Sustainability is the word of the decade, and rightly so. At last, the world is waking up to the fact that if we don’t look after the world now, we’re going to have to start looking for a new home in another galaxy very soon, just like in the movies. That’s why sustainability is a very real goal for every business. But how can corporations strike the balance between doing their businessy things, while being kinder to Mother Nature? Here are five great answers to that one good question.
1. On your bike Many businesses are signing up to cycle to work programmes. This is when an employer buys a bike for an employee to ride to work. The employee simply ‘hires’ the bike through salary sacrifice, and saves money by not paying tax and National Insurance contributions on the monthly fees. Oh yes, and employees get super fit by pedalling every day. It’s win/win!
2. Go local Why do businesses look further afield for suppliers when they probably have a whole range of local, more sustainable options under their nose? The truth is, finding suppliers closer to home not only minimises a company’s carbon footprint, but it might even lower transport costs and support other local businesses.
3. Send packaging packing All companies produce waste of some kind. The trick is reducing this down to its minimum. Companies can try using recyclable and reusable materials, so things like cardboard boxes can be used for other purposes. Or investigating biodegradable packing materials like corn-based plastic, that can be easily broken down in a composting facility. Perhaps even consider investing in an industrial shredder, with the shredded material then used to cushion and protect products when they’re shipped.
4. Give energy waste the elbow Reducing energy usage is one of the biggest ways a company can have a greener impact. And it’s so easy to do. Businesses can reduce consumption by switching off all equipment over the weekend when they’re not being used. Printers, scanners microwaves, lights… they all add up. It’s also worth making sure than electrical appliances have decent energy ratings. Anything in the A/B area are great. Some businesses are taking complete control, and getting a programmable thermostat installed. It’s efficient and gives companies more of an overview of the energy they’re using.
5. Give to green causes Donating to environmental programmes is a brilliant way for businesses to do their bit for sustainability. After all, a carbon footprint becomes a lot smaller when offset with a contribution to a sustainable cause. There are so many worthwhile causes out there, including caring for biodiversity, for example, or furthering the use of renewable energy. Supporting these programmes also portrays a businesses as being a forward-thinking organisation, facing the future with responsibility.
Cards on the table, we don’t fancy climbing aboard a spaceship and blasting off to look for a new world. So what about we knuckle down and sort this sustainability thing out? Deal?