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May 30

Sustainable Business Tips for Start-ups

Creating a sustainable business will help your company reduce its carbon footprint and aid worldwide environmental problems like pollution and deforestation. By generating efficiencies, new firms will also benefit from improved productivity and reduced overheads. Here are some tips which will allow you to realise your sustainability goals:

  1. Assess your carbon footprint – once you define your footprint you can then implement a process to help reduce it; without accurate figures you are flying blind.
  2. Ensure that equipment is switched off – 60 per cent of energy used by offices is wasted as a result of staff leaving on appliances overnight or at weekends.
  3. Energy suppliers – firms like British Gas offer several green tariffs which can ensure that your energy is sourced sustainably.
  4. Use energy saving light bulbs – this will develop further energy savings. Encourage staff to switch off lights in rooms which aren’t being used. You should reduce energy requirements by choosing an office with plenty of natural light – accommodation like 120 Edmund Street providers of office space in Birmingham.
  5. Buy environmentally friendly cleaning products – concentrated liquids will reduce wastage and keep packaging to a minimum.
  6. Utilise digital technology – by using computer screens, projectors and document management software, staff can reduce the requirement for handouts, filing and written documentation, reducing their paper usage.
  7. When printing, use recycled or sustainable paper; this will reduce your carbon footprint and environmental issues like deforestation. You should also encourage staff to cut down their printing by using “think before you print” posters.
  8. Outsource your printing function to an external specialist by using a managed print service, allowing you to maximise efficiency and lower your resource requirements.
  9. If your business has a large carbon footprint (e.g. printing or haulage firms), you can invest in carbon offsetting projects which allow you to reduce emissions via external projects (e.g. planting trees, clean energy investments).
  10. Recycle – buy recycling bins for your office rooms, and communicate to staff which waste goes where.
  11. Create a sustainability role – put someone in charge of sustainability, get them to report back to you with changes in footprint figures monthly or quarterly. As your business grows this can grow into a full business function.
  12. Apply for a Carbon Trust Standard award – this provides very useful marketing collateral and can help attract investment and grants.

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