Photo: Katt Yukawa / Unsplash
In 2023 all businesses must do their bit to make the world better. Customers expect it, government policies expect it, and if you have any moral values at all, you should expect it from your business and those you support.
If you’re not sure how to adopt better business practices, consider starting with these sustainable strategies:
1. Social Purchasing
Social purchasing, also known as social procurement, involves buying the materials, goods, and supplies you need for your business in a sustainable way that benefits society. An easy example of this can be found with the Fair Trade initiative, which enables companies to buy supplies in a way that positively impacts the communities that supply them.
Fair Trade products might not be relevant to your business. However, there are endless ways to use your purchasing power to impact the world positively. So make social procurement a goal, and research the opportunities in your industry.
2. Office Sustainability
When clients visit your premises, they should be impressed by your in-house efforts regarding sustainability. It is the base of your business, so it stands to reason that it should be the source of all the significant, world-friendly actions you take.
To make your office more sustainable this year, consider the following steps:
- Switching to a hybrid work model;
- Switching from paper to digital wherever possible;
- Changing any unavoidable paper-based supplies to sustainable alternatives;
- Fixing any leaking taps, toilets, and other water outlets
- Using eco-friendly bulbs;
- Turning off anything you can when it is not in use;
- Upgrading to an efficient recycling system;
- Using water reduction technology and tools (often available for free from water companies and councils);
- Using eco-friendly inks;
- Investing in insulation, double glazing, and other helpful ways to keep heat in (if you own the building).
3. Meat-Free Snacks & Food
There is no escaping the fact that the meat industry is problematic for the environment. Meat accounts for nearly 60% of all greenhouse gases – twice the amount created by plant-based foods. While no one business can change everything, we can each do a little bit collectively as a global community to make a big difference.
One sustainable action your business can take to combat the negative impact of the meat industry is to go meat-free. If this doesn’t work for some of your staff, consider a meat-free Monday. Alternatively, you could take a gentler approach and provide more vegan options in your vending machine or cafeteria.
4. Eco-Friendly Packaging
Nearly a third of solid waste in the US comes from e-commerce packaging. It’s not just America, either. Worldwide, online shopping is accelerating in popularity, which means packaging waste is revving up too.
If you want to minimize the impact of your packaging on the environment, switch to a biodegradable or otherwise eco-friendly alternative. There are some incredible options available that offer supreme quality and a level of sustainable savvy that will wow your customers. Most people are thrilled to know their purchases aren’t harming the environment, so they’ll be more likely to return to shop with you.
5. Create a Positive Environment for Change
A great way to keep sustainability ideas flowing from your employees is to create a positive environment for change. Employees should feel empowered and able to make suggestions anonymously and in feedback sessions. Everyone at the company should feel empowered to make a positive change. Foster this environment, and you’ll soon have a host of new ideas to take you through 2023 and beyond.
This could be the year your business makes incredible changes, adopting sustainable strategies that reflect an eco-conscious ethos. How will you make leaps and bounds toward doing better business?
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