Sustainability tips for small businesses
Sustainability is the latest “hot topic” within business. How do business owners and their businesses impact the environment and society? As a business owner how can you make positive changes in order to grow whilst still benefiting the environment and community?
It’s a big topic, so where do you start and what are the benefits?
We have outlined below our suggestions of things you can be thinking about now as an independent business to start applying more sustainable thinking into your strategy & processes.
You can start lowering your impact on the environment by adopting one or more of the below ideas,
· Reducing of the amount of energy you use and investigating renewable energy sources that supply green energy, like wind and solar
· Consider the use of sustainable/biodegradable packaging
· Researching any relevant zero-waste products you can start using across the business
· Switch to LED lighting to reduce carbon emissions
· Offer on-site recycling bins for batteries, lightbulbs and plastic bags and in doing so reduce waste destined for landfill
· Use sustainable products – such as toilet paper and printer paper. For cleaning products check if products include chemicals and try opting for more natural non-toxic ingredients
· Composting all the left-over breakfast, brunches, lunches, teas and dinners speeds up decay and reduces the production of methane meaning a healthier happier environment
· Offer your staff reusable water bottles and reusable tea/coffee cups this will again have a positive effect on landfill and meet your inhouse recycling policy
You can create positive social change as a business by investing in equal opportunities and conditions for employees and the local community, as well as ensuring your products and business practices are safe and secure.
Ways you can put this into practice are:
- Ensuring customer data is secure at all times, how you accept it, store it and then delete it in a timely fashion
- Safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of your employees. Ensure that your workplace is safe but also promote healthy activities when not working or on a break. For example, exercise and the outdoors have an immense positive effect and promoting/supporting a walk/cycle to work scheme will not only improve health, but benefit the environment by decreasing air pollution.
- Investment or direct involvement in local initiatives that put back into the community
- Your team expect a healthy work-life balance and positive personal well-being. Make sure you are looking after this by providing a work environment they feel motivated and supported by. Don’t demand excessive work hours, be flexible and provide them with regular appraisals and feedback on their performance.
Size can matter and a small business may struggle to take the time for all of the above, BUT being an independent business enables you to not only be at the heart of the decision making process but gives you the ability to implement quickly, one step at a time.
By creating your own sustainability policy and implementing a couple of the elements above you will not only make a positive impact on the environment and society, but are likely to also enjoy a better & more successful future for the business you love.
If you want to find out more about how Expression supports independent business owners who love their business visit www.expressioninsurance.co.uk