Going green: making your business more environmentally conscious
In recent years a growing number of businesses are becoming increasingly interested in going green. With rising awareness about the often destructive impact of human activities on the environment, creating sustainable practices has become increasingly desirable to business owners. However, these practices don’t develop overnight. A lot of sustained effort is necessary in order to reduce your environmental impact, and the undertaking needs to include all the members of your company. More than anything else, this is a team effort. However, the work that you put into it will be gratifying. Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment coming from a job well done and the positive changes you’re making, but you’ll also help your business expand since customers are interested in and attracted to companies that offer eco-friendly products.
Start with small steps
As with all new projects, it’s best to start off small. When you do that, you’re able to track your progress and notice changes as they happen in real-time, creating a sense of achievement. It is also essential because it helps you carefully monitor what’s going on. Although you probably had a plan before the beginning, things seldom go exactly as planned. Many unexpected situations can arise along the way, and if you set very high stakes right off, you probably won’t be able to adapt and adequately face challenges.
Some examples of policies you can implement initially include reducing your company’s dependence on plastics by eliminating bottled water and single-use kitchen utensils. You should also seek to minimise paper utilisation. Adopt digitalization as much as possible and only print documents when you need to.
Customise for your company
When looking to improve sustainability for your business, make sure you choose practices that are specifically tailored to your brand. While there are one-size-fits-all options available and some operations are universal, you should know for certain what weak points you have and promptly address them. Some solutions may be more obvious, while others will likely require a trial-and-error phase before yielding results. This is all normal. You need to trust the process and keep working to reach the success you envisioned.
You should ask your employees to come up with ideas for what could be done to improve. After all, since they work in your company, they can definitely provide valuable insights. Don’t ask for solutions right away. Ask them to ponder on the question for at least a week so you’ll get well-thought-out responses. Similarly, you can also run a survey asking for input from your customers. They can help you figure out where you could do better. For example, maybe your packaging is excessive and therefore wasting too many resources, or you could swap certain ingredients or materials in your products for others that are less harsh or whose sourcing processes have a smaller carbon footprint.
Improve recycling practices
Recycling is a vital part of sustainable development. It ensures that potentially dangerous substances don’t end up in landfills, where they pose a serious risk to air quality and are a major source of groundwater pollution. Choose recycling solutions offered by Miltek. They are dedicated to minimising waste output and finding viable solutions for existing rubbish so you can rest assured that your company is up to standards. Working with brands of all sizes, they are guaranteed to find something to suit your business. You can choose from an extensive range of balers and compactors to find something that works for you. Separating waste at the source also becomes much easier with their colour-coded bag cartridges in multiple shapes and sizes, making recycling easy and accessible for everyone.
Implement energy-reduction policies
One of the key ways to lessen your impact on the environment is to reduce the amount of energy you use. It can seem like an obvious, old-school solution, but it actually works. And apart from the environmental benefits, you get the added bonus of smaller electricity bills. So it’s a win-win situation. Here are a few tips for what you can do in order to minimise energy consumption:
Turn off lights when you don’t need to use them. This simple action will save a significant amount of power. You’ll see the physical results on your next invoice.
Replace outdated appliances or fixtures that are no longer functioning accordingly.
Remove excessive lighting, and if there are areas that don’t need artificial lights at all, eliminate them from those spaces.
Don’t use outdoor lights during daytime.
Don’t go overboard with heating and cooling. You don’t want to create a stark difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures.
Turn off computers and other apparatus during non-business hours.
Make it a habit
When you’re starting on the sustainability path, you should know that it’s a long and complex journey and that you’ll have many things to adjust to as you become more knowledgeable and the strategy develops. If you want to see genuine changes, you must integrate sustainability into your company culture. Change happens when it is enacted daily, through habits shared by all members of a business. As a leader, you must set an example for your employees.
Look to improve business areas you probably wouldn’t have considered in the first place. For example, you can look into business travel practices. Travelling is a significant source of pollution humans both contribute, and are vulnerable to. But there are ways to bypass some of the adverse effects, or at least ameliorate them. You should look into direct flights, paying carbon taxes, and even dodging travel more often and keeping meetings online.
Change business procedures and technologies, and do away with materials that aren’t up to standards. At the same time, be aware that behavioural patterns and routines die hard. Don’t expect everyone to get it right from the beginning. The most important thing is that there’s development. Always leave room for progress and avoid getting frustrated even if you believe everything is not moving at your desired pace. After all, it’s a work in progress.