Tuesday, 09 January 2024 03:05

3 Eco Friendly practices to make your small business environmentally sustainable

By  Matthew Smith

As the world awakes to our environmental impact, the need for sustainability in small businesses has never been more pressing. More so, small businesses – always considered the backbone of our economies – stand at a unique position in driving transformative change in business sustainability. 

Better yet, recent research shows that making your small business sustainable goes beyond positively impacting the environment. Talk of fostering public support from eco-aware customers, staff, and investors, ultimately leading to improved financial performances and increased profitability.

So, what do you need to make your enterprise sustainable? We discuss eco-friendly practices that you can incorporate into your business project.

Sustainability Tips for Your Business

Contrary to common belief, achieving sustainability, especially for small businesses, doesn't have to be hard, expensive, or require you to try too much. After all, every dollar and minute matters for you. You only need to start with a few initiatives, set a timeframe, and monitor progress. Here are simple eco-friendly tips to consider;

1. Reduce Waste and Encourage Recycling

Businesses are major contributors of waste produced worldwide—from packaging to plastic and food waste. Auditing your workspace should help you identify how your daily operations business creates waste and how this waste is disposed of. 

Some major small business operations that create a lot of waste include invoicing, packaging, and faxing. You only need to craft a strategy that reduces this waste while ensuring your business remains profitable. For instance, you can reduce paper clutter in your office by integrating secure cloud fax services that allow you to fax by email seamlessly. This should reduce your ink, printer, and paper costs while allowing you to fax from anywhere.

What’s more, if you can’t prevent the accumulation of waste, strategize on how to reuse and recycle it. One common recycling strategy involves having separate bins for your waste. You can have separate bins for food, glass, plastics, and paper. Then, find an approved waste buyer to see which waste can be sold. 

2. Promote Sustainable Supply Chains

Traditionally, supply chains were not thought of as value generators — but rather as cost centers. As a result, they have always been the first sectors to undergo cuts when businesses need to tighten their budgets. However, there has been a paradigm shift in this thinking as businesses realize the importance of supply chains to their brand reputation and financial performance. 

The first step to creating a sustainable supply chain is to consider it a value generator. Then, you can identify the sustainability leaks in the supply chain. Some common areas to look at are the materials used in your products, how you transport goods, maintenance of your equipment, and recycling methods. 

Could the way you source products be more sustainable, and are the source materials obtained sustainably? Such questions should provide insight into which departments need changing. As always, striving for minor changes is advisable as you create a culture of sustainability within your business. With this in place, you can engage customers and other stakeholders to ensure they align with your sustainability model.

3. Collaborate with Like-Minded Sustainable Businesses

Partnering with other like-minded sustainable businesses and nonprofit organizations is always a great strategy. They will likely share their expertise on sustainability initiatives you haven't considered yet. This strategy is also key in creating a circular economy — an economic system that creates a loop on using materials and products, hence minimizing waste.

Being part of a circular economy should help differentiate your business and tap into the ever-increasing environmentally aware customer base.

Better yet, partnering with non-profit organizations is always a win-win situation for small businesses. You can join forces in lobbying for environmental policies that incentivize sustainability or in educating the public on the need for sustainability. This will go a long way in enhancing your business’s brand reputation.

Sustainability is the Future

A sustainable small business creates present wealth and generates shared value for future generations. Therefore, becoming more sustainable will help protect the environment and increase your profitability. As a small business, it’s the small changes that matter. Strive to reduce and recycle your waste, audit your supply chains, and collaborate with like-minded sustainable businesses.

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