Though your business may be tucked away behind brick walls and a glass storefront, it is deeply connected to the natural environment. You are dependent on it for every resource you use. In turn, every action you take affects the environment.
Being conscious of this relationship and taking steps to nurture it can save you money, earn you positive publicity, attract new customers, and make it easier to convert them into loyal fans of your eco-friendly brand.
From updating your workforce management software to establishing community partnerships, here are five great ways to shift your business to the eco-friendly end of the spectrum:
1. Optimize your tech
From the machines you use to the software you load onto them, your tech has a massive impact on the sustainability of your business. For example, the best workforce management, accounting, project management and other software suites will allow you to go paper-free. Meanwhile, eco-friendly air-conditioning units will allow you to minimize your carbon footprint. With this in mind, it’s worth scheduling regular reviews of all the technology you use to see if more efficient and eco-friendly options have become available.
If this sounds like it’s outside the scope of your capabilities, you should be able to find an environmental auditing service in your area. These professionals will conduct a full audit of your business and make recommendations such as migrating to reusable products or shifting to the best LED lights for energy-conservation.
2. Make the eco-friendly option easy and appealing for your staff
Letting people know that you have a recycling bin in the kitchen is a step in the right direction. However, you’ll make a far greater impact if you take steps to make recycling the easiest option. This might involve providing convenient recycling bins throughout the office, with posters that clarify what can and can’t be recycled. You may also wish to provide an incentives program that rewards things like bringing your own lunch to work and swapping disposable coffee cups for reusable ones.
3. Reconsider your premises
Though some businesses do require an office in a specific location where customers can access their goods or services, this isn’t the case for everyone. If your business operates entirely online, you may be able to save yourself money and take a load off the environment by downscaling your premises and shifting to a shared office space.
These communal working hubs offer tiered packages, allowing you to reserve a private office or work in a shared space, depending on your needs. The more modern ones have a focus on wellness and eco-friendly initiatives, with healthy food options and e-bikes available to tenants.
4. Establish eco-friendly partnerships within the community
Take some time to research eco-friendly initiatives in your local community, and then determine how you can support them. This could mean teaming up with suppliers who have sustainable practices, having a stall at your local farmer’s market, or supporting a charitable organization that regularly cleans up trash in your community.
5. Encourage your customers to get involved
As you work towards more sustainable business practices, it’s important that you keep your customers informed about your progress. You can work towards developing stronger ties with customers by inviting them to participate in events and initiatives you’re getting involved with. Some great examples include Earth Day, World Environment Day, and Energy Awareness Month.
Becoming more environmentally friendly is a journey that never really has an end-point. There will always be another step you can take. However, if you start with the ones listed above, you’ll be off to a good start.