Sustainability has become a very important part of every company’s strategy and making your business more sustainable can help you not only to reduce your impact on the environment but also to attract more customers. If you are not sure where to start in terms of making your company more sustainable, here are some tips that will apply to a wide variety of business sectors.
Look into your local recycling practices
Curbside recycling is thankfully evolving to include more and more types of materials, especially different kinds of plastic. Hyndburn Council in East Lancashire, for example, recently started collecting soft plastic with their mixed recycling, which previously only included hard plastic containers as well as glass and aluminum. It’s worth checking, therefore, what can and cannot be recycled in your area, as you might find out that you can recycle a lot more than when you first started your business.
Use a sustainable energy provider
Using electricity generated by renewable sources is no longer the exclusive domain of those who can afford to install their own solar panels (good news for those of us who live in cloudy areas, which is most of the country!). These days, it is perfectly possible for both households and businesses to run wholly on renewable energy provided by their electricity supplier. To find the best deal for your specific business needs, use an electricity procurement company, which will help you navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of energy tariffs.
Look into anaerobic digestion
If you run a business that produces a large amount of food waste, such as a restaurant or a food manufacturer, you should seriously consider having your food waste collected by a company that provides anaerobic digestion. Though it may sound like a process that happens in the human body, anaerobic digestion is actually a method for turning food waste into a source of both electricity and heat. At the end of the process, the remaining matter is turned into a biofertilizer. According to Biogen, a company that collects food and garden waste from almost anywhere in the UK and uses anaerobic digestion and composting, every tonne of food waste recycled through anaerobic digestion prevents between half a tonne and a tonne of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
Form partnerships with other businesses
Depending on what your company produces, you may be able to find local businesses which are able to give your waste products a new lease of life. For example, if you run a bike shop, you could give your old, broken tires and inner tubes to a company that will make jewellery, bags, wallets, and belts out of them.
Repair before you replace
When your tools break, it can be very tempting to simply replace them. However, doing so puts a considerable strain on the environment both in terms of the materials used to manufacture the products and in terms of the transport needed to get them to you. If you have the ability to, consider repairing your tools where possible – you can use your local hackerspace to access the necessary machinery.