10 Ways to Make Your Business Sustainable

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

More and more businesses are responding to growing global concerns about Climate Change by making choices that make for more sustainable daily operations. Here are ten ways you can help to improve your own company’s impact on the environment.

1. Set goals, make a Sustainability Plan

If you’re wanting to make your business more sustainable, the best way to start is to complete a sustainability audit to identify any opportunities you may currently have for improvements. If you take the time to do so, you can develop a plan that targets those opportunities, and gives you a framework to achieve your goals.

It’s important to give yourself realistic aspirations and timeframes, otherwise it’s easy for things that seem too-hard to get pushed down the to-do list.

2. Source local

Every delivery between your business and a place of origin, such as wherever your veggies are grown or your pantry-type goods come from, requires a vehicle to move it from A to B. If that’s a long trip (for example if it’s grown in another country), that means a lot of fuel is being used to move the item.

By reducing the distance our goods travel to get to our store by sourcing locally, we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

3. Source organic

Organic agriculture is good for the environment and more sustainable in a number of ways. It is better for soil health, it doesn’t contaminate water sources, and it encourages biodiversity, which makes for more resilient ecosystems.

Choosing organically-produced is a helpful way to reduce your organisation’s footprint.

4. Reduce energy use

Becoming more sustainable can be good for the environment and for your bottom line too. Being more conscious of energy use through easy initiatives like switching lights off when a room is exited, or choosing more efficient appliances and lightbulbs, can result in reduced running costs as well as a more sustainable footprint.

5. Use chemical-free cleaning agents

Damaging chemical compounds in cleaning products are known to be able to survive treatment and eventually end up in our waterways. Some are toxic to animals and plants, while others can boost algae fertility until it suffocates the biodiversity of the water it occupies.

Natural cleaning agents can keep your workplace sparkling without these adverse effects.

6. Reduce food waste

Reducing food waste can be a highly effective way to help the environment. It not only prevents the greenhouse-gases that organic waste would produce in landfill, but through food waste composting it can be converted to an organic fertiliser. Eco-Guardians offer specialised food waste disposal units that produce a highly-concentrated and nutrient-rich fertiliser solution - Soilfood.

7. Avoid plastics

At present, 50% of plastics produced are used once before being thrown away. Plastics in the ocean are then being ingested by many thousands of wildlife species (including 100% of sea turtle species!). They are then being consumed further up the food chain by us! Choosing plastic-free or recyclable takeaway packaging, shopping bags, and the like are a great way to mitigate the impact.

8. Use recycled products when possible

There are plenty of products made from recycled goods available today. By using items like recycled toilet rolls, decorating with recycled fabrics and materials, or sourcing second-hand furniture or crockery, you can save the precious resources that would have gone to creating something new. The results can be amazing - check out Google’s award-winning South African headquarters which were designed with upcycling in mind.

9. Contribute to the conversation

You can magnify the impact of your sustainability initiatives by keeping your customers up-to-date on your progress. This will remind them that everyone can help with sustainability measures, and keep the issue in everyone’s minds. What’s more, if it reflects their values, it may give them a new reason to support your business!

10. Encourage customers to get involved

Finding ways to make it easier for your customers to be sustainable can be a great way to boost your own efforts. In a number of Australian cities, it’s possible to receive discounted coffees at participating cafes if you bring your own cup. Other small changes might be to have clearly marked specialised bins available to customers to help them sort their recyclables at your location.

In the fight to protect the Earth’s fragile natural ecosystems, every little bit counts. Applying any one of the above steps to your own workplace can make a big difference!

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019