Greening Your Business – The environment is something that’s of special concern to governments, businesses and consumers. This has resulted, among other things, in a surge in demand for sustainable products and services. Any business that is able to provide these things will, in this marketplace, find itself at a significant advantage.

More broadly, if a business is seen to be acting in a responsible way, and safeguarding the natural world rather than exploiting it, then the reputational benefits may be significant.

So, what steps might we take to make a business greener? There are a few particular areas of concern worth looking at.

Conducting a Green Audit

Not all businesses are built alike. If you want to know the steps that will help to reduce the environmental impact of your business, it makes sense to take a close look at it. In doing this, you’ll identify areas of weakness, and opportunities for improvement. Following this, you’ll prioritize the opportunities that yield the greatest reward for the smallest investment. This is an environmental audit.

During your audit, you should develop a checklist to run through. The contents of this list will depend on the shape of your business. Your fuel consumption, supply chain, and the energy performance of your premises will all matter.

Sustainable Supply Chain Management

If your supply chain is not green, then your business is not green. Make special efforts to source eco-friendly materials and products. Timber should be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, for example.

When you do identify an ethical supplier, you should work to deepen your relationships with them. This way, you’ll be able to communicate how your supply chain works, and impress your green credentials on the wider public.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency, clearly, is something that matters a great deal. Make sure that the entire business is committed to identifying and eliminating wasted energy. You might install insulation on the roof of your premises, or you might simply implement a policy advocating that everyone turn the lights off before leaving. A combination of small and large measures can collectively help to drive down the overall impact of your operations.

You might also think about investing in on-site energy generation. Heat pumps, wind turbines, and solar panels might all make a difference.

Waste Reduction and Recycling

The way that your business disposes of its waste will matter, too. By implementing a recycling program, and educating your workers about how to get the best from it, you could substantially reduce the amount you send to landfill.

It’s worth bearing in mind the limits of recycling, however. By reusing certain items, and reducing your consumption of others, you can achieve still more impressive results.

Eco-Friendly Office Practices

In an office environment, there are a number of smaller measures we might take. You might invest in furniture that’s made using sustainable materials, like bamboo. You might also seek to minimize your use of paper, avoiding the use of it for internal memos. Finally, you might look to buy second-hand computers, and look for the most energy-efficient available equipment when replacements become absolutely necessary.