Local businesses have always been encouraged to run their operations and services in an eco-friendly way. Embracing sustainability isn’t just a practice to preserve the planet. It also benefits the business itself, such as reducing operational costs, improving reputation, increasing the bottom line, and providing a competitive advantage.
Some businesses use products made from recycled or reclaimed materials, while others reduce their reliance on natural resources by investing in solar power and rainwater collection. Other examples of common sustainability practices are using green-certified office items, going paperless, buying used office furniture, and recycling.
If you’re also looking to embrace sustainability in your local businesses, here are other amazing practices you can engage with.
1. Choose green delivery
In sustainable production, businesses focus on using biodegradable, renewable, or recyclable materials for their products. But remember that practicing sustainability doesn’t end in your product manufacturing. You should also apply it to your delivery and shipping practices. Using compact or right-sized packaging is a simple way to reduce your carbon footprint. Your packages will take less space in the carrier, which eventually leads to fewer emissions and fewer trips for couriers.
Encourage bulk purchases by giving discounts so you can consolidate the orders. Examples of sustainable shipping materials you can use are recycled cardboard, biodegradable fillers and mailing pouches, and compostable bags. Avoid using plastic cushioning or wrap, styrofoam packing peanuts, and mailing pouches with plastic lining.
2. Reduce your energy usage
When it comes to reducing energy consumption, the first thing that comes to mind is switching to energy-efficient lights such as LEDs and CFLs. Some businesses also fix air leaks on their office windows and doors for more efficient cooling and heating. But besides those popular options, you can also cut your energy consumption by upgrading your equipment. For instance, you can switch to high-standard rugged industrial mini-computers that use up to ten times less power compared to traditional PC setups.
Providers of rugged mini PCs can also work on custom builds and solutions, which allows you to have the right system for your unique environment. Aside from lower energy consumption, mini-computers, on average, also have a longer service life. That means you won’t need to get new computers after every few years, further reducing the consumption of valuable resources. Other types of equipment you can upgrade to energy-efficient models are office appliances, exhaust fans, and heating and cooling systems.
3. Become a certified B corp
If your business is still growing and you want to operate more sustainably, you can consider becoming a certified B corporation. B corps are companies that focus on meeting standards for social and environmental performance. This gives you an excellent framework to guide you in balancing your operations to the benefits of the environment and your profits.
On top of that, you can also build a brilliant network with other companies, leading to peer-to-peer advice. The process of becoming a B corp is meticulous and complex. A business will need to accomplish the B Impact Assessment, wherein all business aspects will be evaluated, from your current carbon footprint to employment rights and supply chain.
4. Create sustainable partnerships
The community and its local businesses depend on each other for growth and success. One way to support community efforts is by partnering with local environmental organizations. Your business can help in organizing fundraising events, volunteering for clean-up efforts, donating goods or services directly to the organizations.
Other charitable contributions you can pursue are donating proceeds to environmental programs and starting a plant a tree mission for every ten purchased products. Partnering with local vendors is also an amazing way to reduce your environmental impact and support the community. Doing so results in less pesky packaging, reduced energy usage and emissions, and better business relationships.
5. Be smart with your money
Knowing where your money goes sounds like a no-brainer. But this isn’t simply about buying sustainable materials or reducing your energy costs. You should also look at the insurance companies and banks you are partnered with.
Many of these financial institutions are investing in the fossil fuel industry. Fossil fuels like natural gas, coal, and oil are non-renewable resources that could take millions of years to form. In other words, the supply is limited. If possible, consider switching to ethical financial institutions that are focused on building reliable economies while preserving the planet.
Embracing sustainability allows you to make a positive social change while taking care of the environment. But most of all, it can do wonders for your profits. Make sustainability part of your duty and norm in the company by starting with these practices. Nonetheless, stay creative and find more unique ways to be more sustainable.