Sustainability is more than just a buzzword nowadays. It offers real quantifiable benefits for businesses. In fact, according to Los Angeles Times, some of the biggest corporations like Nike, Google, and McDonald’s are saving millions of dollars by going green.
Anything from using fewer raw materials in production to saving fuel on lighter transportation contributes to this massive cost savings.
This doesn’t even take into account the positive PR sustainability provides, along with the boost in employee morale.
Needless to say, all these factors make sustainability a worthy undertaking for any business.
So, how can you make your business more sustainable? Here are a few tips:
When most businesses, or people for that matter, hear sustainability, energy efficiency is one of the first things that come to mind – and for good reason. Renewable technology has vastly improved in the last decade, to the point where initial investment costs have also drastically dropped.
According to Forbes, solar and wind energy prices have fallen 89% and 70% respectively in the last 10 years. They claim that it is now cheaper to protect the environment than the alternative. If you have been putting off switching to these renewable energy sources because of costs, you don’t have to, anymore.
Apart from using renewable energy, you can also do the following to further make your business more sustainable:
- Use energy-efficient machines and appliances.
- Maximize natural light and heat.
- Turn off or unplug electronic devices after operations.
- Switch to LED lightbulbs
Fortunately, there are now more sustainable options for virtually any traditional office supply. This includes anything from fully recycled paper and bamboo pens all the way to reusable utensils and straws for your pantry.
Some supplies may cost more but will pay for themselves in the long run. Some will even cost less upfront compared to their traditional counterparts.
You can also become more sustainable by reducing the waste your office or store produces. This means switching to reusable alternatives for your supplies. This also means making your processes more efficient. Going paperless is also a big leap to sustainability.
That said, there are certain facets in businesses that will need hard, physical documents. But that doesn’t mean you can’t improve these facets. Switching to modern document product machines, for example, can increase precision and efficiency, reducing mistakes and overall wastes.
It may also be time to switch to suppliers that also place sustainability at the forefront of their business. This creates a positive cycle in the market overall.
Plants have an almost spiritual force that, when done right, can help reduce stress, increase productivity, and even improve the wellbeing of employees to the point where the attendance numbers will reflect it.
Everything from clearing the air of pollutants to emanating enticing scents in the office can improve the health and mood of employees, and encourage them to be present and more active in their roles.
As mentioned above, there is a right way to go about this. Entrepreneur has created a nice little list that includes the following:
- Give employees a say
- Arrange plants naturally
- Invest in professional plant care
This all plays into a bigger trend in corporate buildings and even cities to have more green spaces.
The most immediate and arguably most important change you can make is to change your business’s mindset when it comes to sustainability. Thinking that this shift is for the environment is great and can give you a little push, but as mentioned above, it offers more tangible benefits.
From saving money on energy costs and reducing waste, to improving your PR and attracting more opportunities, it’s clear that sustainability is the way forward.
When you place sustainability at the core of everything you do, you’ll begin to reap all these benefits and more.