Small Ways to Make Your Business Eco-Friendly
Guest Post by Daniel Matthews
Concepts like sustainability and eco-friendliness aren’t just part of being a good steward. They’re also good for business. No matter how you look at it, the optics of being a company — even a small one — that cares about the Earth that we share is too important to ignore.
Why Sustainability in Business Matters
There are many reasons that sustainability should be carefully attended to in the business world. For instance, maintaining a sustainable mindset can lead to more efficient and productive operations. It can also prompt a business to proactively utilize technology in effective ways.
The most compelling factor driving sustainability in business, though, has to be consumer perception. Eighty-seven percent of American consumers claim that they will purchase something from a business specifically because that organization supported an issue they care about. With an increasing number of individuals prioritizing climate change and environmental concerns, embracing eco-friendly policies is an excellent way for your brand to resonate with a huge demographic of consumers.
The problem for many small businesses comes in the form of accessibility. Larger companies have the capital to make changes without concerns. As a small business operating on razor-thin margins, though, it can be difficult to fit sustainability into the budget.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to show both your staff and your customers that you care about the environment without breaking the bank in the process.
Get to Know Your Business Partners
One of the simplest ways to weave sustainability into your business model is to make it a part of how you do business in the first place. An easy way to do this is to include eco-friendly considerations when interacting with other businesses.
For instance, if you’re a restaurant, ensure that your supply chain is built on sustainable suppliers who consider things like water consumption and waste reduction. Another option would be to source sustainable packaging for your shipping. From suppliers to vendors, when you’re choosing companies to work with, don’t be afraid to prioritize their stance on sustainability.
Infuse Your Company Culture
When asked, 54% of employees stated they remained with an employer for longer than was in their best interest. The reason for this lengthy tenure? Because of a strong sense of community and belonging.
Infusing your company culture with a focus on and commitment to sustainability is a great way to promote a stronger, more unified company culture. Don’t just talk the talk, either. Walk the walk by implementing things like remote work to cut down on pollution, recycling while at work, and PTO for time spent volunteering. This can also have the side effect of cultivating a workforce that is engaged, creative, and operates together as a team.
Sweat the Small Stuff
Finally, look for the little ways that you can make a difference. A few suggestions include:
* Reducing the use of plastic water bottles.
* Integrating indoor plants into your office environment.
* Going paperless with all of your documentation and billing.
* Using eco-friendly products for cleaning.
* Buying second-hand items for your office furniture.
Use the above list as a launching point to build sustainability into your daily operations as a company.
Using Baby Steps to Find Sustainability
From going paperless to embracing remote work and everything in between, there are many tiny-yet-significant ways that small businesses can be eco-friendly. These should never be ignored, as every effort counts. So take a hard look around. Identify the areas where your organization is being wasteful or inconsiderate to the environment and address them.
If you can do this, you’ll be able to reap the benefits through committed customers, engaged employees, and ultimately a better bottom line.
Author Bio: Daniel Matthews is a freelance writer from Boise, ID who has written for Social Media Today, Switch and Shift, Triple Pundit, and others. He specializes in company culture, sales and marketing, as well as tech, with a sprinkle of anything super-interesting in the world right now. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.