More and more small businesses are adopting ESG practices, and some new statistics are showing how they are transforming the world of work. ESG has become of paramount importance for companies of all sizes and industries. According to 2023 data, 79% of venture capital and private firms with equity backing, 88% of publicly traded companies, and 67% of privately owned firms had ESG activities in place.
77% of small and medium-sized businesses have included ESG in their mission statement. Almost 20% of SMEs are using SASB, GRI, or other ESG standards.
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Effective Strategies for Small Businesses to Go Green and Promote Sustainability
Here are six easy ways your small business can become environmentally friendlier.
1. Go for Green Hosting
A server supports all the content of your business site, and it consumes a lot of energy to operate. The volume of data requests to the server and the number of files on it is directly proportional to the amount of energy your website uses.
Ensure your server is powered via eco-friendly web hosting and that you or a professional you employ cleans the site of unnecessary code, files, and plugins regularly. This will reduce its impact on the environment greatly.
2. Light Tips
There are design factors to consider as well with respect to the website. Lighter colors require less energy than darker ones. White is the most intensive, and black consumes the least energy of all colors, being that it is technically the absence of color.
You can reduce your energy use by making the most of the natural light entering your office. Some businesses use up to 25,000 kWh of energy a year. Don’t block light with large equipment or furniture, and position desks near windows and doors with glass.
You can also use light colors on appliances and walls to reflect light. Invest in motion-sensitive lights for areas without any natural light. In summer, open doors and windows to cool the office premises instead of using air conditioning.
3. Partner with Eco-Friendly Firms
Using a green energy supplier is an easy decision for your business. More and more energy suppliers are using power from hydro, wind, solar, and other sustainable, renewable sources.
When possible, partner with eco-conscious companies. There are firms producing carbon-balanced printers, suppliers of sustainable raw materials, and eco-friendly office space designers. You can take steps to make sure your entire commercial network is environmentally friendly.
4. Get Rid of Paper
Conventional office spaces with paper-based systems are becoming a thing of the past. Such filing systems include shelves, folders, cabinets, etc. They are all resource-intensive and require a lot of maintenance.
Paperless offices, on the other hand, only have desks, chairs, computers, and digital equipment. All data is stored digitally.
Stop sending out paper invoices and bills. Online banking and app notifications have become part and parcel of everyday life. Considering giving your customers an opt-in for paper bills if they aren’t inclined to take up paperless billing – you might find they’re willing to go digital.
To become eco-friendlier, avoid using printing and paper whenever you can. Online ordering, PDF forms, and virtual sign-off are just some ways you can do without paper.
5. Reuse and Recycle
Encouraging reusing and recycling is crucial to any eco-friendly business. You can sell reusable, branded products like coffee mugs if you’re a retail business. If you’re office-based, make the necessary recycling bins available in designated locations.
Encourage your staff to use reusable packaging or organize initiatives to reduce food waste, like giving discounts on leftover cafeteria meals at the end of the business day. Some companies organize recycling initiatives for the community, such as serving as a drop-off point for package recycling.
6. Save Water
Last but not least, saving water is a critical step toward becoming an eco-friendlier business. You can get a dishwasher in the office kitchen and do all the dishes at the end of the day instead of people washing them by hand all day long.
One environmentally feasible practice you can implement involves using dual flush toilets in the bathrooms. They tend to use less water than regular toilets. Look into installing push taps to avoid wasting water.