Are you a small business? That’s great!
SMEs account for 99.9% of the business population (5.5 million businesses). SMEs account for three-fifths of the employment and around half of the turnover in the UK private sector according to FSB.org
With Earth Day just around the corner, it’s a fantastic time to take simple steps to make your small business more sustainable. It can be easy, cost next to nothing, and also drive employee engagement. Every journey starts with small steps, and business sustainability is absolutely a journey.
Enterprise businesses take climate action by setting net-zero targets, committing to factual targets and calculating their carbon emissions. For small businesses, these are goals to aspire to or mimick. But every small business can begin to incorporate sustainability and climate action into their own work culture. Here are some ideas:
Want to reduce carbon emissions? Cut back on commuting
Commuting and transportation are responsible for 25% of carbon emissions in the UK, so offering flexible working weeks, remote days, etc is a great way to provide benefits for your employees and make a start on your sustainable journey!
We have seen larger companies incentivize carpooling, public transport, and cycling to work with prizes at the end of each quarter, a great way to break habits and make a difference.
Reducing electricity can make a big impact on becoming more sustainable. Electricity used to heat and cool workspaces is typically one of the biggest ‘energy vampires’. Ways of reducing electricity are to turn off the power source for any electrical appliances in the office, even if it’s on ‘standby’. Examples include monitors, charging points, lights etc. A great way to do start this is to take note of what appliance you have in the office and can be turned off.
Treat water like the valuable resource it is! Only 3% of the worlds water is fresh water, whilst larger companies are repurposing grey water, this is not an option for most companies on their sustainability journey. However it can be as easy as popping up signs by sinks & taps! Water conservation is important!
Reduce single-use items
Here are some ways a business can reduce their plastic usage at work:
– Use reusable water bottles and coffee mugs for work instead of disposable cups and straws.
– Bring your own lunch with reusable containers or use takeaway options that offer compostable containers or recyclable materials.
– Bring your own reusable tote bags to the store instead of using the ones provided by the cashier.
– Opt for paperless billing and statements whenever possible!
There is no such thing as a perfect company and it is impossible to do everything just right, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continuously try. The most important conclusion is that sustainable work practices are win-win.It would also be a good idea to make sure that employees know how to use sustainable practices in their everyday lives and how these can contribute positively to the environment.