Small steps to a more sustainable small business
Embedding sustainable practices in your business isn't just good for the planet. The benefits of becoming a sustainable business extend to include increased productivity, reduced costs, and improved brand image. According to research led by YouGov, consumers worldwide are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products, whilst Deloitte found that “28% of consumers have stopped buying certain products due to ethical or environmental concerns”. To help you on your path to a green business, we’ve rounded up a few small tips to get you started.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the first step to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly business is to be conscious of the products you are selling. Where possible, opt for products made from renewable resources, that are sourced from sustainably sound manufacturers and practices. Sustainable product development can take time, so consider starting off with an eco-friendly collection and growing from there.
There are many different types of sustainable packaging and the most suitable will depend on your product, however one of the first steps is to ensure you are not over-packaging. To avoid this, use packaging with the correct dimensions for the product, and use any filler in moderation. When it comes to materials, consider plantable, biodegradable and recyclable solutions. Even if you are unable to make the switch to fully sustainable packaging, any change is a positive step.
More than a third of British consumers say they are buying products from companies with strong environmental credentials , so what better way to show your commitment to environmentally responsible practices than working towards green certification? There is a plethora of sustainability certifications out there, all with varying requirements but a B Corp Certification is one of the most well recognised for measuring a company's social and environmental performance. As a small business, becoming a B Corp is not just about achieving a certification; it’s about joining a community of other like-minded businesses with the majority of Certified B Corps being small businesses. Alternatively, the Retail Sector Council (RSC) recently launched a new online space for independent businesses, Green Street, offering practical advice for improving environmental sustainability.
Each company will be on their own path towards environmental sustainability but what is clear is that it is more critical than ever to get started.
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