How Business Owners Can Increase Their Sustainability: 6 Simple Ideas

How Business Owners Can Increase Their Sustainability: 6 Simple Ideas

Nearly 70% of Americans consider how sustainable a company is before making a purchase and 47% say they’d pay more for sustainable products. Across the U.S., businesses are rising to meet these demands.

If you’re looking to do the same, here are a few simple ideas to help you get started.

1. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Even with digital media, online records, and electronic data, the average U.S. office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year. Sadly, most of it ends up in landfills where it contributes to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Meanwhile, loggers continue to cut down millions of hectares of natural forests to make paper products — a phenomenon that has already taken a huge toll on the environment.

Thus, if you want to be more sustainable, you must make a concerted effort to reduce waste. Create online agendas, itineraries, invites, and presentations and pre-set copiers and printers to print double-sided if you must make paper copies.

Then, place recycling containers in convenient locations around the office and create a company-wide policy to reduce paper waste to further incentivize sustainability.

2. Use Eco-Friendly Materials

Another great way to increase your company’s sustainability is to use eco-friendly materials. In other words, they should be recyclable, renewable, or biodegradable.

For instance, you might choose compostable paper or cardboard packaging over plastic. Currently, packaging accounts for more than 28% of municipal solid waste, so using biodegradable materials would certainly benefit the environment.

You might also choose eco-friendly building materials like bamboo, recycled glass, cork, salvaged wood, linoleum, and natural carpets if you plan to renovate or build an office building. Paints free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and non-toxic stains and sealers are excellent options as well.

3. Get an EV for Your Company Car

Does your company car run on gasoline? If so, driving it around will emit greenhouse gases, which contribute to pollution and subsequent climate change. Therefore, you might consider swapping it out for an electric vehicle.

Whether you use the car to make local deliveries or commute to and from work, using electricity to power your vehicle is a more sustainable option. EVs emit no GHGs and many can drive 230 miles or more on a single charge.

Plus, most will recharge overnight, making them an excellent choice for anyone with a typical nine-to-five job.

4. Embrace Remote Work

Private transport is one of the biggest sources of GHG emissions in the U.S., and commuters are major contributors. During the pandemic, however, a rise in remote work led to a decrease in traffic, which reduced carbon emissions all over the world.

Thus, if more companies transitioned to or maintained remote teams, it would bode well for the environment and their bottom line.

Working remotely would also cut down on other resources like electricity, water, and land. Consider closing the office a few days a week or only opening it for essential in-person meetings. Doing so will limit your energy consumption, minimize waste, and make your company more sustainable in the long run.

5. Invest in Renewable Energy

Companies that decide to return to in-office work could take a more sustainable approach by investing in renewable energy. Solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal entail little to no fuel costs or emissions, making them an excellent alternative to coal and other toxic nonrenewables.

Consider adding solar panels to your office building’s roof or crowdfund clean energy projects. You might even offset your carbon emissions by purchasing certified carbon credits.

Of course, doing so isn’t as sustainable as installing a wind turbine on your property, but it’s still better than doing nothing at all about your energy consumption.

6. Find Ethical Suppliers

Environmental sustainability and ethics go hand in hand, and consumers are paying more attention than ever to the supply chain process. Therefore, it’s crucial that you find and partner with ethical suppliers.

Protect brand reputation and build long-term customer loyalty by partnering with suppliers who pay workers fairly, assign sustainable workloads, and practice integrity. You might even partner with fair trade organizations to hire and support workers in different countries.

Look to technologies like AI-driven bots, IoT sensors, and real-time analytics to reduce redundancies, conserve resources, and improve your bottom line.

Preserving Your Future

Of course, increasing your sustainability can be costly. However, it’s best to think of it as an investment rather than an expense. After all, the more sustainable you are, the easier it will be to attract and retain customers, which ultimately benefits your bottom line and ensures a bright future for your company and the world as a whole.

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