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How to make your business more sustainable

September 9, 2018

Story: Ella Beaumont

What is business sustainability?

Business sustainability describes how businesses owners manage environmental, social and financial factors to make sure that their business is ethical and environmentally friendly. It can be a challenge to make a business environmentally friendly on a budget. However, we have a few ways which may help you to improve the sustainability of your business. Being sustainable is a huge trend at the minute, and being on trend is vital to remaining competitive in your market. But, how can you do it?

Paperless

Going paperless

We know, you’ve heard it all before from the banks. Go paperless, get your statements online. But they’ve got a point! By going paperless and keeping your records, stock takes, rotas etc online, you’re saving a lot of paper and a lot of trees. On top of that, working with a computer is so much quicker than with paper. You can pull up any file you need within seconds, and who doesn’t like to save time?

Recycle

We get it, sometimes you just have to print things off. But what you might not know is around 50% of a businesses’ waste is paper waste. That is a lot of trees! Try and save on this by recycling your paper. If it’s confidential waste, shred it and then recycle. If you’re a bar, why not swap your plastic straws for paper ones and then recycle them. Trust us on this, your environment-savvy customers will love it! 

Save energy

Reducing the amount of energy you use as a business will not only reduce your carbon footprint, but will save you money too. Simple things like turning off your lights at night, turning off coffee machines when they’re not in use, shutting down computers instead of putting them on standby. These might seem trivial, but they’ll save you money in the long run, whilst also saving the planet. What’s not to love?

Packaging

Packaging

We’ve got one word for you – PLASTIC. It’s David Attenborough’s enemy, and it’s ruining our planet. The amount of plastic we waste per year in the UK is around 5 million tonnes. With plastic taking up to 500 years to decompose, this is a bit of a problem. It’s easy to say you can’t change this figure on your own, but as a business you can make a huge difference. Think of it this way – if you change your plastic sandwich wrappers for paper bags, and you sell 30 sandwiches a day, that’s 30 less plastic bags floating in the sea. That’s just one day. Think of the number you can save in a year. Doesn’t seem so trivial now does it? Swap plastic disposable forks for wooden ones, plastic bags for paper, give a discount for customers brining reusable coffee cups instead of using the ones you provide. As Tesco say, every little helps.

In 2007 the BBC aired a special programme presented by Sir David Attenborough called “Climate Change – Britain Under Threat”, it included a weather forecast for a “typical summer’s day” in 2020, click here to see the image.