementing energy-saving practices in your workplace, get your employees to embrace these sustainability tips:
- Ensure they turn off lights when not in use
- Make sure they unplug electronics
- Assess if your business is using energy-efficient equipment in the first place
Implement Sustainable Packaging
Another area that contributes significantly to your sustainability efforts is eco-friendly packaging. This includes opting for recycled paper, biodegradable plastics, or compostable materials.
You can also source eco-friendly office supplies such as refillable pens, reusable coffee cups, and rechargeable batteries.
To make the most of this strategy, support sustainable initiatives by partnering with local organisations or supporting environmentally friendly causes.
Promote these initiatives on all your social media platforms, as Oracle demonstrates below:
According to McKinsey, embrace the following best practices to bridge the sustainability shortcomings:
- Establish a clear methodology on how to benchmark your packaging products in terms of sustainability, cost, and convenience
- Understand the full opportunity (and value) at stake across your product portfolio, resulting from increasing sustainability requirements
- Infuse clarity and innovation in your packaging and technology roadmap with the right partnerships in place
Encourage Carpooling and Offer Remote Work Opportunities
Another strategy that works wonders is encouraging your employees to carpool or use public transportation to reduce their carbon footprint.
Here are a few tips you can follow to promote sustainability within your startup while also saving money on transportation costs and increasing employee satisfaction – a win-win for all:
- Offer incentives for carpooling: You can encourage employees to carpool by offering incentives such as preferred parking spots, gas cards, or even extra vacation time for those who participate.
- Use a ride-sharing app: Consider using a ride-sharing app like Uber or Lyft to help employees coordinate carpools.
- Provide remote work opportunities: Offer remote work options, even if it’s just one day a week. This will reduce the number of cars on the road and the number of emissions produced.
- Consider providing bike racks or bike-sharing programs: This is particularly useful for employees who live close to the office. You can also offer electric vehicle charging stations to elevate the sustainability program.
Have Virtual Meetings
Owing to the pandemic, utilising video conferencing tools like Zoom or Skype for meetings is not a far-fetched idea anymore. This strategy helps reduce the need for employees to travel for work-related meetings. Here are some tips to follow:
- Actively opt for meeting clients or team members in person and make use of video conferencing tools like Zoom or Skype.
- Avoid unnecessary travel and use public transportation or carpooling when possible.
- Invest in the right cloud-based tools like Google Drive or Dropbox to collaborate on documents and files without the need for physical copies. This can also reduce the amount of paper you use and help you save on printing costs.
- Embrace remote work to lower time spent commuting.
Make Sustainability a Part of Your Company’s Culture
If you want your employees to be mindful of their carbon footprint, make sure to share sustainability tips and resources with every opportunity available:
- Host sustainability-focused events such as:
- A workshop on composting
- An upcycling craft fair
- A panel discussion on green business practices
This will help create awareness within your startup and also encourage others to adopt sustainable practices.
- Offer incentives for sustainable behaviour. Consider rewarding employees who carpool or bike to work, use reusable water bottles, or bring their lunch in a reusable container. You can offer monetary incentives or other perks, such as extra time off or recognition in company-wide emails.
- Create a sustainability committee comprising a group of employees who are passionate about sustainability. Give them the responsibility of promoting sustainable practices within the company. This committee’s primary responsibility is to organise events and activities to create awareness and encourage sustainable behaviour.
- Implement a green policy that outlines the sustainable practices your startup will adopt. This policy should be communicated to all employees and regularly reviewed to ensure that it remains relevant and effective.
- Make sustainability a part of your branding and messaging. You can integrate it within your logo, website, and other marketing materials. You can also promote it on social media, as Starbucks’ post shows below:
Source Locally or Go Second Hand
Sourcing locally and going secondhand in terms of mindset and approach are important initiatives for going green. Take inspiration from the following tips:
- Choose local: By sourcing your materials and supplies locally, you can reduce your carbon footprint by minimising transportation emissions. Plus, supporting local businesses helps to build strong, resilient communities.
- Use secondhand equipment and furniture: Rather than buying brand-new equipment and furniture, consider purchasing used items instead. This not only reduces waste and saves resources, but it can also save you money — a win-win for all!
- Buy in bulk: When you do need to purchase new items, try to buy in bulk to reduce packaging waste and transportation emissions. More importantly, buying in bulk can often result in lower prices, allowing you to get the best deal possible.
- Consider a circular business model: A circular business model laser-focuses on minimising waste and maximising the use of resources. Interesting practices include:
- Renting or leasing equipment
- Repairing and refurbishing items
- Designing products for disassembly and recycling
Reduce Paper Waste
Reducing paper waste is a simple yet great way to start implementing sustainable practices in your startup. Use these tips to your advantage:
- Go digital: Encourage your team to switch to digital files and documents instead of printing everything. This will help:
- Reduce paper waste
- Save time
- Make it easier to share and collaborate on documents
- Reduce unnecessary printing: Encourage your team to only print when necessary. Ask them to review documents on screen first and only print out what is absolutely needed.
- Print double-sided: When printing is necessary, make sure to print double-sided to save paper. You can also reduce the margins to fit more content on each page.
- Use recycled paper: Another printing paper tip is to recycle paper. This helps reduce the demand for virgin paper and saves trees.
Conduct Regular Energy Audits
Regularly conducting energy audits allows startups to identify areas where they can reduce energy consumption and save money on energy bills while contributing to a more sustainable future.
Here are some easy tips for conducting regular energy audits:
- Identify your energy usage: Start by identifying how much energy your startup consumes each month. Make sure to look at your electricity bills and try to identify patterns in energy usage.
- Review your equipment: Take stock of all the equipment you use and their energy ratings. More importantly, identify which equipment consumes the most energy and consider upgrading to more energy-efficient models.
- Check your lighting: Lighting can account for a significant portion of a business’s energy usage. So, switch to energy-efficient LED lights and consider installing motion sensors or timers to reduce unnecessary usage.
- Assess your heating and cooling systems: Regularly maintain and service your systems to ensure they are operating efficiently.
- Look for energy leaks: Identify areas where energy may be leaking, such as poorly sealed windows or doors. You should also consider upgrading insulation or weather stripping to prevent energy leaks.
Choose a ‘Green’ Web Host
Crazy Domains believes in being ‘green’. Our green web hosting initiatives consist of both carbon offsetting and improved technology. Here’s how:
- Our sustainable development principles have reduced energy consumption by 16% and water consumption by 8%
- We try and fully recycle all the packaging received with new servers, switches, and other items
- We have launched a paperless system throughout our global offices and data centres to minimise paper usage
- We have established a ‘Go Green’ committee to discuss and optimise eco-friendly practices and help reduce emissions:
By choosing a green hosting provider like Crazy Domains, you can not only reduce the impact on the environment but also enjoy reliable, eco-friendly, and high-quality web hosting services.
Promote Sustainable Business Spaces
The global carbon emission reached a record high of 36.6 billion tonnes in 2022. While it makes for a good PR rap to be a “sustainable” business, the goal is clear: make the world a safer and cleaner space for everyone.
Pursuing ecological initiatives should be an essential part of your organisation. Not only does it contribute to the world at large, in many ways, it also introduces practical ways to do your business. For example, going paperless makes it easier to track, store, and create files. It’s a win-win not only for the environment but for everyone.