Reduce Waste and Implement Sustainable Business Practices | Small Business Tips
There is so much emphasis on environmental consciousness and sustainability nowadays. Everyone is expected to play their part in saving the environment and reducing the impacts of human activities on the earth. Small businesses are not left out; customers expect them to adopt sustainable business practices, and the government expects them to abide by waste management and environmental protection guidelines.
In addition to being better for the environment, reducing waste in small businesses also reduces expenses. For instance, using custom sustainable mailer boxes for your products can reduce business costs due to lower disposal costs, lower demand for raw materials, and lower transportation costs.
In addition, adopting sustainable business practices can improve your reputation and attract customers who are conscious of environmental issues. According to Forbes, 68 percent of eco-friendly customers actively find businesses that reduce environmental impacts. Also, Surveymonkey reports that 1 in 3 consumers buy a product that is better for the environment than one at a lower price.
Implementing sustainable practices shows how much your business cares about the environment, and customers who value environmental consciousness would be convinced to patronize you. This article will list various ways to reduce business waste and implement sustainable practices.
Your Product Source Materials
It begins with you! The first step to making your business more eco-friendly is to adopt recyclable, renewable, or biodegradable materials in your production process. These materials do not have toxic or ozone-depleting materials, so they have minimal environmental impacts. Popular examples are cardboard, paper, bioplastics, and plant-based materials.
Verifying if your supplier considers environmental impacts in the production process is also important. If not, you can convince them to see the importance of sustainable practices and their potential benefits.
Adopt Eco-friendly Packaging
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that more than 23 percent of the materials going to landfills in the US are containers and packaging. Adopting custom sustainable packaging to change how you package your products can significantly reduce your brand’s pollution contribution.
For instance, you could use biodegradable packaging for your products. Biodegradable packaging refers to eco-friendly packaging that breaks down naturally and returns to the environment through the actions of microorganisms without leaving any toxins. Examples include compostable plastics and biodegradable, plant-based, and paper-based materials.
In addition, you could reduce your business contribution to the landfill by making your packaging attractive and functional. Doing this reduces the likelihood of your packaging ending up in a landfill by making it stylish, sturdy, and useful. If the packaging can be used for other things, your customers will likely keep it for something else rather than dispose of it in the bin.
Reduce Energy Usage
Reducing energy consumption can reduce the environmental impacts of your business. It reduces your carbon footprint and may help you to save money on energy costs. Some energy-intensive businesses, like restaurants, steel manufacturers and data centres may struggle to reduce their energy usage, but even these industries can do something to improve, as shown by sustainable data centre business entrepreneur Walt Coulston. Here are a few ways to reduce energy for sustainability practices in your businesses.
- Use energy-efficient equipment such as LED light bulbs, energy star certified appliances, and HVAC systems
- Install energy management systems that monitor and control energy usage in real-time
- Choose a space that gets plenty of natural light to save energy.
- Invest in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels.
- Conduct energy audits to identify areas of energy waste and implement energy-saving measures.
- Educate your workers on energy conservation practices
Perform a Waste Audit
A waste audit can be valuable in reducing your business waste. It involves identifying everything about your company that contributes to waste production, from the materials you use to the energy you consume to the consumables you stock and how you dispose of your waste.
By performing a waste audit, you can gain in-depth knowledge of your business waste contribution to the landfill and how you can reduce them. You will also learn how to make positive changes to reduce the impact of your business on the environment. Sustainable business practices also require eco-friendly solutions across your operations. Another way to make a huge impact is by regularly servicing the grease trap to prevent clogs and backups and promote environmental responsibility by preventing harmful substances from entering the wastewater system.
Educate Your Workers on Sustainability Practices
It may be difficult to convince your employers to join your efforts to reduce waste and implement sustainable practices if they don’t recognize its importance. This is why you should educate them. Educating them on sustainability and eco-consciousness can get them on board with your efforts.
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