An eco-friendly business offers plenty of advantages: lower costs, increased profitability, marketing opportunities and the biggest one of all, a better environment for everyone.
Long gone are the days when businesses who actively chose recycled photocopy paper were ‘different.’ Today’s businesses are striving to become greener, and they are proud to show it. We take a look at some of the ways you can do to also become an eco-friendly business.
What is an Eco-Friendly Business?
An environmentally sustainable or eco-friendly business is one which focuses on using resources more efficiently and reduces waste. Often a business is seen as being green if it sells products made from recycled materials. But there’s more too it that simply the products they sell. Every business can improve their level of eco-friendliness regardless of what they sell or where they are located.
Like with everything, going green is something best done from a place where you know where everything stands. This requires you to identify what your business’ current environmental practices are, such as:
- waste – what is recycled, reused, composted or sent to the landfill?
- consumables – how many do you use, can you reduce their usage, is there a better viable option?
- workplace – what strategies are in place to reduce waste, electricity and water usage?
- promotion – how are eco-friendly practices encouraged by your team members? Does this work? Where are the areas for improvement?
- policies – are there any workplace or business policies in place regarding being a green business? Do they need revision?
Once you’ve identified areas for improvement, you can begin making real changes.
Easy Ways to Operate an Eco-Friendly Business
Keeping in mind the areas you’ve identified where you can improve your business’ eco-friendly practices, consider which ones of these suggestions would fit:
- use natural light where possible – not only does is save electricity usage, and therefore save you money, but natural light is also kinder on our eyes. Position desks and workstations near windows.
- go paperless – invest in some cloud storage to keep your documents in rather than printing out and putting in a filing cabinet. This also refers to invoices, where Xero for instance, can invoice digitally.
- work from home – thanks to COVID-19, many businesses had their employees working from home where possible. Why not continue this trend at least part time, cutting down on commutes and resources used to get to work.
- meet digitally – virtual meetings have been around for a while but are on the increase. Instead of driving to meet at someone’s office, meet digitally instead.
- choose reusable products – single use products are costly in resources and price. Invest in reusable products such as mugs, refillable hand sanitiser containers and printer inks.
- buy sustainable – this means identifying suppliers which are committed to practicing sustainability and using their products or services.
Here at MBP Advisors + Accountants, we strongly believe we are an eco-friendly business, we even won the ICNZB Award for Most Sustainable Bookkeeping Business in New Zealand. . That’s because we are dedicated to being paperless, efficient and environmentally conscious. We plant a tree for every single ream of paper we use and we actively fund environmental initiatives in our local communities. However, we’re always looking for ways we can do better. We’d be keen on learning what your business does too, so let us know in the comments below.