9 Actionable Tips for How to Be an Eco-Friendly Business
We see the headlines every day and hear all about it from friends on social media and at work—environmental awareness is on the rise. Considering the outlook for trends like pollution and climate change, that’s definitely a good thing.
But awareness can only go so far, and at some point, we need to take a more practical approach. If you run a business or you’re an ambitious employee, there are several things you can do to make meaningful improvements at work.
Let’s talk about nine actionable tips for being a more eco-friendly business and explain how our team at JuneShine stays ahead of the curve for sustainability and leadership.
Why Focus On Eco-Friendly Practices?
Before you spring into action with eco-friendly efforts, figure out why these things matter to you and your business.
You don’t have to look far for evidence that humans have negatively impacted the environment, especially as cities become more crowded and resources wear thin.
Rather than shrugging at the harsh realities of the environment and industry, take matters into your own hands and make a concerted effort for the benefit of current and future generations.
Carbon footprints, energy efficiency, recycling profiles—whichever metrics matter most to you, that’s where you should focus. Instead of trying to do everything at once, it’s far more effective to take practical action with these tips.
Build Customer Trust
Today’s customers know the score when it comes to sustainability. We’re all more informed thanks to social media and a heightened awareness of issues like climate change.
To connect with customers on a more authentic level and ethically earn their business, prioritize sustainability goals and share your efforts with the public via marketing and media.
Just remember that businesses need to follow through on these actions instead of just talking about them. Otherwise, the trust will be broken faster than it took to build.
Set an Example
When your business commits to becoming more eco-friendly, you set a strong example for other members of the community and your industry to follow suit.
We see it as a form of friendly competition—always trying to outdo one another in terms of efficiency and effort, all while hitting sustainability goals along the way.
Start by addressing the big-picture sustainability factors that make the most difference for the environmental impact of your business.
1. Resource and Supply Chain Awareness
The majority of modern businesses rely heavily on complex supply chains, which are required to manufacture products, ship goods to customers, and power all the processes that take place in the office and beyond.
Unless you’re already 100% local in every aspect of your business, gear your eco-friendly efforts towards improving supply chains by minimizing wasteful shipping and manufacturing needs.
The not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) approach is no longer viable because major pollution and waste affect all of us.
2. Reduce and Recycle at the Office
Many companies are wasteful with their resources and chalk it up as a side-effect of doing business.
One way to address waste is to cut down on the resources you need to keep things running, whether that’s paper, printer ink, envelopes, marketing materials, or anything else that takes up physical space. There’s bound to be some aspect of your business that you can further digitize to cut down on paper, folders, or documents.
Scan your business operations from top to bottom and see how you can reduce or reuse the items you do need. Make sure your employees know precisely what they’re meant to do, too.
3. Move Towards Eco-Friendly Supplies
We’re talking about everything from pen and paper products to the supplies in the kitchen, common area, and restrooms—there’s always an eco-friendly version. Even if you run a business with less than a dozen people, these things add up quickly, so it’s worth investing in a better way.
Learn about the impact of different products and see which ones make the most significant difference for carbon output, water consumption, gas consumption, and plastic waste.
Once you know the truth about these commonplace products, it’s easier to make the switch to sustainable goods and stick to them.
We’re partnered with Climate Neutral, which has allowed us to be completely carbon neutral—it’s a worthwhile goal to strive towards.
4. Connect with Conscious Business Partners
If your company is fully committed to sustainability, your business partners should hold up their end of the bargain, too.
This goes beyond supply chains—look at the full spectrum of partnerships you use for your business, including outsourced teams, contractors, and even web-hosting and servers.
Your sustainability goals should be wide-reaching, and this means raising the bar for all the partners you work with to make your business happen.
For us, that means we don’t use any artificial colorings, corn syrup, or pesticides, and definitely no GMOs when we’re brewing our booch. That means our products are way better for you and the environment—plus they’re just plain better tasting.
Improve Energy Efficiency
Energy is limited, so be cautious with how much your business uses. Here are a few energy-efficient action tips you can start applying right now.
5. Perform an Energy Audit
Figure out the total amount your business spends on energy each month, pinpoint the main sources of energy, and commit to lowering those numbers incrementally moving forward.
A complete energy audit will account for heating, air conditioning, all appliances and computers, lightbulbs, TVs, and any other extras you might have in your office.
You can do a quick walk-around for a preliminary audit, but the most effective audits are done by professionals who will give you a comprehensive look at your energy use.
6. Configure and Consolidate Equipment
You might not need so many desktop computers, printers, or extra monitors in your office. Cutting down on the number of appliances plugged into the wall at all times can be a major help.
Some electronics even have eco-friendly settings that reduce the amount of energy they use each day. These daily amounts don’t seem like much, but they add up in the long run—you can make meaningful progress in just a day or two if you put in the effort.
7. Adapt to Your Environment
If you’ve got natural sunlight shining through the window, you may not need those fluorescents blazing 24/7. If the weather is slightly too hot or too cold, you don’t need to be Goldilocks with the thermostat, either.
The point is that you should use the natural environment to your advantage rather than burning through resources to achieve the “perfect” ecosystem for your and your team.
Unless you’re in the heat of the desert or a frigid arctic tundra, make the most of what the earth offers. It’s healthier for the planet and makes for a more relaxed workday, too.
Extra Employee Efforts
Employees can make or break an eco-friendly initiative, so get them on board with whatever sustainability goals you set for the business.
8. Team-Based Challenges
Tap into the competitive spirit by setting up a contest among employees related to eco-friendly metrics. Make a game out of who can use the least amount of energy while maintaining productivity or help spearhead the most efforts to recycle in the office.
These challenges don’t have to be serious or high-stakes, but they’re a great way to bring people together while pushing forward on sustainability—and have some fun in the process.
9. Smart Transport & Telecommuting
Consider how employees are getting to and from work each day, and decide if there’s a better way to commute than by car or SUV.
If you can incentivize employees to take public transport, carpool, or telecommute, that’s a major improvement, especially if you’ve got a larger workforce based in a major city.
Embrace Eco-Friendly Business Practices
At JuneShine, we’re focused on better ingredients and supply chains for our customers and the planet, and we donate one percent of all sales to 1% for the Planet to support environmental nonprofits—so far, so good. And while you might not be sipping hard kombucha in the office, we’re still here to help with some earth-focused tips to improve your business.
Whether you’re a CEO or an employee, you can help your business adopt these eco-friendly practices because there’s always room to improve.
Reasons It’s Hard to Become Sustainable | PBS
20 Simple Steps to Make Your Business Sustainable | You Matter