How sustainability can benefit your business- Our top tips
Introducing sustainability into your business can improve efficiency, encourage employee engagement, drive customer loyalty and ultimately boost the bottom line of your business. For offices looking to cut down their CO2 footprints, enhance their waste management strategy, and introduce more sustainable initiatives into the company, luckily there are many new ideas and practices out there.
It can be overwhelming to take the first steps. Where do you start and what are the most effective methods? We’ve put together a list of our top tips for creating a sustainable business that benefits your bottom line.
Decreasing unwanted waste around the office is a sure way to increase your business’ bottom line. If you don’t have a recycling system in place, start by introducing a recycling bin in your kitchen and near the printer. Educate employees about separating paper, cardboard, tins, plastic containers and glass recyclables from non-recyclables like food waste, food-tainted items, coffee cups, plastic bags and foil.
To reduce food waste, consider introducing a compost system. Composting cuts out methane emissions caused by waste that ends up in landfills and puts food scraps to good use by creating a valuable soil amendment. Composting not only contributes to your business’ corporate social responsibility efforts but can also reduce rubbish collection expenses, engage employees and encourage healthy practices. If you have office cleaners, ask them to get on board by using your recycling and composting systems too.
Most businesses are accustomed to using paper for everything - invoices, printing, editing documents, proposals and more. A really simple way to save on money while improving your carbon footprint is to get rid of paper all together! These days, what has traditionally been done on paper, like revisions, corrections or updates, can be completed on the computer. Comprehensive cloud-based computing systems allow employees to make these changes in real time from wherever they are. Another way to reduce paper is to issue digital invoices, proposals and receipts, and to encourage clients to send all correspondence digitally. Your business will not only reduce waste and clutter, but will save a huge amount of budget on unnecessary paper.
Make the move to clean energy
Businesses worldwide are on the move to using solar power. Analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance says that 50 percent of energy worldwide will be generated by solar and wind by 2050. This is a huge climb from just seven percent in 2015. Why the move to solar? The first and perhaps most obvious answer is that solar energy doesn’t produce harmful emissions that hurt the environment, because it’s drawn from the sun! The second reason is that solar power can deliver huge long-term cost savings to businesses. And if that wasn’t enough, solar power is another way you can build loyalty with your customers by showing them that you’re committed to the environment.
If it’s not in use, switch it off!
You may not be aware just how much electricity your appliances burn through when they’re in standby mode. According to a report by Canstar, standby power can contribute up to a whopping 10 percent of the average electricity bill. If you want to enjoy some extra savings and reduce your environmental footprint, encourage your staff to switch off appliances at the wall after using them.
Integrate sustainable products
Making the move to sustainable products may be a small cost in the short term but it can have a huge long-term payoff. The best place to start is by swapping out the biggest ticket items first, like traditional printers for energy-saving options. Keep an eye out for green products like refillable pens and staple-free staplers. Eliminate unnecessary or rarely used products to cut down on your stationary budget. Donate the products that you’re replacing to op shops so they can be reused.
Introduce a dedicated team
Set up an office cleaning and sustainability team to keep on top of new ways to go green and reduce your business’ bottom line. This will help to engage employees in the vision as well as facilitate team bonding. Always seek to involve your employees, because they might just have some fantastic ideas that you could have missed!
Making the move to a more sustainable business model can be intimidating but it’s well worth the challenge. Take one step at a time and engage employees in the process. Before you know it, your workplace will be recognised by customers and employees alike for its sustainability practices, and you’ll boost your bottom line while you’re at it - it’s a win for all!
If your business is looking to incorporate sustainability into the core of your practices, but could use some guidance, contact us here for a free consultation.