ChicExecs Co-Founder and Co-President, Kailynn Bowling, shares how to bring sustainability into your business plan on Newsweek blog. Here is an excerpt from the piece.
You don’t have to be Coca-Cola or Procter & Gamble to make sustainability part of your corporate mission. It’s effective as long as you do your best, which means embracing small but meaningful changes to how you do business.
Sustainability doesn’t have to be annoying or expensive, either. Here’s how small businesses can easily bring sustainability into their existing model.
1. Go remote.
Fifty-eight percent of U.S. workers have the option to work remotely either full-time or part-time. Remote work can be a boon for employee retention, but it also has a great side effect: It’s eco-friendly!
You’re no longer requiring your employees to drive to work, which can slash commuting emissions. Of course, this won’t work for all jobs, but if you can offer remote work to certain team members, consider it. Even part-time remote work can reduce carbon emissions, so no effort is too small. And we’re willing to bet your employees will appreciate the change, too.
2. Reduce single-use items.
If you have an office or retail store, it’s a good idea to eliminate single-use items that will end up as landfill. Single-use items might cost a little less upfront, but switching to reusable options will help you save money in the long run, so this is a win for your pocketbook, too.
Consider easy replacements for single-use items like:
- Reusable paper towels.
- Refillable pens.
- Soap dispensers.
- DIY cleaners.
- Beeswax wraps.
- Metal straws.
- Ceramic mugs.
3. Buy used when possible.
Sometimes, you need to buy new equipment, but if you’re looking for tables, chairs, furniture and appliances for your storefront, try to buy used options first. This keeps items out of the landfill — plus, used goods are typically cheaper, anyway. It might take a little digging, but you can consult Craigslist, Buy Nothing groups and thrift shops to see what you can buy used locally.
4. Join a recycling program.
Does your city offer a recycling program? Make sure you sign up for it and encourage both employees and customers to participate. Some recycling programs will give you a discount on your trash bill for participating — and, frankly, recycling is the right thing to do. Just make sure you aren’t “wishcycling,”which can cost recycling centers a lot of time and money.
5. Opt for green packaging.
Most products have to come in packaging of some kind. If you have the power to do so, try to redesign your products’ packaging so it’s more sustainable.
6. Make your building more sustainable.
Whether you own your building or you’re leasing a retail space, there’s a lot you can do to maximize the efficiency of your storefront. If you want to be more sustainable (and save money on your utility bills), try these quick tips:
- Install low-flow toilets.
- Switch to LED lights.
- Install a smart thermostat.
- Tint the windows.
- Purchase Energy Star brand appliances.
7. Hire green vendors.
If you care about sustainability, try to surround yourself with people who care about it, too. That means opting for eco-friendly vendors who try to reduce their carbon footprint.
Read Kailynn’s entire blog here.