The business world is increasingly being looked upon by consumers to make large and meaningful changes to their operations. And it’s little wonder why: the effects of global warming and climate change are increasingly present, such as the recent wildfires and flooding in the United States and Australia. Below, we’ve put together some strategies to help you become a greener, more sustainable business and win over new green clients…
Perform a full audit
Perhaps one of the most important things you can do for your small business is to perform a full audit and see what’s currently working and not. Everything from the way your employees get to work to how you dispose of expired goods should be considered, and you should make some meaningful changes based on your data. Accept that you’re not going to be able to do everything overnight, but at least understanding the problems should get you started.
Work with accountable providers
When you’re trying to become a greener and more sustainable business, you should look outside of your own organisation and think about the bigger picture. If you work with other suppliers or service providers, how can you be sure that they share the same values and ethos as your own? If you employ a facilities management company to assist with cleaning, for instance, are you confident that they’re using eco-friendly cleaning solutions? If not, it could jeopardize your entire operation and bring all of your hard work and changes into question. Understanding who you work with and talking to them about your stance on the environment could allow for some mutual collaboration and lower the burden on your brand.
Ask customers for their thoughts
Whether you operate a business-to-business eCommerce store or you’re a retailer in the middle of the city centre, sometimes it’s good to speak directly to your clients and customers and ask them what they’d like to see you do. Simple things such as removing free carrier bags and plastic straws from your premises is a great first step, but the chances are that your clients have ideas of their own that they’d like to share. Whether it be a buy-back service, where customers can return their empty bottles and containers for a discount off their next order, or even a ‘plant a tree in your name’ scheme, there’s so much you can do.
Finally, you must be prepared to make compromises and accept that becoming a greener and more eco-conscious business will result in increased costs. Understand what you are getting yourself in for and also understand that, even with all of the best will in the world, your business will likely still cause some damage to the environment. Simply acknowledging that and making some progress will stand you in the best possible position going forward.
Do you have any tips? Let us know and check back soon for more.