Which Green Initiatives Do Customers Most Want to See?
Even small businesses can have a big environmental impact – for better or worse. Prioritise the planet and your customers are likely to take notice. Failing to do so could significantly impact your bottom line.
With a mounting climate crisis on our hands, consumers are rethinking how and where they make purchases. Values like sustainability are now driving many purchasing decisions and buying habits.
How cloud solutions can make your business greener
As the business world increasingly moves online, many organisations are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
One way to do this is by utilising cloud computing within your business.
Cloud computing uses significantly less energy than traditional on-premise IT infrastructure, and as a result, can help to reduce your organisation’s environmental impact. In addition, cloud computing can also help to improve the efficiency of your operations, giving you a competitive edge in today’s market.
As more businesses look to adopt sustainable practices, utilising cloud computing is one way to ensure that you are ahead of the curve. not just in terms of technology, but in terms of social responsibility too.
National consumer survey finds 63% of the UK public think businesses should act immediately on climate change
- 66% of people agree that businesses should do more to help customers reduce their own impact on climate change.
- 57% think UK food businesses could or need to be doing more to tackle climate change and cut emissions, 61% said the same for textile/fashion businesses.
- 41% want businesses to be transparent on climate targets so they can be held accountable.
Do you operate with minimal environmental impact – or want to? It’s a huge selling point. Here are five ways your SMB can go green.
1) Invest in Green Products and Supplies.
The items you use to get the job done can take or give back to the planet. If you’re looking for an easy place to make an immediate impact, start with the things you use every day.
For most small businesses that includes opting for green items like:
- Recycled paper and reusable printer toner
- Rechargeable batteries
- Green product packaging
- All-natural cleaning supplies
- Reusable water bottles
2) Focus on Energy Conservation.
Though it may not sound like much, that usage adds up quickly. To reduce your energy consumption, try:
- Switching to LED bulbs and putting your lights on a timer or motion sensor.
- Encouraging employees to put devices to ‘sleep’ when not in use.
- Investing in more energy-efficient electronics.
- Adjusting your thermostat – the Department of Energy and Environment recommends keeping the office at 78 degrees in summer when the workplace is occupied, and 85 degrees or off after business hours. In the winter, make that 68 degrees during work hours, and 60-65 degrees after everyone clocks out.
Working from home four days a week would reduce the amount of nitrogen dioxide by around 10%
3) Go green in the Office Kitchen.
The office kitchen is likely to be one of the most wasteful areas in your entire organisation.
You can invite more sustainability into the space by:
- Asking employees to bring reusable utensils.
- Doing away with single-use coffee pods and water bottles.
- Purchasing biodegradable napkins and straws.
- Buying organic, locally sourced snacks.
- Researching fair trade coffee and tea options.
- Offering compost and recycling on-site.
4) Check the Sustainability of Your Vendors and Partners.
Don’t let an overconsuming collaborator offset your progress.
- Inquire about their environmental policies up front.
- Check the ingredients they use in their packaging.
- See where they source raw materials from.
- Ask about their sustainability goals.
- Make sure the goods they sell are easily repairable.
- Prioritise local partnerships.
- Look at Green Hosting
5) Let Employees Work Remotely.
As Forbes explains, “ Research from Spain’s Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals suggests [Working from home] had a significant impact on air quality…working from home four days a week would reduce the amount of nitrogen dioxide by around 10%.” The article also notes that nitrogen dioxide is the main pollutant generated by traffic emissions.
In addition to decreasing your employees’ commutes, letting staff work remotely also saves you on things like utilities and office supplies.
Committed to making this year your most green yet? Make sure you’re clear on the size of your carbon footprint. From there, you can create a roadmap to help you strategically shrink it, while growing your customer base.