Running a green company is not only good for the health of our planet but it can also be good business too. Increasingly, customers are seeking out companies that operate in an environmentally responsible manner, and often a by-product of adopting greener practices is increased efficiency, which results in cost savings. So if you have not already made being eco-friendly a priority for your business, it is about time you did. Our guide looks at a few of the ways you can do this, from green booklet printing to creating an environmental policy.
Make a plan
Being green isn’t difficult, but it does take a bit of organisation. If you leave it all to chance, the best you can hope to achieve is the occasional token gesture. By getting organised and making a plan it becomes much easier to make a real difference. Putting your ideas down in writing will enable you to keep track of how well you are doing and gives you something to refer back to when making decisions which will have an environmental impact. Be prepared to change and develop your plan as and when you have new ideas, or circumstances change.
Take a whole business approach
The key to achieving a genuinely green business is to make a plan that covers the entire organisation and all its operations. Before implementing any changes, consider first all the different ways in which your business has an impact on the environment. Think about the materials you use in production, the processes that are involved and the environmental impact of your products once they have been sold. Look also at the resources your business uses to administrate the production and sales processes, and consider apparently peripheral factors, such as staff travel and communications. By analysing every element of your business and how it impacts the environment you will be much better placed to make real meaningful changes to the way your company operates.
Get employees involved
Creating an environmental policy will only get you so far. You need to make sure that it is implemented effectively. This will be much more easily achieved if you can get your employees on board. Involving them in the process as much as possible, from generating ideas to taking responsibility for their implementation, is a vital part of this process. It will ensure that they feel a sense of ownership of your company’s new direction and will reduce the chance of resistance to change and feelings of being put upon.
Use eco-friendly suppliers
When considering the environmental impact of your business, it is important to think beyond simply what your company does in terms of processes and production. You can also make a big impact through the choices you make when it comes to your commercial partners. Take environmental factors into account when considering everything from brochure and business card printing to product distribution and advertising. Quiz prospective partners about their green credentials, and be prepared to make tough choices based on the answers you receive.