Making Your Business Eco-Friendly
Have you seen the new Netflix & Sir David Attenborough documentary, A Life On Our Planet? We have, and if you haven’t we heartily recommend it. The documentary looks at how human activity has changed the world over the course of Attenborough’s life. It shows how rainforests, coral reefs, and other habitats have been lost. And it predicts that things will only get worse – for both animals and humans – if nothing is done.
But the documentary actually ends on a hopeful note. It’s not too late to do something. We can “re-wild” the world, restoring rainforests and fish populations, reducing then halting global warming. The end of the film talks about people and businesses needing to go green, and that’s what we want to talk about today.
We’re fortunate in that we’re already a planet-first business, but we want to help others get there too. So, what steps can businesses take to get greener? Let’s take a look:
All businesses bank, and some banks are more eco-friendly than others. Many of the high street banks actively invest in fossil fuels, so a quick win – depending on the complexity of your business – is to move your banking somewhere that invests in renewable alternatives instead.
You might want to consider:
- Triodos Bank
- Ecology Building Society
- The Co-Operative Bank
- Starling Bank
Switch Energy Providers
As with banking, this is low-hanging fruit. While many energy providers are slowly coming around to the idea of renewable energy, a few are ahead of the curve.
We switched last year to using Clear Business, ensuring that 100% of the electricity we use comes from renewable resources. This was again quick and easy, and the pricing is competitive as well. Win-win.
Choose Your Suppliers & Partners Carefully
As with banks and energy providers, some of your suppliers will be more green than others. We recommend that you make how eco-friendly a supplier is part of the selection process. Through careful selection, you can cultivate an entirely green supply chain.
But how do you know if a company is eco-friendly before engaging with them? Things to look out for include environmental certifications, eco statements and environmental policies, and whether they run any of their own green initiatives. Try asking if it’s still unclear. If they’re evasive, that’s a bad sign.
If you’re already reliant upon suppliers with a poor green track record, consider having a conversation with them about it. It could be that they’re open to making their business more eco-friendly but aren’t sure how. If not, well, there are plenty of other fish in the sea.*
*and going green will help fish populations grow, so… you know. Do it.
Environmental Initiatives & Donations
To make your business a force for environmental change, consider running your own environmental initiatives. These go above and beyond switching to eco providers, and mean you’ll be generating something positive to put back into the world.
Here are a few examples:
- You could commit to donating a certain percentage of profits to environmental causes.
- Or donate to environmental charities for every project you complete.
- Or sponsor the adoption of an orangutan for every employee in your company.
The key takeaways from the David Attenborough film were to re-wild the environment and protect habitats, and you can do that through tree planting and animal adoption sponsorship.
While all of the changes discussed so far have been admin or top-down changes, you can also make changes at an employee level.
Joining cycle-to-work schemes can reduce the number of cars commuting to and from your offices each day. If you employ a lot of people from the same area, consider organising a bus service. Make recycling bins available throughout your offices to reduce the hassle for employees. You can even partner with local restaurants to provide lunches or snacks and cut down on the amount of single-use plastic your employees get through. Or provide them with metal water bottles to cut down on the number of plastic ones used.
Some of these initiatives will require you to pay a bit, but it’s well worth it, and your employees will likely thank you for it.
Finally, there are a bunch of small changes you can make around the office to be more eco-friendly.
- Set lights to turn off automatically if no movement is detected after a certain period of time.
- Buy loo-roll and kitchen towel made from recycled paper.
- Make sure your thermostats aren’t heating the office when no-one’s there to benefit.
- Make sure computers and other equipment aren’t left on overnight.
There’s all sorts you can do, and we’re always keen to hear about new ways to give back to the planet. If you’ve got an idea we haven’t mentioned, please get in touch.