Sustainability is not just a buzzword or passing trend. It is one of the most critical issues facing businesses today. To be successful in the long term, companies must find ways to operate that do not compromise the environment or resources necessary for future generations. Here are some tips for making your business more sustainable.
Make Your Business Space Sustainable
The first step to making your business more sustainable is to evaluate your current space. Consider subleasing part of your space to another company if you are renting. If you own your building, make sure it is as energy-efficient as possible.
For instance, you can use operable glass wall systems that provide a view of the outdoors. That will give your employees and clients a feeling of being in the open. Whenever the weather permits, open the glass walls completely to let in the fresh air that is good for everyone’s health. That will also lessen your use of air conditioning and energy.
Ensure that the glass is treated with a heat reflective film that does not obstruct the view. That will stop heat from entering the building when the temperature outside is too hot for comfort.
Use energy-efficient lighting and appliances. You can also look into solar power and other alternative energy sources. That way, you will not have to rely as much on the traditional power grid that is often overloaded.
Use Recycled and Environmentally Friendly Materials
In order to be sustainable, your business must use materials that can be recycled or are otherwise environmentally friendly. For instance, you can use recycled paper for your office printer.
If you produce products, consider using sustainable materials in their manufacture. For instance, bamboo is a strong and durable material that is also environmentally friendly. It grows quickly, so it does not put a strain on the environment. You can also use recycled plastics and metal in your packaging.
There are many other sustainable materials available, so do some research to find the best option for your products.
Implement Fuel Efficiency
If you have a fleet of vehicles, make sure that they are fuel-efficient. If your fleet consists of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles, slowly replace them with electric vehicles. These will save you money on fuel as well as on maintenance and repair.
A 2020 factsheet by Consumer Reports shows that the company can save as much as $10,000 throughout the life of every electric vehicle. That is because charging the electric car costs 60 percent less than fueling a gasoline-powered car. Also, maintenance and repair costs for electric vehicles are only half that of ICE vehicles.
You should also consider the way that your products are transported. If you use air freight, choose a carrier that uses newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft. If you ship by ground, look into using hybrid or electric trucks.
You can also encourage your employees to carpool or take public transportation when possible. You can incentivize them by subsidizing the transportation expenses of those who carpool or commute on public transportation.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint in All Aspects of the Business
It is important to ensure that all aspects of your business are sustainable and contribute toward reducing your carbon footprint. Consistency throughout the business will ensure that you are perceived and respected as a credible sustainable business.
Check on the sustainability of all your vendors and suppliers. You must not support those whose practices are not sustainable even if their products or services have lower prices. They could damage your reputation and that will cost you even more.
You should also take other measures to further offset your carbon footprint. One way to do this is to plant trees. You can also invest in carbon credits. These are investments that help fund projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Carbonfund.org is one organization that offers carbon-offsetting services. As of 2019, they had helped their clients offset over 14 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Guard Against Greenwashing
The term “greenwashing” is used to describe when a company makes false or misleading claims about the sustainability of its products or services. This is often done in an attempt to appeal to consumers who are concerned about the environment.
Greenwashing can damage your business’s reputation and cost you the support of your customers. It can also result in legal action being taken against your company.
To avoid greenwashing, make sure that all your claims about sustainability can be backed up with evidence. Do not make exaggerated claims or use marketing ploys that could be perceived as greenwashing. Check all advertising and marketing materials before releasing them lest some over-eager marketer use terms loosely.
Let Sustainability Be the Core of Your Corporate Culture
Operating a sustainable business is not always easy, but it is necessary in order to protect the environment and the earth’s resources. There are many ways to make your business more sustainable. By following the tips above, you can make a difference for the environment and for your bottom line.
Making your business sustainable will require some initial investment, but it will pay off in the long run. Not only will you be doing your part to protect the environment, but you will also save money and gain respect. So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!