Everyone has a part to play in the fight against climate change, and businesses are no exception. More and more businesses are adopting sustainable practices in their daily operations, a crucial trend that will only grow.
Employees expect companies to care about the environment and conduct sustainable business practices. Customers demand more from their suppliers and make purchasing decisions based on a company’s sustainability commitments.
Going green doesn’t just help reduce costs and comply with regulations; it also improves the brand image, attracting customers and employees. As such, becoming sustainable by implementing initiatives to help the environment has become an essential mission for most companies—you should too. Here are some ways you can help your business become more eco-friendly.
7 Ways to Make Your Business More Sustainable
1. Create an environment and sustainability department
A designated group of people who are responsible for watching out for environmental factors will help you stay on track with your sustainability goals. These people should be experts in their field who can offer advice and support to all employees.
Sustainability departments help companies become more eco-friendly by researching ways businesses can reduce their carbon footprint, create zero net waste policies, and use renewable energy sources.
More than that, they aren’t just there to help your business go green. They will also hold your company accountable for any moves or strategies against your eco-friendly and sustainability values. Doing so ensures that you won’t go back on your word and continue to uphold the environment’s safety.
2. Become sustainable with your traveling
Business travel, whether going to the office or other important places, is a necessary part of the job. However, it may be costly and not environmentally friendly. Luckily, there are ways you can cut back on your traveling expenses and reduce their impact on the environment.
For example, arranging direct flights for your employees can take away the extra stops from layovers. Doing so ensures that the plane only takes off once and doesn’t use too much fuel, mainly since airplanes produce harmful emissions during this phase.
Apart from this, on the ground, you can provide a carpool for your employees living in the same area. Consider providing a van or shuttle that can fit multiple people so they can avoid using their cars to go to the office as much as possible. This initiative reduces the harmful greenhouse gasses cars emit while reducing traffic and congestion.
However, remember to set aside a reasonable budget for these travel expenses so you won’t mess up your financial ratios.
3. Hold sustainability seminars
These are easy ways to educate employees about sustainability and its importance in the business. You may focus on one aspect of sustainability or address multiple issues at once. With sustainability seminars, you can also promote positive behavior changes within your organization by encouraging your employees to live sustainably on behalf of company goals and values.
Aside from your employees, you can hold these seminars within your local community. Doing so can encourage their involvement. Every company has a role to play within its local community, which means there are many opportunities for your business to engage with people not directly involved with your operations.
As such, you can effectively gather more people to join the fight against climate change through sustainability efforts.
4. Look into alternatives for single-use plastic
Single-use plastics have been around for decades and continue to be one of the, if not the leading, ocean pollutants, with experts saying they expect 29 million metric tons to flow into the oceans by 2040.
Although these products are convenient, the harsh chemicals used to create them harm the environment. These plastics take hundreds of years to break down; however, they break down into microparticles that are still harmful. On top of this, they usually end up in oceans and other habitats, harming animals and the ecosystem.
Currently, the world produces 400 million tons of single-use plastic waste every year. With that, researching alternatives can help reduce this number. For example, food companies can use edible or biodegradable utensils instead of plastic ones. Ecobags can also help businesses and consumers move away from plastic bags—not to mention they are more stylish.
5. Harness the power of renewable energy
Fossil fuels are currently the most popular energy sources in the world. However, not many know about these energy sources or how they affect the environment.
Fossil fuels come from carbon-based organisms that decomposed long ago. While many commonly use them, fossil fuels are non-renewable and often emit large amounts of carbon dioxide, more than the Earth can process. As such, the Earth becomes hotter because of the overwhelming amount of greenhouse gas released from fossil fuels.
As an alternative, going solar for businesses is one of the best ways to become sustainable with your energy source. This move means installing solar panels to harness energy from the sun. Other renewable energy sources are wind energy, utilizing windmills to get energy from wind currents, and hydropower, harnessing power from moving water.
With these, you won’t just have sustainable power sources. These renewable sources can lessen your electricity costs.
6. Use eco-friendly packaging materials
There are numerous ways to package your products, and choosing suitable materials for the job is essential. Sustainable packaging materials are not only environmentally friendly, but they also help keep your product safe from damage during transit. One company that specializes in sustainable packaging solutions is Zenpack, which offers a range of eco-friendly options to keep your products safe and secure. With Zenpack, you can reduce your environmental impact and protect your goods at the same time.
For example, companies make biodegradable plastics from natural ingredients such as cornstarch or sugarcane. These green plastics are an excellent option for companies that want to be environmentally friendly but cannot afford to lose their customers because of high prices.
Compostable products are also a good alternative for food storage as they break down when placed in composting facilities
Recyclable paper is another eco-friendly alternative. These paper products are made from recycled paper pulp with added water and other additives like clay or calcium carbonate, making them stronger and able to hold more weight. This material protects fragile items that plastic bags can’t handle due to breakage concerns during shipping.
7. Have a proper waste management system
Many people don’t realize that waste management is vital for businesses. Waste management is the process of managing materials that are no longer wanted or needed, including recycling, composting, and other methods of disposal. If you have a waste management system in your business, you’re already doing something great for the environment!
If not, start with recycling as much as possible. Many businesses have begun to recycle bottles, cans, and paper products using bins around their offices. Others have a designated recycling room where employees can deposit these items into bins instead of throwing them out. Doing so keeps the waste out of landfills and reduces the water produced from manufacturing a new set.
You may want to consider machinery or equipment that can make recycling more manageable. However, fair notice that it may be costly. As such, you’ll need to carefully manage your business loans and finances to remain in business while keeping it sustainable and eco-friendly.
Jumpstart Your Sustainability Journey Today
There is still much work to do, but the future is promising. More companies are taking significant steps in the right direction by reducing their environmental impact and working to help advance sustainability in society. Together with individual efforts, the world can foster a more sustainable environment and reap the countless benefits these initiatives will bring on all levels.