Going green is no longer a novel concept in business; it has increasingly become a standard. With the number of environmental issues the world is facing today, there’s no other way to go but the green way. Humans have only one livable planet, so every person has the responsibility to preserve it. Businesses, which use up a considerable chunk of the earth’s resources and generate the most waste in the world, should double up on their green initiatives.
Not only is going green better for the planet, but it’s also good for business. According to a Futerra survey, 88 percent of consumers want companies to “help them live sustainably.” In other words, consumers will support businesses with green initiatives, and they want the brands they follow to embrace sustainability.
That said, there are many things a business can do to become greener. You can start with these simple, sustainable solutions.
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Product packaging, especially single-use plastics and food packaging, makes up a significant amount of environmental waste produced worldwide. Packaging waste pollutes the lands and seas and causes soil degradation and animal deaths from plastic ingestion.
One way your business can reduce packaging waste is to use sustainable packaging options, such as recycled and recyclable boxes and water-soluble materials. Choose packaging materials that are made from either 100 percent recycled materials or materials that can be used again.
Many brands and niches have taken the lead in using eco-friendly packaging options. For example, you’ll see many established and new businesses selling makeup, skin-care products, and pharmaceutical alternatives using sustainable packaging in the market today. This has helped eco-friendly packaging become more accessible to many businesses, so it should not be as difficult to find suppliers for your brand.
Fillers are often used in e-commerce packaging to protect products because parcels go through several hands before reaching the customer. Reduce the use of fillers by opting for customized packaging. Sometimes, using fillers is unavoidable, especially for fragile items. In which case, there are several green options available, such as the following:
Biodegradable packaging peanuts
Corrugated bubble wrap
Recyclable air pillows
Water-soluble materials (e.g., SmartSolve’s paper, board stock, corrugate, and tape)
Packaging made from organic materials (e.g., cornstarch, mushroom, and seaweed)
Businesses can help minimize packaging pollution significantly by shifting from single-use plastics and materials. Moving away from single-use packaging can’t be done overnight, but it can be achieved through a gradual shift to sustainable packaging.
If you run an e-commerce business or if your company has a website, then you probably use a web hosting service. Choosing a green web hosting service is a simple yet effective way to build a sustainable business.
Green hosting services use different strategies to reduce the environmental impact of operating their business. These strategies include the following:
Donating to green organizations
Supporting sustainable programs
Using renewable energy to power data centers
Funding forestation or tree-planting programs
Practicing day-to-day energy conservation
Using energy-saving tools and practices
Techradar provides a list of the best green web hosting this 2020. Check out your options, and see which one best suits your business needs.
Renewable energy is not new. These sources have existed for many years, but they’ve been getting more attention in the past few years because of sustainability campaigns and movements. Renewable energy, or green power, includes solar power, wind power, geothermal power, hydropower, or energy collected from sunlight, wind, geothermal heat, or rain, tides, and waves. Renewable energy comes from natural sources that are constantly replenished.
Currently, fossil fuels still dominate the energy market, but renewable energy is growing rapidly. Your business can be one of those that use renewable energy. By choosing green power, you can significantly reduce your business’s environmental impact and save money. Some renewable energy companies even help you find solutions to make your energy use more efficient.
For small businesses, consider generating renewable energy on-site. Check out the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s guide on local renewable energy benefits and resources to know more.
Getting an energy audit will help you determine how your establishment uses energy and find solutions to cut down energy waste and improve energy efficiency. Your local or state government may offer free energy audits for residential and commercial establishments, so check with them before going for a private consultation. Or they can refer you to a trustworthy company that offers energy audits.
Public energy audit services can also help with minor repairs and replacements of light bulbs for a little or no fee. Check your state government’s website, or call your state or local government energy or weatherization office.
Every business uses tools and essential appliances and fixtures to operate, and most of them need energy to run. To reduce your business’s energy use and help it become more sustainable, choose appliances and electronics that are energy-efficient and water-efficient sink and restroom fixtures.
Commercial establishments need to be brightly lit for higher visibility, so they tend to use many light bulbs. Choose energy-efficient LED bulbs for your business to save on lighting energy costs.
Also, go for appliances, like microwaves, air conditioners, heaters, exhaust fans, computers, and peripheral devices, with high energy efficiency. Look for the electronics with the Energy Star label on it to ensure you get products that are certified energy-efficient.
For office pantries and restrooms, use low-flow faucets and water-efficient toilets (for restrooms only) for maximum water savings. Finally, implement policies and programs for employees to follow green practices and avoid waste of office resources.