Starting a business in this day and age requires you to make a conscious effort to save the planet and be eco-friendly. There are too many people who are only willing to pay for a product or service if they know it’s not killing any turtles or going to pollute the air more than it needs to.
In other words, you need to make some green investments in your small business so that it’s eco-friendly and a favourable choice among customers. As well as favourable for the environment, of course.
Consider your business funding and the following ways in which you can invest those finances into green practices for your small business. Otherwise, you’ll need to look into small business finance available in South Africa that can assist in your business’ green venture.
And don’t feel like you don’t need to directly provide a product or service that helps the environment. A great difference can be made by simply changing the processes, suppliers and business operations to something more sustainable. And that is achievable for every small business.
Start a carpool service
Vehicles are a large contributor to air pollution and the loss of natural fossil fuel resources. For that reason, a great green movement for your business to invest in would be a carpool service. Find a carpool company that can lift your employees to and from work every day or encourage your employees to start a carpool amongst themselves.
The fewer cars there are on the road, the better it is for the environment, traffic congestion and the daily parking situation. As a small business, starting a carpool service shouldn’t be too costly if there are only a few employees and divided areas. It should definitely be something you consider and ask your employees to take part in.
Alternatively, as the business owner, you could implement a telecommuting schedule that will allow your employees to work from home on a temporary or permanent basis. Obviously, this will depend on the type of work your company does and what can be achieved through remote working. But by scaling down the hours needed within the office, you’ll still be reducing the number of cars on the road.
Plus, by giving your employees the flexibility to work from home, you’ll increase employee morale and satisfaction.
Stop single-use convenience
The current topic of environmental conservation is the use of convenient single-use plastic items. These create so much waste for mere seconds of convenience before they are discarded, “recycled” and supposedly taken care of.
First of all, you need to be 100 percent sure that you have a recycling bin in the office and that those bags are taken to be recycled. Then, you need to stop buying into single-use convenience. And that includes stocking up on those coffee pods for your coffee machine. Instant coffee tins last longer, can be reused and refilled. Also, it’s more affordable.
And if you must have a fancy coffee machine, buy one that uses ground coffee instead of plastic pods. Either way, you should offer tea and coffee to your employees in the office. It will prevent them from needing to buy takeaway drinks in plastic cups, paper cups with plastic lids or straws.
You should also encourage your employees to bring glass water bottles from home that they can use to fill up from the office water cooler. This is an alternative to buying single-use, plastic, water bottles.
Source all things green
If there are materials you require in your business to manufacture or carry out business operations, you need to find green suppliers. This “green procurement” needs to include sustainable items (created sustainably), zero toxic items and recyclable and renewable materials.
Associating your business with fellow eco-friendly businesses will also improve your reputation as a conservational company and show others that you care about the environment.
Use digital technology
Where you will likely need the aid of funding for your business’ green efforts is when you make your company digital in order to be paperless. There is a variety of software and technology that will allow you to operate your small business completely online and without the need for any paper trails. The initial installation and transition cost might seem expensive but, in the long run, it’s a more affordable, convenient and eco-friendly option that you’d wish you’d implemented years ago.
Making green investments towards your business’ eco-friendliness is exactly that – an investment. It might cost you initially to set up a carpool service, replace single-use kitchen equipment and bring your business online, but it will see a return on investment (ROI) in more ways than just money saved. Your small business will be making its grand contribution to a greener planet.