Four ways you can make your business more sustainable

How sustainable is your business? Discover four ways you can play your part in supporting the environment at work. 

If you run a business today, then it is important to consider the impact of that business on the environment. Climate change is an issue that affects all of us, and each one of us has a responsibility to do what we can to limit the damage done to our planet. 

With this in mind, we’ve put together four quick tips to help you make positive changes to ensure your business is more sustainable. 

Trethowans
Trethowans

1) Go paperless

Gone are the days that businesses relied on physical paperwork and shelves of box files. Thanks to modern technology it’s quite possible to run your business pretty much paperless today. 

So if you don’t yet have a paperless plan already, now is the time to instigate it. Here are three quick ideas to help you get started:

  • Opt for paperless versions of documents like bank statements, rather than having them sent to you in the post. 
  • Ask yourself before you print anything – do you really need a paper copy of the document? Or can you save and send it as a PDF?
  • Ditch paper forms and replace them with online versions that require an e-signature, or editable PDFs with form fields. 
  • If you are going to use a printer make sure you recycle the printer cartridges as they can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.

As well as being kinder to the planet, a paperless office also comes with some pretty attractive business benefits. These include:

  • Saving time filing documents away, and searching through files to retrieve them
  • Easier collaboration between colleagues as they can quickly email files to each other
  • Improved security as you can track documents and password protect them
  • Saving money on printing and paper costs

2) Recycle as much as you can

Does your office have a recycling bin as well as one for regular waste? If not, think about adding one. Did you know that as much as 50% of all business waste is made of paper?

So between starting a paperless policy and adding a recycling bin, you can drastically reduce the amount of waste your business is sending to landfills. They key to successful recycling at work is to have clearly marked, separate bins, to remove individual bins at desks, and to ensure your staff are aware of what they can and can’t recycle.

Also look at other ways you can cut down on waste at work. For example, by replacing disposable cups with reusable mugs and glasses, and generally encouraging your employees to make more sustainable choices when buying and using products for their work. 

3) Embrace technology

Almost daily new developments in software are leading to smarter, more efficient and more sustainable ways to run businesses. So it pays to stay on top of any technology that can benefit your business. 

For example, using connected agriculture software can help farming businesses meet the world’s growing demand for food by increasing crop yields from existing land by running greenhouses, indoor and vertical farming systems and creating perfect conditions for plants with the right amount of nutrients and water, fighting pests, and more.

4) Start a cycle to work scheme

Many countries around the world have started promoting variations of cycle to work schemes, aimed at reducing our reliance on transport and boosting our health. 

Some employers have embraced these schemes, and introduced them in their workplace – with great success. There are a number of benefits for employees to ride to work, including improved health, a reduced carbon footprint and lower commuting costs. 

So if you don’t yet have a scheme for your company, research what is available in your area, and gauge the interest with your team. 

Customers expect businesses to make sustainable choices today

We hope these four quick tips have given you some ideas you can start taking action on. And don’t forget to let your customers know what positive steps you are taking.

Today people expect more from the companies they choose to buy from – and will even base their purchase decision based on the ethics of a company.

And with more and more businesses taking sustainably seriously and making it a key part of their brand values, you risk being left behind if you don’t start embracing it within your own business, and sharing your progress.