Sustainability and business might not sound like compatible topics, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Climate change, green issues and sustainability are set to be hot topics for 2020 and beyond for both businesses and individuals.
According to HSBC‘s ‘Made for the Future’ report, around 69% of businesses will be working to make their manufacturing, buildings and practices more sustainable.
This includes opting for biodegradable materials, reviewing their waste and recycling policy and choosing reusable wherever possible.
You and your business could do the same.
By becoming greener at work, you could stand up and fight for the future of our planet, get ahead of your competition and be at the forefront of innovation, ecological awareness and progress.
Here are some easy ways you can help your business to become more eco-friendly.
1. Reduce, reuse, recycle
Reduce your impact on the planet quickly by reducing your consumption, choosing reusable items that last and recycling as much of your waste as possible.
● Start by going paper-free, keeping your documents digital whenever possible. If you do need to print, make sure you use both sides and opt for recycled paper wherever possible.
● Also, avoid using single-use items such as plastic water cups or plastic coffee cups for your refreshments and instead bring a reusable mug from home. This will also help your office feel more like home and you’ll add a splash of your personality to your work environment too.
● If you need to buy items or equipment for your office such as printers, scanners or even new seating, avoid buying new whenever possible. This will help reduce your consumption of the earth’s natural resources and keep your carbon footprint down too. Free sites like Freecycle and Freegle are great places to start, as are second-hand stores.
● Recycle everything you can, including paper, cardboard, glass, metal and compost your food waste wherever possible. Many local authorities offer a local food waste collection if you don’t compost at home. If you’re worried about space you can use a clever recycling storage system, or consider investing in a recycling compactor to keep everything compact.
2. Become mindful about your waste
Sustainability isn’t just about how much you manage to recycle. It’s also about how your buildings emissions affect the local environment.
An effective septic tank can be a good option that helps protect the local environment.
According to liquid tank providers Tanks for Everything, “A septic tank allows the waste to break down naturally, separating the solids so that the resulting liquid can then be treated. Only when this has happened is the liquid allowed to seep into the ground through a drainage field.”
3. Just switch off
Whenever you’re not using something, turn it off. This includes:
● Lights: consider adding an automatic sensor if you forget. Also, use natural sunlight as much as possible.
● Computer: don’t just let it sleep. It will still use energy. Use the energy-efficient mode to further reduce energy demands.
● Printer/ photocopier: just switch it back on when needed
4. Reconsider your commute
A huge amount of carbon emissions come from transport, so look for cleaner, greener alternatives whenever possible.
Many towns and cities now offer fantastic public transport such as buses and trains, in addition to extensive cycle networks. Depending on your location, you may also be able to walk to work.
Also, consider whether you could work from home. Thanks to modern technology this is easier than you think.
As eco-conscious website Tree Hugger says, “Instant messaging, video conferencing and other innovative workflow tools make it easy to telecommute. So hold phone conferences, email documents and take online classes; you’ll save time and spare the air.”
5. Use natural cleaning products
Many regular cleaning products contain potentially toxic chemicals which can pollute the waterways, kill wildlife and even harm human health.
6. Consider renewable energy
Even if you can’t install solar panels on your roof, you can choose to use greener, cleaner energy in your office.
Numerous energy suppliers in the UK now offer renewable energy such as solar and wind to help you reduce your environmental impact, at home and at work.
This is a sector that looks set to grow significantly over the next decade. Speaking in October 2019, The Guardian newspaper reported; “The renewables record was set in the third quarter of this year after its share of the electricity mix rose to 40%.”
Stay ahead in business and stand up for what you believe in by making sustainability a key factor in your decision making, policy and office life.
What will you do today to make your business more sustainable?
Thanks to our guest blogger Chloe Walker. Chloe is a freelance writer who’s main focus is on working life and the business world. When she isn’t writing Chloe can be found curled up in front of the fire with the newspaper.