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Making Your Small Business Sustainable Doesn't Have to be Costly. Here's how.

Oct 13, 2022

Many companies experience overwhelm even before beginning their sustainable journey. If a company chooses to operate sustainably and environmentally, there are a lot of items on the checklist that must be completed. New rules might not be well received by all employees, especially if they eliminate routines that some employees have grown accustomed to and find convenient.

Going green necessitates an initial financial expenditure as well as an investment of one's time, effort, and dedication to the cause. Being sustainable calls for awareness of even the tiniest activities, which can be challenging to uphold in an office that must manage daily operations.

Despite the challenging task, it is still possible to implement sustainable practices in the workplace, especially in an environment that is dedicated to being green. If you don't have the budget yet, you may start small by teaching your staff to care about the environment and to reduce the office's carbon impact. Below are some tips for making your business more sustainable that are all for free and even cost-effective.

Plan internal discussions on sustainability.

Invite environmentalists to speak at internal sustainability workshops. Rotate the organizing committee amongst teams and departments to allow everyone to actively participate in the pursuit of sustainable knowledge. As they say, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Once the love for the environment has been inculcated in the office, they would be more appreciative of the green efforts and more enthusiastic to participate. 

Hold competitions to recognize green initiatives.

Hold contests to encourage your staff to participate in environmentally friendly projects. For instance, hold an ecobrick competition and require the departments to gather plastic for bottle filling. The department that makes the highest functional structure out of the eco-bricks claims the winning prize. 

Utilize office resources as much as possible.

Before discarding a resource, make sure it has been utilized to the fullest extent possible. For instance, a bond paper has two sides so each of the sides, the back, and the front, must be used. Installing a reusable paper container will allow people to simply get scratch paper for their office needs. Never throw away inoperative office supplies like a hole puncher or a stapler right away. Before discarding something, make sure it is no longer useful. You can use envelopes and folders again. 

Clear your workstation of clutter to make it simple to reuse resources repeatedly. 

By doing this, you might be able to determine what needs to be thrown out and what you haven't utilized yet. Our possessions frequently get misplaced in the chaos, and we decide to buy right away without even realizing we still have a supply of these things. It's a waste of money and resources. 

Place recycling containers at the workplace.

Install garbage sorting bins in the office to ensure that your rubbish is separated. Properly put a label on your bins to make it simpler for your staff to know where they should dispose of their specific waste item. People frequently pass these signs by without even noticing it, so keep it as simple as possible. One proposal is to have separate bins for paper, glass, plastic, and metal. It will be simpler for your company to reuse and recycle potential waste if you sort your rubbish from the get-go. 

Cutlery and single-use plastic in the workplace must be eliminated.

Any proponent of sustainability hates single-use. We want things that we can use more than once and that won't contribute to the enormous amount of rubbish that humanity has amassed. Be careful to stock the pantry with water and coffee glasses. Also, provide stainless steel or wood cutlery. Think about providing tumblers as well so that no one in the office will need to seek single-use beverage containers. Make it a rule that single-use items are not permitted in the workplace.

When not in use, turn off all electronic devices.

All of your staff members must make it a practice to turn off equipment like lights, laptops, printers, and other electronic devices when not being used. When this equipment is left on or plugged in, it significantly increases the office's energy usage and electricity cost. You are saving the company money while also helping the environment if you consciously turn off the devices after using them or check if they have been turned off before locking the office and going home. 

Provide carpooling options.

Offer a business van to pick up your employees from their homes and transport them to the office in order to lessen the carbon footprint. When they must return home, the opposite occurs. Depending on where each employee lives, divide the workforce into north and south routes to provide transportation for all of your employees. 

Require putting on a uniform on certain days.

One of the top five sources of waste in the world is the fashion sector. Employees will use fewer garments if they are required to wear uniforms three days a week. They don't have to buy the latest trends only to fill their closets with mindless purchases. You are helping them control their shopping and minimize it to what they need. 

Open more opportunities for a remote kind of work set-up. 

Consider offering more remote employment options since working from home is now a practical option for the majority of businesses. Offer work-from-home career opportunities to new hires. Deduct the total amount of days they are required to report to work with your current personnel.

If you are offered a remote set-up or you are a small business owner, you can make the garage your office in the meantime. You minimize your carbon footprint by just walking to “work.” You do not overproduce your inventory and only make products that your garage can fit, one buying cycle at a time. Just make sure there is space in the garage by decluttering it and installing smart storage solutions such as overhead storage racks and wall shelves to maximize the vacant walls and ceiling. You would be able to do anything on the floor area.