Three No Brainer Ways to Make your Business More Sustainable
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When I’m not busy blogging, I’m a consultant for businesses who want to be more sustainable.
While my focus is on helping them reduce waste, I also look at their overall ‘green’ credentials and assist them in achieving their CSR goals.
Every business or organisation is completely unique, but I thought it might be helpful today to share three ‘quick wins’ that any company can consider when wanting to reduce their impact on the environment:
Audit your Raw Materials
One of the first things I suggest any business does – whether it’s focusing on waste reduction or the overall carbon footprint- is to take an audit. But not many companies think to take a discerning look at their raw materials! If you’re making and selling products, those raw ingredients are really the foundation on which your company is built. And if you’ve been in business a long time, you may have slipped into routines and habits, without giving your eco credentials much thought.
The truth is, materials and suppliers are evolving all the time and trying to keep up with consumer demand. What was once a pipe dream might now be a reality; that elusive material you’ve been looking for might have come to market. So speak to your suppliers, find out what they are offering and track back everything you buy in to its original routes. From there you can make a more informed decision on which supplies match your new greener vision and which ones need re-consideration.
Go paperless with Mass Email Services
The average office worker in the UK alone uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. And more than half of that is wasted. This is such a waste of a precious resource and is costing your company money. It’s time for another audit! This time do a paper trail. What are you printing for internal use? What marketing literature do you send out? And for the materials you have to send out, what paper and inks are you using – are they eco friendly?
Direct mail still has its place, but mass email is now simple, commonplace and cost effective. I would go so far to say that if you’re not utilising electronic newsletters, you are losing out to your competitors. Most customers expect you to be sending them newsletters with your latest news, offers and products. According to research,
One of the simplest actions any business can take is to recycle more. Guess what? Yep, it’s time for another audit! You can see a theme here, right?! Record everything you are throwing away. If you have space – and it’s safe to do so – it can be very enlightening to lay all your rubbish out where staff can take a look at it. Together you can then decide what can be diverted to recycling (in other words, what is going in the bin that you already have recycling facilities for?), what products could be swapped for a recyclable or reusable alternative and what recycling services you might need to provide.
Your recycling drive will be more successful if you make it easier to recycle things than throw them away. In a couple of companies I’ve worked with, we’ve run a ‘ban the bin‘ week, where individual desk bins are removed from staff and clearly marked recycling containers are readily available instead. This change alone results in a much higher uptake of recycling, saving the company money, helping preserve resources and putting that all-important green tick on your CSR sheet. Another tip that works is to supply clear bins for non recyclable waste, rather than the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ black bag.
These ideas are some of the low hanging fruit that can provide quick and impressive results. By honing in on those ‘quick wins’, and celebrating your results with employees, it helps increase staff morale and the momentum to be even more sustainable in the future.
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