In 2024, there is an increasing need for all forms of business, regardless of their scope of operations or industry sector, to become more eco-friendly. Put simply, the world is on the brink of a climate emergency. The release of CO2 and other greenhouse gases by civilization since the Industrial Revolution has increased global average temperatures.
This is making extreme weather events such as forest fires, droughts, and flooding more commonplace, and if no meaningful action is taken, the planet may become inhospitable to future generations.
All companies should be looking at ways to limit any adverse operational impacts on the wider environment so that the effects of climate change can be minimized. This article will explore two key ways in which many types of small businesses can become more eco-friendly.
Use shipping services to deliver your products
Your business will likely produce a range of goods that need to be delivered to the end consumer. Depending on the size and weight of these products, a range of shipping options may be available. Smaller items can be delivered effectively via traditional postal services. However, larger and more bulky items may need to be sent by other firms to remain cost-effective. Companies can improve the eco-credentials of their delivery networks by choosing shipping or courier firms that rely more on land-based transport (rather than air freight, which produces higher levels of emissions per journey) and who make multiple deliveries along their route.
Choosing a shipping firm such as Shiply is ideal, as these types of firms will commonly load larger vehicles to capacity and make multiple deliveries on their route. This means that the level of CO2 emissions per product shipped can be kept as low as possible as wasteful journeys are minimized. In short, it makes sense from an environmental perspective to ship goods through established land-based carriers who routinely carry capacity loads serving multiple companies and individuals.
Eradicate waste from your processes.
Every small business owner should be looking at ways to reduce waste across all business processes. This can be as simple as choosing suppliers that use recycled packaging (which can then be reused, reducing the need to create new packaging materials) or adopting recycling initiatives in the workplace. In addition, if you have a corporate building or office premises, moving to a completely paperless way of working can be ideal. The paperless office concept has been discussed since computers became common in the workplace. However, even today, many firms still rely on printing documents at volume on large corporate printers.
The average office worker is estimated to use 10,000 sheets of paper per year, increasing the demand for pulp and resulting in the unnecessary felling of trees. Today, there is sufficient technology in the workplace to support a fully paperless office regime. Staff can be issued with tablets to store and retrieve documents, thus eradicating the need to print physical copies. This small step can be a vital way to reduce waste in the workplace and will help any business to boost its environmental credentials. Companies should appoint sustainability champions from their workforce to spearhead a range of such initiatives that will reduce wasteful processes. In addition, managers and leaders should regularly consult with the workforce to find unique ways to continue acting against wasteful business processes.
Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!