Small businesses have a greater impact on the environment than you might imagine.
Sustainability is an increasingly important aspect for businesses of any size to consider as the environmentally led decisions owners make can be a deciding factor for consumers.
Consumer wallets are becoming increasingly green with 1 in 3 consumers stating they’d prefer eco-friendly product options in a survey. Over 35% of these respondents revealed they would buy an environmentally friendly product over a cheaper option .
Not only will adopting sustainable practices in your business benefit our planet, the figures show eco-consciousness is key to staying competitive in the market.
Take a look at some of these unexpected ways you could make your business more sustainable:
1. Eliminate the work phone
Smartphones are small devices with a surprisingly mighty impact on the environment.
Its life cycle impacts the environment greatly – with 80% of the carbon footprint coming from the manufacturing process . Greenhouse emissions from smartphone manufacturing are forecasted to be 146 million tonnes of CO2 in 2022 .
62.3 million people in the UK used smartphones  and approximately 32.7 million people in the UK were employed  in 2021. Potentially 32.7 working adults use a second phone at work meaning doubled impact of using smartphones on the environment.
Eliminating the use of a “work phone” can reduce the environmental impact your business has. A sustainable alternative to consider is Devyce.
The innovative VoIP service provides your employees with a second work phone number on their phone with a great do not disturb feature that enables seamless transition between work and personal life. It also includes a team management portal allowing business owners to keep track of employees’ calls.
Getting Devyce for your business is not only sustainable but also a cost effective measure!
2. Sustainable storage
Storage of products is an often overlooked aspect of small business sustainability.
Some storage considerations for your business are:
- Ensure electrical appliances eg. freezers, have green energy ratings
- Opt for eco-friendly facilities eg. warehouses making use of solar panels
- Reducing usage of pollutive plastic containers
- Track inventory and reduce your storage need ie. consider donating or recycling items you no longer use
3. Limit paper usage
It’s a common misconception that paper doesn’t negatively impact the environment due to its biodegradable nature. In fact, paper can remain legible and intact for decades with 75% of our paper entering waste streams .
The average UK employee uses up to 10000 sheets of paper in the workplace each year – most people in the UK use up to 4.5 trees worth of paper each year. That’s a whole lot of trees!
- Digitising processes where possible (also reduces your storage space!)
- Using sustainably sourced recycled paper
- Repurposing paper waste
- Offsetting environmental impact through charity programs eg. replant trees
4. Switch to green web hosting services
Believe it or not, running a website also impacts the environment. The servers hosting your website and data centers are constantly running, using vast amounts of energy.
Some things to consider to decrease the environmental impact of your website:
- Opt for host platforms using renewable energy sources
- Offset your internet carbon footprint through sustainability schemes
5. Make your physical spaces greener
Whether you have an office or physical stores, there are many measures you can take to be more eco-friendly:
- Choose spaces with plenty of natural lighting to reduce energy usage
- Reduce single-use items eg. paper coffee cups
- Improve air quality by bringing plants into your spaces
- Switch to LED lighting
- Limit cooling/heating of the space
- Encourage composting of waste
- Use green cleaning products/services
- Incentivise eco-friendly commuting from staff
Making even a few of these changes to your small business can have a great impact on helping your business grow towards a more sustainable future.
Which of these changes will you be making for your small business? Head to our socials to share your business’ sustainability journey!