Here are 10 top tips for you:
Marketing: being sustainable can open new markets for your products and services. Demonstrate your credentials by adopting an Environmental Management System such as ISO14001. Tell your customers and highlight it in your publicity
New or re-branded products: redesigning established goods and introducing greener ones can make a big difference to your range. A product made from sustainably sourced materials or with a small carbon footprint will access new markets!
Resource efficiency: whatever your business, reviewing your processes and procedures will almost certainly identify savings – even if it’s just reducing paper use or packaging or segregating your waste streams so that less goes to landfill.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: could the stuff you are throwing away be used elsewhere in your processes or by someone else? Landfill tax is £48 per tonne and rising: that’s a lot of money to throw in the ground! Visit Edinburgh charity Changeworks for more information.
Supply chain: you may be “sustainable”, but are your suppliers? Ask them to complete a simple checklist which will tell you how green they are. If you’re not satisfied, move on: shopping around may result in lower costs as well as greener inputs.
Cutting energy use: you might save 10% by switching off unused lights and equipment, adjusting heating timers or lowering thermostats a degree or two. Replace obsolete equipment with“A rated”. Energy efficiency investments typically pay back in 1-3 years, and grants and soft loans reduce the costs and payback time further.
Use sustainable energy products: When cost and usability allow, use products and technologyies that promote the use of renewable energy. One such company pushing for the use of solar powered security, is Edinburgh based IFire Uk Ltd.
Travel and communications: is that business trip really necessary? Choose to teleconference and see your travel bills sink. When your people must travel, ask them to use public transport or car-share. If you own your transport, maintain it!
Adaptability: is your business adaptable and resilient to climate change? Can you operate if roads flood or power is cut? Could your staff work from home? Are your documents (or backups) stored safely? Planning for emergencies can save disruption and expense.
Insurance: your insurer will almost certainly lower your premium when he sees you are operating sustainably and have taken steps to protect your business against the risks of climate change.
Environmental Management Policy: fundamental to structuring your business for efficiency and profit in this era of austerity and climate change. From it flow your Environmental Management System and procedures, checks and records which prove that yours is a sustainable business.