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Sustainability has become an extremely important issue for the public in recent years, as climate change shifts from a stark warning to a burgeoning reality. As such, consumers are taking sustainability into account when it comes to spending their money – making it imperative for businesses to adopt sustainable initiatives, not just for the good of the planet but also for their bottom line. So, what can you do to make your business more sustainable? Here are three key ideas:
Ditch the Paper
While physical copies of documents are already a thing of the past for the vast majority of businesses across the country, there are still instances where paper is in use, and could be eradicated. Paper is a resource-intensive product, and its production and supply contribute greatly to carbon emissions – presenting a compelling reason to stop stocking it in your office. The increasing popularity of workplace communications solutions such as Teams and Slack, and cloud-based file-sharing, together mean it is easier than ever to store, keep track of and access documents, eliminating the need to place physical copies of contracts in front of executives.
Another key way to cut down on paper is in the accounting department; finding an alternative to physical payslips, for example. Most companies now use payroll software to distribute payslips to employees digitally – an inexpensive, sustainable and forward-thinking way to save your accounting department time, energy and carbon emissions.
Encourage Remote Working
The hybrid working model has been adopted almost across the board in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, as businesses strive to get the best of their employees; job adverts referencing the term “home-working” have increased threefold since before lockdowns began, while 85% of people working from home expressed an interest in straddling home and the office. By encouraging your team to work from home at least a few days out of the week, you reduce carbon emissions from employee transport, and potentially save energy in your office at the same time.
Sustainable Packaging and Supply
Sustainability is more than a cause and a mission statement for a company – it’s also now a selling point, with 66% of respondents to a recent survey suggesting they consider sustainability when they make a purchase of any kind. If your company sells a product, sourcing sustainable packaging solutions for that product should be a number one priority. Using biodegradable plastics, or all-cardboard packaging, is a must, enabling your customers to feel empowered in buying your product and cutting your CO2 emissions all the while.
If you don’t sell a product, you can still strive for sustainability in reviewing your relationship with key suppliers and businesses. For example, is your office’s energy green-sourced? Does your office’s maintenance company have a carbon-neutral scheme? Make sustainability a core requirement in any future contracts you sign, ensuring businesses with which you partner follow by your example when it comes to green initiatives.
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