Most small business owners want to have a positive impact on the lives of people. Entrepreneurs are enthusiastic about providing services and products that make a difference. That passion is one of the reasons, even tiny businesses manage to carve out a slice of huge markets that are dominated by multinationals.
Increasingly, small business owners are realizing how vital it is to be environmentally friendly. Often, it is a priority for them, and they know for sure that it will also be important for a significant percentage of their clients. Fortunately, there is a lot that a small business can do to help the planet while remaining profitable enough to thrive and grow.
Sell and promote eco-friendly products
Selling eco-friendly products is one of the biggest ways companies can have a positive impact. The more firms that promote them by for example using eco-friendly templates to push products the more aware consumers become of them. This boosts sales of those lines. As well as getting everyone thinking more about the environment. Plus, if you display those ads on screens rather than using posters and banners your store will be using less paper and toxic chemical inks.
Promoting green products, whenever possible, helps to make considering the impact on the planet in everything we do a habit, which, in time, becomes second nature. That contributes to the weight of consumer pressure that is pushing more firms to look for ways to produce green products.
Tell your suppliers that green credentials are a priority
Small business owners can exert even more influence on those companies who are still not taking green issues seriously. This can be done in gentle and subtle ways that lead others to willingly think more about the environment. Rather than making it feel like you are forcing them to do so. For example, in a sales meeting ask about their green credentials. Show them using your sales figures that your consumers prefer to buy environmentally friendly products. If you cannot buy from that supplier because they are not operating in a green way, tell them you would like them to get in touch again once they have improved their green credentials. Most firms will already be taking active steps to do this and the prospect of making more sales will encourage them to speed up that process.
Factor in the impact on the environment when working out costs
Any business owner, big or small, sits down and carefully assesses the cost of any changes. When you do this set-aside time to consider the environmental costs too. Once you get used to doing things that way, it does not take long. It is a highly effective way of keeping your environmental impact at the forefront. This guide explains how to do this and there is a fact sheet that you can also download and use to help you the first few times you do it.
Actively look for ways to do things differently
Blindly following the crowd is something humans are incredibly good at. We all tend to do things simply because everyone else is. That can be OK. But it is always worth pausing now and again and taking another look at what you are doing. When you do, often you will realize that there is a greener way to do things. Simple changes like letting more people work remotely can make a huge difference, over time.
Monitor your usage of everything
Reducing how much you use is the best way to help the planet. A lot of people and businesses make the mistake of only monitoring what they throw away or send for recycling. This helps, but if you do that really you are just closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.
Recycling is better than trashing something and letting it end up in landfill. But it still has an environmental impact. In the form of the transport to take it for recycling, the energy consumed while transforming it and the waste products that process produces. Whereas not using something in the first place has a 100% positive impact on the environment. So, monitor what you use and actively look for ways to use less or use products that are more environmentally friendly. Then, try to find ways to reuse things rather than automatically recycle them. This in-depth article lays out why that is so important, in a more comprehensive way than we have here.
If you want to learn more about running a greener business, this site will help. There you can find out about the latest technology, schemes, and approaches that are being developed to help all kinds of businesses reduce their carbon footprint.