When employers think about introducing green practices and policies into their business, there’s an initial concern that this can incur extra costs. But this isn’t the case. Consumers are increasingly flocking to businesses that offer safe, non-toxic and environmentally friendly products. They will often pay a premium to know that they are making ethical buying choices. Being green is good for customers and what’s good for customers is good for business. In this post, we’ll dig down into 7 of the best ways to green your business.
Create a green culture
In any business, if you put green issues at the heart of your culture then this will be adopted by your employees who are likely to enjoy engaging in socially conscious initiatives. Asking your employees for their ideas on how to make the business more green will yield great ideas. These ideas can be developed and their success measured which is the start of developing a shared, green vision.
Adopt a green supply chain
Business can sometimes be guilty of aggressively pursuing the bottom line. Sourcing materials from aboard can help reduce costs in the short term but looking to source local helps build local economies. Where can we service our needs locally? Which local supplies have saleable green credentials? For example, at Aubrey Bay, all of our materials used to create our candles and packaging come from local, ethical suppliers. Our candles are therefore local, sustainable and cruelty-free ethical products.
When we look closer to home, many opportunities arise where we can localise supply chains and keep our carbon footprint smaller.
Change those bulbs
A really easy start for any business to go greener is to swap any light bulbs they can to LED bulbs. An LED light typically uses 90% less energy than an equivalent incandescent or halogen bulb. There are two major reasons why LED lighting helps the environment. Firstly, LED lighting uses less energy. This means that energy demand decreases and therefore less power is required in the first place. Secondly, LED lighting helps the environment because the bulbs themselves can be recycled.
Promote a healthy workplace
Employees spend most of their time in the workplace. It’s like a second home. Therefore making social and environmental green policies for employees to engage with will create a green workplace. Changing food options in the canteen, allowing employees to take regular short bursts of exercise away from their desks and organising staff development opportunities around health and wellbeing can all be easily introduced.
Go green through recycling
It’s amazing how many workplaces don’t recycle enough. In the UK, paper waste costs UK businesses over £15bn a year. It’s a simple exercise to review a companies’ recycling policy. If found lacking, there are many easy to introduce strategies when going green.
Starting at the top, it’s up to management to convey the importance of recycling to staff. This helps staff understand how their waste affects the environment.
Part of the key to recycling is understanding what can be recycled.
Once recycling systems have been put in place and clear guidance and what can be recycled, and how, small reminders to counteract the hustle and bustle of the modern office should see a positive change.
Start a cycle to work scheme
If your employees are sitting on trains or being stuck in traffic jams, then introducing a cycle to work scheme could be a great idea.
The UK Government-backed Cycle to Work Scheme is designed to help employees save money on a new work bike and spread the cost of the bike over monthly tax-free instalments through their employer.
Cycling is a great way to reduce your employees’ carbon footprint, as cycling just 10km each way to work can save around 1,500kg of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
For a responsible employer, it’s a great scheme.
Use green cleaning products in the office
Having a great smelling workplace is a real boon for companies. However, this can come at a price. Many of those familiar scents are toxic to your body and the environment.
This is where choosing green brands that are made with health in mind can pay dividends. Replace cleaning products, hand soaps, washing up liquid and bathroom cleaners with green brands.
Although the initial capital outlay may be slightly more, the benefits are soon realised. The benefits include improved health, a reduction in allergic reactions and a more responsible environmental choice.
And that’s our 7 best ways to green your business. Greening a business can’t be accomplished by a top or bottom-heavy approach but requires everyone in the business to move towards a common goal.