A Guest Post by Lily Harris
In the current business climate, being environmentally friendly is more important than ever before. People are starting to realize the need for sustainability and job seekers, customers and investors are all keen to turn to businesses that can fulfill their ‘eco-friendly’ desires. As well as attracting more people to your company, a sustainable plan can cut costs of energy and reduce waste, making your business more efficient and profitable. Surveys show that companies with sustainable initiatives grow twenty-eight times faster than those that don’t, proving that implementing an environmental business strategy is the way forward for your business.
The easiest way to implement an environmental business strategy is to recycle waste, such as paper, cardboard and plastic, so that it can be reused. Try introducing separate recycling bins into your workplace and ask all members of staff to separate their waste so that recyclable material can be sent to the right place instead of a landfill! To make this even easier, you could invest in a recycling compactor that will squash down any larger pieces of recycling to prevent unhelpful clutter from appearing and to save your employees from spending their time dissembling cardboard with their bare hands.
Be transport efficient
Say your company employs one hundred members of staff each day, that is potentially one hundred cars on the roads just for your business alone. Cars are one of the biggest causes of harmful emissions that are sent into the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. You could cut these emissions in half by encouraging just 50% of your staff to take other modes of transport into work such as a bicycle or public transport, or you could ask members of staff to share cars with other workers who live near them. To encourage these changes within your workplace, you could partner up with local public transport and consider offering members of staff a free bus pass or money off of their train tickets into work. You could also consider creating ‘carbon cutting’ challenges whereby workers compete to see who can cut their carbon foot-print the most within a certain time period. Challenges such as this are a great way to get staff excited about your new environmental business strategy and to keep them focussed on making change.
Look into energy efficiency
There are many ways that you can make your company more energy efficient today! Small changes like swapping regular light-bulbs for energy-efficient LED or introducing motion-sensor lighting that turns off automatically when space is not in use are simple and easy ways to begin improving the efficiency of your whole company. The more efficient you are, the less money you will spend on wasted energy, and the more energy will be saved for other uses.
Reduce single-use plastic
When it comes to resources, the production of plastic is incredibly harmful to the environment and the disposal of the material is even worse! Plastic can take one thousand years to decompose! It is the single use of plastic like food wrapping, packaging and water bottles that pay the largest contribution to the environmental crisis but can be prevented in your workplace very easily. You can start reducing single use plastic by encouraging staff to use refillable bottles and make their own lunches instead of buying food wrapped in plastic from supermarkets during their break. You could also recycle any plastic cups at water-coolers and instead ask that staff use their own bottles to drink the water. Implementing this into your supply chain could include ensuring that your products are sent with eco-friendly packaging and that any plastic waste is reused as much as possible.
Implementing an environmental business strategy is the best way to increase your customer appeal and attract new potential employees. Sustainability is a slow process that takes time to introduce; not all of your staff may be on board at first and it will take time to decide how to prioritize the different methods that you will need to use. One step in the right direction is always better than none and your environmental strategy will only work if you stick to it and make yourself accountable. After a while, sustainability within your workplace will be second nature and your company will reap the benefits of your new, efficient business plan.