In the modern world, it's becoming increasingly important for businesses to adopt sustainable practices. It is a great way to lower the environmental footprint, but it will cut down energy costs, attract new customers and boost employee satisfaction.




Below, find eight simple ways to create a more sustainable future for your business.

Rethink your packaging

If you send items to customers, then it's important to reconsider your packaging methods. Can you swap plastic for biodegradable bubble wrap and recycled cardboard? Not only will this reduce your carbon footprint, but it will also show clients that you are a responsible business and will hopefully encourage them to continue working with you. It may even attract new clientele.

Don't just stop there. Take the time to look at your supply chain to see where you can make changes. Although an expensive task, sourcing products from responsible and sustainable suppliers will prove a long-term investment that will help you to outperform your competitors.

Reduce wastage

Cutting back on paper and plastic in the workplace can prove tricky, but you can still make small sustainable changes. For example, it's important to encourage staff members to save, sign and share files through digital means such as the cloud, Docusign and Google Drive. If you need to print something, use recycled paper where possible and always print double-sided.

Don't overlook other areas of the office too. If there is a kitchen, then replace plastic cutlery and single-use cups with dinnerware and mugs that can be reused. In regards to the bathrooms, swap paper towels for hand dryers if possible. Biodegradable cleaning products can also be used throughout office bathrooms and kitchens.

Recycle paper, technology and ink cartridges

Every office should have recycling bins for organic waste, soft plastic and glass. But often, businesses overlook the importance of recycling technology, whether that's computer parts, cables or mobile phones. There are free recycling services available in Australia for computers and accessories that are worth checking out.

Ink cartridges can also be recycled after use. A non-profit program is known for its collection of used printer cartridges from registered businesses across Australia.

Electricity

Make sure to switch off electric goods, such as lights, printers, computers and air conditioning, when not in use. Some electrical goods may need to be unplugged completely to avoid 'phantom power' whereby energy drains even if the device is turned off.

It's also a good idea to ask staff members to put their computer monitor into hibernation mode if they are leaving the office for a short while to cut back on energy output.

In addition, consider switching to a cheap electricity provider when planning to cut down on unnecessary cost, and build a sustainable future for your business.

Outsource talent

Instead of hiring new staff members, outsource contractors. Digital meetings can be organised where necessary instead. This will significantly reduce energy usage and means you will not need to expand the workspace to accommodate others.

Cut back on travel

Whether it's a business trip to Melbourne or a conference in Perth, ask yourself if communication can be made over Skype or Zoom instead. Not only will this reduce your carbon footprint, but you'll also save money on flights, rental cars and accommodation too.

Work from home

Introducing a flexible work environment will help your business to become more sustainable. If staff members can work from home, they won't need to commute to work, and the business can reduce energy usage, which will also cut back on utility bills.

Make it fun

Stay educated. Partner with local businesses to share ideas or invite environmental organisations to hold a presentation to spread the importance of everyone doing their bit in the workplace. Celebrate your wins on social media and LinkedIn to show customers how serious you are about reducing your environmental footprint.

You need to make sure your team is on board too. Turn going green into a competition with quarterly prizes for the department, which decreases their environmental footprint the most through recycling and conscious energy usage.

The above changes are just a few ways in which businesses can create an environmental future. They will help reduce carbon footprint and save money, cut down energy usage, and hopefully secure long-term relationships with customers in the long run.