As a business owner, your list of priorities likely begins with growth. Ultimately, your goal is to grow your wealth through your enterprise, and help your customers in the process.

Although it is natural to prioritise profits, in this day and age business owners should also be thinking about the impact your company has on the planet. We are all aware that there is more to be done to tackle the climate crisis, and you too can play your part.

As Global Recycling Day approaches, now could be the perfect time to take eco-friendliness off the back burner. According to their website, recycling helps save 700 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year, but this is not the only way your business can contribute to a healthier planet.

Although there is no such thing as “eco-perfection”, progress is possible. So, here are five simple yet powerful changes to make your business eco-friendlier for Global Recycling Day.

1. Encourage a hybrid model of working

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many office workers were forced to set up camp at home for months on end. Although this initially may have felt restrictive, lots of people have continued to work in a “hybrid” model, choosing to work from the comfort of their homes for some of the week.

As a business owner, encouraging a hybrid or entirely remote model of working where possible could be a great way to help the planet.

By having fewer employees at HQ, you could reduce your consumption of:

  • Electricity
  • Gas, if the workspace is heated this way
  • Paper
  • Plastics.

The hybrid model could also help employees reduce their own carbon footprint. If your team members use less fuel by travelling to the office on only a couple of days each week, the overall eco-friendliness of both their personal lives and your business as a whole could be improved.

2. Eliminate single-use plastics

Single-use plastics have sadly become the norm in our society, yet they are hugely damaging to the planet. According to data published by SaveMoneyCutCarbon, a plastic bottle alone could take up to 450 years to decompose.

So, one simple rule to implement in your workplace could be to eliminate single-use plastics. You might wish to set a target to achieve this goal by a certain year, giving your team time to adjust.

This move could be a great way to make your business more environmentally friendly, and might encourage the team to be mindful about the food and drink they consume at work, too. 

3. Work with sustainable suppliers

Depending on the industry you work in, switching to sustainable suppliers could be an easy move that revolutionises the eco-friendliness of your business.

To start with, it could be constructive to have a conversation with your current suppliers about the environmental standards they hold. Subjects to cover can include:

  • The CO2 emissions they produce annually, compared with their competitors
  • How they work to protect the environment where they operate
  • The eco-friendly targets the supplier has set.

If your current supplier cannot commit to eco-friendly standards, it might be worth considering a change. 

Sourcing materials from suppliers that prioritise the planet could, in turn, improve the green credentials of your own business.

4. Incentivise your team to prioritise the environment

When implementing eco-friendly changes in the office, it is important to consider things from the point of view of your team.

For example, if you seek to eliminate single-use plastics, demanding your employees follow this rule without help or incentive might mean your plans are ineffective.

So, a little encouragement never goes amiss. Some tactics you could try are:

  • Providing company-branded reusable water bottles and coffee flasks for all employees
  • Implementing a cycle-to-work scheme
  • Creating friendly eco-centred contests, such as a recycling competition, with fun prizes.

By taking simple steps like these, your team could feel supported in their quest for eco-friendliness, and might feel positive about this challenge, rather than pressured. Not only could these incentives make your business greener, but they could also help the workforce bond over a common goal, too. 

5. Shout your eco-friendliness from the rooftops

Of course, the main reason to try and “greenify” your company is to reduce its impact on the planet.

Fortunately, there are other huge benefits to making your business more environmentally friendly. 

Indeed, research shows consumers are increasingly impressed by green credentials. A study published by Consultancy UK in January 2022 confirmed 36% of UK consumers are “often or always” choosing eco-friendly brands, and a further 44% regularly chose brands that use recycled or sustainable packaging.

So, once you have made these sustainable changes to your company, do not keep it to yourself. 

Using social media and advertising, you can shout about your environmental credentials from the rooftops, and may attract a swathe of new customers when you do.

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Please note

This article is for information only. Please do not act based on anything you might read in this article. All contents are based on our understanding of HMRC legislation, which is subject to change.