As a business owner you are likely to have your eyes on many different aspects of your business at once. From the marketing, to the social media strategy, and from the way your store or website looks to the staff you employ, there are many threads that need to be managed and managed well if a small or medium sized business wants to be a success.
Any owner of a small or medium sized business will know that current market trends are heading in several well defined directions. For example, social media and online shopping are becoming more important than ever before, and customers are increasingly looking for personalised experiences with the brands they choose to shop with.
Another trend in the way your customers shop is a growing preference for brands that are eco-friendly, sustainable, and socially responsible. Brands that are able to meet these expectations are much more likely to hit the right notes with a modern, engaged audience that expects more from the retail sector.
Larger businesses have long been working towards making their brands more sustainable, though unfortunately a lot of this can be seen as ‘greenwashing’. If you are unfamiliar with the term then it is actually pretty simple to understand. If a company is engaging in greenwashing then they are presenting themselves as a company that is invested in being environmentally friendly and is doing good for the environment, when in reality they are not.
Greenwashing can be tricky to spot but once it has been noticed that a company is engaging in this practice then they can expect to lose a lot of credibility and even revenue as a result. If you are dedicated as a small business to becoming more environmentally friendly and sustainable then it is in your best interests to do it in an honest and transparent manner.
Rethink your packaging
One of the simplest ways to make your small or medium business more sustainable and eco friendly is to have a good think about the packaging you use. Whether we know it or not, packaging is an essential part of your business offering and is a consumable that gets used up very quickly. These days we better understand the effects of single use packaging on the world around us and are better placed to do something to mitigate it.
Single use plastic packaging has been rightly demonised in recent years, and though it has its place in some sectors there are many excellent alternatives that can be used instead such as printed boxes made from recycled and responsibly sourced materials. If you can, try to work with a packaging company to come up with smart solutions that satisfy your customers while making a positive impact on the environment and your business.
Waste from commercial sources is one of the biggest challenges being faced by waste management companies in the UK and it poses a significant risk to the environment. Even the responsible disposal, recycling or repurposing of waste comes with an environmental cost. Rather than looking for ways to make your waste easier to manage, it is actually far better to look for ways to reduce the amount of waste your company produces in total.
To do this properly you will need to assess the sources of waste within your business and look into ways to reduce it. For example, some consumable products for businesses are sold with excessive packaging. Where this is the case you can look for alternatives that use less packaging. If there is no option to choose products that have less packaging then the next best thing is to find products that are packaged in materials that can easily be recycled or reused for something else within the business.
Switch to renewable energy
One of the simplest ways that a small or medium sized business can become more eco friendly is to swap from fossil fuels to renewable energy for their business premises. There are energy companies out there that specialise in supplying renewable energy to businesses in the UK with good rates and switching to such a provider is usually a very quick and convenient process with minimal associated costs and downtime.