Small Business Sustainability: Tips For Going Green

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It’s good to be green. And not just because it can save you money in your business (hello, rising energy costs). Small business sustainability can have real impacts on your bottom line. Consumers want brands to be environmentally conscious and they’re using their wallets to show it. 

The good news when going green is that small steps add up to big change. We share some easy-to-implement options that will help with your green efforts.

The Need For Green

Small businesses are agile and able to respond quickly to changing trends and emerging challenges. And with rising costs due to factors such as carbon pricing, energy-efficiency schemes and renewable standards, you’ve got that agility on your side. 

In recent times, a record number of companies have applied to become B Corp certified, demonstrating the increasing strides businesses are taking to cement their sustainability initiatives.

Ten years ago sustainability was a nice-to-have. Today, it’s a must-have.

This Is What Your Customers Want

The green push is also largely driven by consumer preferences. For 51% of Australian consumers, sustainability is a consideration in their retail purchasing decisions. An incredible 96% of consumers engage in sustainability practices themselves, showing the importance of it in their lives. 

With an increased global focus on the environment, small businesses that make a sustainable shift will have a clear advantage.

Small Business Sustainability Tips

Unfortunately, there isn’t a sustainability switch you can flick to go green. Start by assessing your environmental impact and identifying areas for improvement. Then you can set measurable goals to track your progress.

Here are some easy ways to go green:

  • Install energy-efficient lighting and switch to more efficient appliances.
  • Use recycled materials in your products and packaging.
  • Encourage staff to carpool or use public transport to reduce emissions from vehicles.
  • Turn off electronics and appliances when they’re not in use.
  • Compost food waste instead of sending it to a landfill.
  • Go paperless and cut down on printing. Recycle ink cartridges, use recycled paper in the printer and avoid colour printing, if possible. Using Smartpay for your payments? Turn off paper receipts to reduce paper waste. 
  • Use environmentally friendly cleaning products.  
  • Support environmentally friendly causes and communicate this to staff and customers.
  • Choose suppliers who are also doing their bit for sustainability.
  • Implement separate sorting bins for rubbish (recycling, coffee grounds/cups, food waste etc) and explore ways to get rid of this rubbish sustainably.

If you’re looking to make a bigger change, you could consider installing solar panels or switching to a green energy provider. This may cost you more upfront but can save you money in the longer term. Especially if the cost of electricity continues to climb.

Whatever changes you make, reassess them regularly so you can improve over time. There are always new initiatives on the horizon that you can capitalise on in your small business sustainability efforts.

Shout It From The Rooftops

Your customers want you to be sustainable. If you are, don’t keep it a secret. Use your environmental responsibility actions in your market to build credibility.

Every small step counts. Not only for the environment but also for your business’ bottom line. And there’s no better time to start than today.

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