With the Race to Zero underway, we’re helping small businesses to start and continue their journey to becoming sustainable businesses. You don’t have to go green overnight, but small steps are still progress. So, how can your business move towards reducing energy consumption and making changes in a sustainable way? Here are five areas of your business to consider.
This resource is intended to help you get started with sustainability in your business. For more in-depth resources and support on a range of topics, visit our sustainability hub.
1. Look at your property
We’re all familiar with the energy efficiency ratings of our homes, but if you operate in a premises, what about the energy efficiency of your building?
If you own your building, you may be able to access grants and funding to help offset the cost of these changes. If you’re a tenant, talk to your landlord and discuss whether there are any changes they would be willing to make.
2. Look at your processes
What can you do in your daily business activity to reduce your energy consumption? This is a crucial first step on the road to being a green business and can also save you money on your utility bills.
- Turn off lights, computers and equipment when not in use
- Turn down the heating
- Keep your equipment maintained and efficient
- Hold an online meeting to cut down on travel
Can you recycle your waste? Can anyone in your community reuse any waste from your processes as part of their own or as a way to raise money for charity?
3. Look at your suppliers
- Shop around and see if you can switch your energy provider to one with stronger green credentials.
- Source local and sustainable suppliers to cut down on the carbon footprint of your materials.
- Reduce unnecessary packaging (e.g. single-use plastics) and increase recycling of packaging (plastics, paper and glass).
4. Look at your deliveries
With many businesses branching out into deliveries during the pandemic, this is perhaps a new area of your business to evaluate and assess if it’s as sustainable as it can be.
- Can you make your deliveries in a more sustainable way by grouping multiple orders together or offering bulk deliveries?
- Could you purchase an electric vehicle (or even a bike) if your deliveries are mostly local?
- Can you choose courier and delivery services who have stated a commitment to reducing climate change or who practice carbon offsetting?
5. Look at your lifestyle
Running a business takes up a lot of time, but are there any changes you can make in your own lifestyle to set an example for your team? Here are some easy changes you could make:
- Try to use less in the first place and recycle plastics where possible in a Dry Mixed Recycling (DMR) bin
- Switch to reusable shopping bags and encourage your customers to do the same when they visit your shop
- Register with the cycle to work scheme and encourage employees to travel more sustainably
- Appoint someone in your business to champion sustainability, keep the momentum going and develop new skills
Ready to get started? Measure your carbon footprint to gain an understanding of how your actions impact this score and which areas you need to focus on.