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8 ways to be sustainable in your small business

Being sustainable is the new advantage in business. Not only does it make economic sense to become sustainable but there are societal and environmental advantages to being sustainable within your business. How can you make your small business more sustainable?

1. Go paperless

One easy way to become more sustainable is to cut down or remove paper use in your business. You can do this by storing all your documents on the cloud. You can also encourage your colleagues to print on recycled paper or to print double-sided.

2. Avoid using single-use items in the office

Instead of using single-use sachets of sugar or salt and pepper, rather buy them in bulk. You can store these items in reusable containers. You should also be aware of pod coffees. Though it might be a nice perk for your company, consider rather investing in a coffee vending machine. You should also encourage your staff to bring their own cups or water bottles to work to prevent the use of single-use cups.

3. Do an energy audit

You should assess how you use energy throughout your business. If you can use renewable energy for some of your processes you should move over to it. You could install solar panels. Though the initial outlay may be expensive you will save money in the long run. The next step is to install LED lights as they are more energy efficient than regular light bulbs. Another item to consider is switching off your equipment at the end of the day. Though you may not be using the machinery it is still drawing electricity. You should unplug those items that you don’t need on at the end of the day.

4. Ensure your suppliers are sustainable

Who do you get your resources from? Do they behave in sustainable ways? Are they eco-friendly and ethical? It is important to know how the products you use are produced. If your suppliers are not sustainable then you may need to look towards other suppliers.

5. Use a green hosting company

Who do you host your company with? It is important to ensure that your hosting company is green. If the internet would be considered a country, it would be the sixth highest consumer of energy. Therefore, by using a green hosting company you can minimise your impact on the energy supply.

6. Reduce water usage

Get a plumber into your office and fix all the dripping taps. You can also reduce water usage by installing a toilet system which uses grey water or less water. You could also consider using the grey water your business produces to water the plants in your office’s garden.

7. Recycle or reuse as much as possible

Put out different dustbins for different forms of waste to make it easier for your employees to recycle their waste. You should also educate your employees on the different bins and what waste should be put in them. For big ticket items in your office, you could consider second-hand equipment if it is viable.

8. Recycle your electronic waste

A lot of electronic waste ends up on landfills. It is important to dispose of it properly. Before putting the electronic waste into recycling ensure you have removed all the sensitive information off the device. You could also consider giving it away to charities which could use your second-hand computers.

By implementing these eight suggestions you will be well on your way to creating a sustainable company.

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