We all know the disruption that came from the pandemic and its various forms of shutdowns that occurred. From social lives to business activities, the disruptions affected us all in numerous ways.
Some of the disruptions were significant. Schools were disrupted, workers had to learn to stay home and work virtually, social lives were destroyed, and mental health suffered.
But not every disruption was negative.
One of the lesser-known benefits to come of the pandemic is that the carbon footprint of businesses on the environment dropped by over 6%.
The drop of 6% is the most significant carbon drop ever recorded. The question for society is, how do we maintain that momentum as we begin to open societies and industries back up?
The challenge for everyone is to reintegrate the concept of “normalcy” without adding burdens to the environment.
5 Ways To Become More Sustainable
Many businesses are turning to more green solutions for their daily activities, and any discussion of reopening should include options for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly process.
So what are the benefits to becoming more sustainable, and what are some of the best strategies? Benefits include being socially responsible and broadening your brand to new, potential customers looking to support green businesses, and there are some simple ways to become a greener organization.
1. Use Green Energy Solutions
Consider alternative energy solutions within the office. Between solar power and cutting back on energy consumed in the office, there are multiple strategies you and your organization can consider with your energy. For example, keep your thermostat at a comfortable yet less energy-consuming 72 degrees, alternate light use within the office, and consider other ways to eliminate energy consumption within your organization.
2. Eliminate Unnecessary Food Waste
Most food eaten in the office is bought from an outside vendor, meaning that the packaging has a significant environmental impact in addition to food possibly being tossed out. Encourage your team members to bring food from home or provide in-office catering that uses less packaging.
By offering in-house catering, you’re also cutting back on the travel of your team members, which may lessen the carbon impact of them driving to and from the office.
3. Encourage Remote Work Opportunities
Everyone is tired of being at home and working. However, most respondents to surveys about work satisfaction reveal an interesting statistic. Most people claim to be happier working from home, report higher levels of productivity, but also claim that over 60% of people would like to return to the office, at least part-time.
Therefore, organizations would be wise to consider a hybrid model for team members that allows the latitude for employees to work remotely and return to the office for a few days. This strategy will help reduce the drive and commute time employees take, which in turn helps reduce their carbon impact.
4. Repacking Options
Recycling was the buzzword through the later part of the 20th Century. Now it’s repackaging. Consider ways to use packaging more than once or find a vendor that provides packaging solutions from previously used sources. There are plenty of vendors that focus on green packaging solutions, and repurposing is a great way to show your customers you’re making an effort.
5. Eliminate Unnecessary Storage Spaces
One of the most significant impacts on the environment is storage spaces that rely on labor to maintain them and electricity to operate. Instead of having a dedicated warehouse for your physical products, consider utilizing a fulfillment center.
This strategy is especially effective for ecommerce fulfillment, where storing your product may cost you more than the value you can gain from paying for a fulfillment center to run your logistics for your organization.
By taking a more sustainable approach to your business operations, you’re establishing your organization as a responsible partner in society which is attractive to many consumers.
By taking a greener approach to your business operations, you’ll open your organization to more cross-over business opportunities.
In addition, by becoming a sustainable business, you can pair with like-minded organizations that will help you and them broaden your brand appeal and reach.
Consider all the waste areas within your organization and think of strategies that will eliminate waste and eliminate unnecessary expenditures. As a result, your bottom line will shrink. In addition, you’ll be a more socially responsible partner and open your business up to new clients looking to support socially conscious operations.
It’s a win-win for your business and society at large.