How my small enterprise can assist scale back local weather change

Originally written by Dan Matthews about Small Business

Companies that protect the environment with lean, efficient processes benefit from a multitude of advantages. Most obvious is the warm feeling that comes with knowing that you are making a positive contribution to the fight against climate change.

But green companies can also save money, improve brand reputation, and even increase their chances of getting funding from lenders who are increasingly grappling with sustainability credentials from portfolio companies.

So how can you make sure your business is as environmentally friendly as possible? Here are 10 tips to get you started:

1) Make recycling easier

Most people recycle in their homes, of course, but all too often at work it’s a different story. Placing a standard paper bin under each desk is a great way to promote landfill. So think about how you can make recycling bins accessible to your busiest employees.

Also invest in clear labeling. This will help them find the right containers for each recycled item and save time.

2) Promote low-carbon commuting

This can come in a number of forms, from a trip to work to loan tickets for public transport. When people need to drive, think about how you can encourage carpooling, possibly with an incentive for people who save the most car trips per month.

3) Get a smart meter

Smart meters are a great way to save energy, protect the environment, and control your company’s cost base.

By tracking power consumption in near real time, employees have more control over energy consumption in your company. Set challenges to reduce the money everyone spends on energy each month and reward employees by potentially using the money saved. Contact your utility company to learn how to get a smart meter for your small business.

4) Check the supply chain

Take a look at the companies you buy from: are they environmentally friendly or harmful? Comparing your supply chain to competitors in the same market will give you a good picture of which companies are following best practices.

By re-evaluating suppliers based on their environmental footprint, process and customer service, you should be able to reduce your own company’s carbon footprint.

5) Improve communication in your company

The coronavirus pandemic forced all companies to re-evaluate their communications technology, which in many cases led to investments in hardware and software applications.

In the future, these upgrades will be useful in reducing the number of unnecessary in-person meetings. Instead of flying to this Geneva event, could you just zoom, skype or teams?

6) Use gamification

Reducing waste and promoting teamwork is a double win for any business. Create a competition to find out which departments can reduce their carbon footprint the most. By harnessing people’s natural competitive spirit, you can make important changes in your business.

7) Listen to your people

You’ve probably read a lot about flat management structures, grassroots boardroom access, and even perverse performance reports. Perhaps you have introduced some of these practices in your own company.

However, listening to your employees shouldn’t stop at executive reports and reviews. People are passionate about ethical business practices. So be sure to listen to what they have to say.

Establish lines of communication, stimulate ideas and suggestions, and most importantly act on valuable suggestions. Don’t forget to recognize the staff for their good work in this area and make sure the teams understand that you want them to contribute to the green debate.

8) Create an annual green campaign

Ask your employees what environmental goals are most important to them and create a program to help them achieve those goals. An annual campaign, created in December and launched the following year, is a great way to engage teams, build morale, and drive engagement at work.

It could be anything: banning single-use plastics, increasing the percentage of employees who regularly cycle to work, or aiming to recycle old clothes. Whatever you choose, try to develop enthusiasm and inclusion about your goal.

9) Good old fashioned garbage collection

Community-spirited individuals have dealt with group litter for decades – but this type of community activity is still a great way to fill people with purpose while engaging your teams on a common cause.

You could organize semi-annual events and even consider giving people time off each year to devote themselves to cleaning up the local environment.

10) Invest in IT

Modern technology is far more efficient than the desktops, servers and laptops that were offered a few years ago. Make sure that energy efficiency is at the center of your purchasing decisions and of course don’t forget to recycle your old appliances with every upgrade.

further reading

Merlin Griffiths: “We are creative, resilient, adaptable – that is hospitality!”

How to manage your company’s cash flow more efficiently

Frequently asked questions about smart meters for small business

Business Spending: Don’t Guess If You Don’t Know The Answer

Improving my small business with simple technology

How my small business can help reduce climate change

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