With the world ever growing more eco-conscious and a focus on the impact of business activities on the environment and society, business sustainability has become increasingly important. The good news is that becoming a more sustainable business is not as difficult as you might think…
Most businesses have taken steps to reduce their environmental impact already, focusing on reducing the company’s carbon footprint and introducing company initiatives.
“40% of companies have started incorporating climate considerations into lobbying and political donations”, says Deloitte.
So what can you do to make your business more sustainable?
Reduce your carbon footprint
Reducing your carbon footprint is a great start to making your business more sustainable. Start by reducing your energy consumption by turning off lights and computers when not in use, using energy-efficient light bulbs, looking at investing in green office equipment and using renewable energy sources such as solar power.
Planting trees is another great way to offset your company’s carbon emissions. This doesn’t necessarily mean planting the trees yourself. There are hundreds of different tree-planting projects online, such as Earthly. This way, you can contribute to tree-planting and vital biodiversity efforts in parts of the world where they are needed most. CPDSO uses Earthly to offset the team’s carbon emissions and plant 50 trees for each new member!
Why not commit to being a paperless business? You can adopt a sustainable business practice that converts paper documents into digital formats. Less paper and printing means less waste and harm to the environment. If you have to use paper, make sure it is made from recycled materials! Here are some other ways you can cut down on paper use:
- Take paperless notes using an app on your phone/tablet
- Unsubscribe from junk mail
- Digitalise your company record-keeping
- Think before you print!
Create a green space
To have a healthy, more environmentally friendly workplace is to make it greener. You can do this by adding lots of indoor plants to your workspace. Plants absorb the carbon dioxide we breathe out and release fresh oxygen back into the environment, which can cleanse the air at the same time. It has been found that office plants create a calm and happier environment, which ultimately boosts positivity!
Think about travel
The global pandemic has shown us that not all business travel is as necessary, and actually video conferencing can be an effective alternative. So when organising face-to-face meetings, ask yourself – can this be done virtually? It can save your employees unnecessary journeys and fewer carbon emissions! If your team has to be in the office, you should encourage them to use more eco-friendly ways of getting to work, such as walking and cycling, which is not only great for the environment, it’s good for your team’s health! Other ways, such as carpooling or using public transport, can drastically reduce CO2 emissions by spreading them out over a group of people rather than individually.
Reduce, reuse and recycle
When we recycle, we reduce the number of raw materials that need to be sourced to create products from scratch. Everyone should be working to reduce wastage as much as possible. Get rid of them disposable cups and utensils and swap them for real alternatives. Reuse as many items as possible such as; printing on both sides of the paper when printing a document or using that box again that you were about to throw out. If you are unable to reduce or reuse, recycling is the next best thing.
Become B-Corp certified
B Corp certification is an independent verification of a business’s commitment to meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance. This certification is a powerful way to build credibility and trust, and a signal to businesses that you are a leader in sustainability efforts and a force for good in the world. Our accredited members, Finance Unlocked and Sustainability Unlocked, are B Corp certified aligning with their purpose to inspire learning and pursuing opportunities to make a positive impact on the environment and society.
Every business has its part to play, whatever its size. The list of sustainable ideas doesn’t end here. Your business has endless ways to become a green, eco-friendly company. It’s a good idea to start investing your time, energy and abilities in sustainable efforts now. The earlier you can make these changes the better!