Environmental concerns are as pressing as they ever have been, with climate change, habitat loss and ecological catastrophe looming. High-profile documentaries, public protest movements, and government action are all beginning to pull in the same direction – and business can play a role by cleaning up its act, too.
Among the terms being bandied about is ‘sustainability’. What’s often unclear is what this actually means. For a business’s practices to be environmentally sustainable, they need to cause less harm to the environment than they inflict.
A sustainable business will enjoy a superior brand image, as well as cutting costs and offering better job satisfaction. So, what practical changes can be made to ensure this?
Source Materials Sustainably
The raw materials that your business takes in play a major role in determining its sustainability – or lack thereof. Rotherham-based poster printing company instantprint, for example, recommend that timber and paper be gotten only from sources certified as sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Just as the inputs of your business matter, so to do the outputs. The less waste you put out, and the less hazardous that waste is, the better. In practice, this means recycling as much as possible, by making arrangements with reputable waste-disposal companies. But it also means thinking about the other two ‘re’s, that is, reusing and reducing.
Use Energy-Saving Solutions
Reducing the amount you’re spend on energy will reduce the amount of carbon that’s released into the atmosphere on your behalf. This might mean investing in more efficient hardware, or in insulating materials. Double-glazing, loft insulation, or a replacement boiler might all contribute to lowering your overall footprint – but so too might downsizing your premises. Get an audit, and see which actions are recommended.
Getting Everyone on Board
In the long run, changing the environmental impact of your business means changing the culture of your business. You’ll need to get everyone involved in day-to-day operations interested and invested in the idea of making a change for the better. After all, your workforce are going to be the ones actually implementing all of the greenifying changes you’ll identify – and they might even have a few ideas of their own.
Using Clean Transport
Transport costs are a big part of the carbon footprint of your workplace. But the practice of having each person drive to work in a separate vehicle is hugely inefficient, even if all of those vehicles are electric. Instead, incentivise your staff to start carpooling, or, better yet, walking to work. If you decide to implement a working-from home policy, then you might find that your transport costs are hugely reduced – though this saving might be offset by the amount of heat demanded of office workers at home.