Businesses can play a more vital role in environmentally friendly practices than ever before. It’s not enough for companies to focus solely on basic employee and consumer needs—they need to identify effective strategies to reduce their carbon footprint and make a sustainable future.
So, how can companies like yours take the initiative to create a green organization? In this article you’ll learn how to make your business environmentally sustainable, so you can help cultivate a positive reputation for your company—and contribute to an eco-friendly world.
Why Are Sustainable Business Practices Important?
Business owners are realizing the importance of implementing sustainable practices and how such practices will impact the future. But how do sustainability practices benefit businesses? Here’s how:
- Improve brand reputation: One study found that 63% of Americans hope businesses will take the initiative to drive environmental change. Furthermore, data shows that at least 45% of worldwide consumers want to find—and buy from—environmentally friendly brands.
- Attract employees: Not surprisingly, more and more employees are expressing their desire for companies to adopt sustainable practices. IBM research found that 7 in 10 workers would stay with an employer whose reputation for environmental sustainability is good. Paychecks and benefits are not enough to retain a modern workforce.
- Prepare for coming regulations: Countries are seeking to establish regulations and mandatory practices that impact organizations from top to bottom. Going forward, employers will have to recognize national regulations to keep their operations afloat.
- Advance collective change: As individuals, advocating for environmental justice is overwhelming, to say the least. When corporations take the initiative to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges, it paves the way for real global change. Doing so sends a collective message about environmental stability, while attracting potential consumers seeking green-friendly brands.
12 Ways to Make Your Business More Sustainable
Now it’s time to focus on how to make your business environmentally sustainable. With some strategic planning, proper resource allocation, and a collective mindset, you can turn your organization into an ecological success story.
1. Reduce Single-Use Plastics
Single-use plastics present a giant, ongoing waste management problem. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, “one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute.” Furthermore, 36% of plastics are used in packaging materials, including single-use ones.
See if you can switch to recyclable and compostable items, especially if you own a local restaurant. By cutting down on single-use plastics, you meaningfully reduce landfill waste.
2. Partner with Sustainable Suppliers
Almost every item you use in your business has an environmental impact. Whether it’s workstations, laptops, screen monitors, or cleaning supplies, you are bound to have products made from fossil fuels. Partner with local suppliers who can provide you with sustainable materials.
When searching for local suppliers, find partners that follow ecological-friendly practices. Ask if their products are made from renewable materials and if their products contain any toxic ingredients.
3. Provide Public Transit Options
While remote work is slowly becoming the business norm, many employees still rely on transportation to get to the office. Not only does this inflict a heavy toll on those who want to avoid rush-hour traffic, but it also affects our climate. The average passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.
See if your business can provide public transit benefits or subsidized passes. By doing so, you’ll be reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of your employees.
4. Reuse Office Supplies
In addition to opting for recyclable items, spend some time assessing which office supplies you can reuse. One way to do this is by encouraging employees to take digital notes. Alternatively, you can also collect unused office supplies and store them in a backroom for future use.
Little steps add up big time, both in company image and actual conservation.
5. Reduce Paper Usage
To some extent, all businesses rely on paper, which inflicts damage on our environment. American businesses use approximately 21 million tons of paper annually. Help reduce paper waste by switching to online billing for company payments and transactions.
Consider switching to a centralized database for storing your documents. Not only is this ecologically friendly, but centralization also keeps your digital files better organized, more secure, and better protected from physical damage such as fire or flooding.
6. Use Energy-Efficient Supplies
Here’s an interesting fact: LED light bulbs use up to 90% less energy and can last 25 times as long as standard bulbs. But don’t stop there; you can also take advantage of smart thermostats by using easy-to-see touchscreens to track your energy usage.
If your company facilities include a kitchen, look into eco-friendly microwaves and refrigerators. Your workers will certainly appreciate this change.
7. Inspect Your Items Regularly
Similar to the earlier tip about reusing office supplies, inspecting your equipment is a solid energy waste management strategy. Inspect your products and ensure they are upgraded with energy-saving settings.
The key is to ensure your supplies are well-maintained and work efficiently in the long run.
8. Offer Remote Work Opportunities
Remote work is rapidly reshaping our job landscape. The Census Bureau found that in 2021, approximately 27.6 million people worked primarily from home. This flexible work-life trend is not only beneficial for employers, but it’s also environmentally friendly.
Remote work translates to fewer cars on the road, less air pollution, and less dependence on fossil fuels. What could be better than working from the comfort of your home and reducing your carbon footprint?
9. Donate Supplies to Local Charities
When you donate unused items to local charities, you’re not only making an honest effort to improve the lives in your community, but you’re also reducing landfill waste. Take note of any unused supplies you can donate, especially electronic devices! Approximately 85% of our electronic waste is sent to landfills.
10. Start a Composting Program
Initiating a composting program is a fun way to achieve green objectives. To start, assess what your employers are throwing out and which of those items are compostable (products that disintegrate into non-toxic, natural elements).
Give your business a baseline from which to work by involving your employees. Start with lunch leftovers, as those can be turned into soil. Not only will you learn more about composting efforts, but you’ll be instituting a worthwhile team building activity.
11. Partner with Environmental Nonprofits
Look for carbon-friendly nonprofits dedicated to sustaining environmental health and stability in your community. Adopt a green cause by partnering with local organizations going the extra mile to achieve conservation and community health objectives.
You can hold a fundraiser for environmental awareness, provide basic goods, and showcase shared beliefs in a more sustainable future.
12. Conserve Water
How much water do businesses use? Statistics show that office buildings account for 9% of water use in American commercial facilities. Even if you operate a small business, you should still reduce your water usage by taking proactive steps.
Start by identifying leaks in your office to reduce water waste. Then, consider installing low-flow water valves.
Partner with Kiwi Energy to Turn Your Business into a Sustainability Story
As our world undergoes ongoing changes to our climate, going green on a corporate level will become more important than ever. Learning how to make your business environmentally sustainable is vital to ensuring a livable future.
Here at Kiwi Energy, we’re dedicated to doing our part by supporting sustainable organizations. Enroll in one of our eco-friendly energy plans, or contact us for next steps to move forward with the environmental sustainability efforts of your company.