Businesses impact the world, for better or worse. If you want to be environmentally conscious in how your own business is contributing, you can benefit from lower bills, green-friendly customers, and your own peace of mind. With that in mind, here are a few things you can change to make your business more sustainable.
Use Fuel-Efficient Vehicles
One way to become more sustainable both financially and environmentally is to use more fuel-efficient vehicles. This often means downsizing the vehicles you use so they are more appropriate for the jobs they are doing. It can also mean choosing to use hybrid vehicles with lower gas mileage and more sustainable builds. As another option, electric vehicles are incredibly fuel-efficient and in fact don’t require gas or another unsustainable fuel source at all. With investments like these, you will see your spending go down as company vehicles no longer require filling up on gas and dealing with its fluctuating prices. And, of course, you’ll make an impact by decreasing your dependence on fossil fuels.
Many things tend to get used once and then thrown away in the business world, but this practice is neither sustainable nor financially sound. If you can find ways to reuse items in your office, you will save your budget and make your business more sustainable in the long run. Reusing things may look like purchasing mugs, plates, and glasses for your break room rather than using disposable options. It may also look like trying to decrease your paper use in general and finding ways that you can reuse the things you already have. Sometimes reusing can take creativity, but it is worth the effort to find what works.
Limit Your Electric Bill
Your electric bill is a constant drain on your budget, but it doesn’t have to be for your business to be successful. By being more careful about your use of electricity, you can increase your sustainability and build in some room around your budget. You can limit your energy use with more efficient practices like turning off lights when leaving rooms around the office and turning off computers when not using them. Also, alternative energy sources like solar power will also help you decrease your dependence on the grid. Choosing to lower your energy use at work will both make your business more sustainable and more affordable to run.
Choose Clean-Burning Fuels
It can be difficult to completely get rid of your reliance on burning fuels, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a positive change. By choosing clean-burning fuels you can still decrease your carbon footprint and become more sustainable over time. Using natural gas is sometimes a necessity in business, and you can use tanks of gas to help meet your energy needs each day at work. Many businesses require 1,000 gallon tanks to meet their fuel needs. When you meet your fuel needs with cleaner energy sources, you are making strides towards real sustainability with a positive impact on the planet and the business world.
Participate in a Composting Program
Food waste is one of the things that many businesses forget about when it comes to sustainability. And while composting doesn’t get rid of food waste it does allow you to use wasted food products in a productive way. Some cities offer composting programs that you can donate food waste to. If that isn’t available in your area, you should look to see what employees may be able to use compost for their gardens or even check with local farmers to see if they could use their compost on their farms. When you use your waste effectively, you become much more sustainable as a business.
Consider Your Packaging
The packaging you use for your products can be a major place where you create waste and work unsustainably as a business. That’s why it is important that you make your packaging more sustainable. For instance, plastic packaging can be changed to paper and other more sustainable options, and is a small step that makes a huge difference for your business. Even just choosing to use biodegradable packing peanuts instead of Styrofoam options can help you to make your business a better and more sustainable place to purchase from.
When furnishing your place of business, you may be tempted to purely purchase new items for the space. But by shopping secondhand, you can save money, create a unique style, and be much more sustainable. Shopping for secondhand items can be a huge benefit for your business, even if sometimes it takes more time and effort to find quality items. When shopping secondhand, look into closing businesses and their sales, as well as online deals. This extra time and effort is made up for by the savings you will achieve and the sustainability you add to your business practices.
Upgrade for Efficiency
As your business grows more seasoned, upgrades are a common part of expanding and developing over time. Many of these upgrades can be focused on increasing the efficiency of your business and the energy efficiency of your day-to-day operations. Replacing windows with newer options or even having them tinted to keep out the sun will lower electricity bills that way. You can also find ways to decrease wasted time and materials in your regular practices with smart software and going digital. Your business should run as efficiently as possible so you can make consistent profits and keep every aspect running as smoothly as you can.
Sustainability is an element of every company that is becoming more and more important, especially as environmental impacts of businesses become more apparent. It isn’t possible for a business to be perfectly sustainable from the beginning, but constantly working to improve your practices is better for your budget and for the environment. As you strive to make your business the best it can be, sustainability should be one of your main goals!
Read this next: 4 Tips to Improve Productivity in Your Business