Sustainability and environmental impact are some of the biggest concerns that most consumers consider today. As such, businesses of all sizes are under constant pressure to control their carbon emission and take the initiative to have more sustainable operations.
And businesses that fail to adopt to move towards sustainability and eco-friendliness may face challenges in the future. To ensure that your company thrives in the future, take note of these sustainable business practices to reduce your negative environmental impact and help preserve the Earth:
1. Conserve Water
Water may seem infinite, yet it’s a limited resource. Between the worsening global warming that causes extreme drought and the growing population, water shortages have become a global issue. As such, implementing water-saving practices is a significant step in having a sustainable business.
Depending on your business, there are various ways to conserve water. For one, you should consider replacing or installing low-flow toilets. Since business bathrooms use the most water, using a low-flow toilet reduces the amount of water flushed down the drain.
You can also add faucet aerators which create more misty flow while using less water than traditional faucets. If you have the budget, consider adding sensor faucets that prevent water-wasting habits from employees and customers.
In addition, make sure to check faucets, fixtures, and other plumbing pipes for leaks and have them fixed right away. If your office has a pantry or kitchen, investing in a dishwasher allows you to wash employees’ dirty dishes in one go, conserving more water and helping your company conserve natural resources.
Lastly, adding a rainwater harvesting system can help you utilize free water from the sky for everyday commercial watering needs, such as irrigating commercial lawns, watering indoor plants, and flushing toilets.
2. Adapt A Paperless Office
Most companies are still dependent on paper. Statistics revealed that the average office uses over 12 trillion sheets of paper annually. Alarmingly, paper use in businesses continues to grow by over 20% every year.
Generally, for every 10,000 sheets of paper, a 45-foot tree is cut down and processed. Not only does it contribute to deforestation, but paper is also considered the third-biggest polluter of land, air, and water, releasing more than 100 million kilograms of toxic pollutants to the environment.
Seeing the significant impact of paper use on the environment, shifting to a paperless business only makes sense. That said, a paperless company doesn’t necessarily mean paper-free. It means minimizing physical paper as much as possible and opting for digital records.
Thanks to advancing technology, more businesses are going paperless with their bills, invoices, business records, and document data. Not only can it help in reducing your business’s carbon footprint yet it helps streamline collaboration and information processing too.
3. Leverage Reusable Packaging
If your business frequently ships products, then you can start taking greener steps in your logistics and shipping operation by switching to reusable packaging. Reusable or multi-use packaging is more sustainable than standard packaging, helping conserve non-renewable resources and reducing pollution from manufacturing packaging materials.
For instance, if your business sells organic cat shampoos, you can introduce refillable stainless-steel bottles. This helps reduce your plastic waste while ensuring that fewer materials are used. If you’re being extra creative, you can re-design the box that came with the shampoo to double as a cat toy storage or sleeping quarters as well.
Despite being such a simple idea, you can turn this one-time-use shipping box into something valuable and functional, thereby increasing its life cycle.
4. Encourage Green Commutes
Daily commutes and business travels are some of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases for companies. And yet, it’s not something you can eliminate as you do business.
You can start by implementing remote work options for your employees. For employees who need to be physically present in the office, encourage them to take public transportation instead of driving their car to work. You can do this by providing them with monetary incentives or offering discounted or free public transit subscriptions.
If your business needs service vehicles, consider investing in hybrid or fully electric models. In addition, you can provide electric bikes for your employees when they need to travel to nearby business appointments. That said, if your team members need to travel far away, consider looking for green accommodations to help reduce carbon emissions.
Establishing sustainable practices and finding ways to minimize carbon emissions has become critical component of any green business strategy. While it may seem challenging and expensive at first, making the smallest changes can make a huge difference to the overall well-being of the planet.
So, consider implementing the above sustainable practices to transform your business into a green organization that the planet approves of.