For businesses both large and small, differentiating yourself from the competition is key to success. Today, the fast-paced world of startups is bringing new business ideas, practices and products to the market in lightening quick time, and keeping up with the deluge of new competitors is always a challenge.
However, one simple way to make sure your business is at the cutting-edge of your industry is to embrace ecological principals and go green. The benefits are numerous, not only for the environment but also for your profit margins and your brand image. Today, consumers are buying more ecologically friendly products and services than ever before, and any business can get involved in a variety of ways.
Here, we take a look at a few ways to help your business go green, so you can stand out amongst the competition.
1 – Buy Eco Alternatives
First up, and perhaps the easiest to implement for businesses of any size, is changing the products you regularly use. If you are a take-away restaurant or café, then swapping out any plastic packaging used for food is an ideal way to get started. In fact, any type of packaging is easily changed for biodegradable alternatives, and there are also reusable packaging options designed for e-commerce ventures.
2 – Embrace Recycled Materials
If you manufacture any type of product, then it may be worth looking into the possibility of using recycled materials in place of traditional materials. For those within the fashion industry, there has been an explosion in alternative fabrics and textiles, and natural materials such as milk, algae, and even orange peel are proving quite revolutionary. Other alternative raw materials are being used across all types of industry, and some of the most promising new startups have embraced sustainable materials that boast new and exciting properties.
3 – Sort out Your Waste Management
Waste management is much more than just taking out the trash each week. Effective waste management can ensure your businesses premises are cleaner, healthier, and easier to work in. Additionally, by providing your customers with information regarding your eco-credentials, you are likely to boost brand image and improve customer retention. To begin with, you should ensure that you and your staff can efficiently sort recyclables ready for collection. After this, connecting with haulers are reliable and efficient, as well as providing the requisite waste diversion metrics, will help you stay on top of your waste output and reduce it over time.
4 – Encourage Staff to Ditch the Car
By encouraging staff to travel to work by alternative transport methods, you will improve the overall well-being of individuals which is likely to increase productivity and creativity. Employees who travel to work by foot or on bicycle are also likely to be healthier and less likely to take sick days. As a company, you can offer a variety of incentives to staff willing to make the switch, with some companies providing free bikes and others offering wage bonuses to participants in “cycle to work” schemes.
5 – Go Off Grid
Finally, taking up renewable energy sources can give your business an advantage over the competition, helping you save money on energy bills, and possibly create new revenue through selling power back to the grid. The new Apple Park is powered by 100% renewable energy, however, if this kind of scale is beyond your capacities, then simply making use of the space you have can make a difference. Photovoltaic solar panels are easily installed on a roof, and if you have more space you can even consider small wind turbines. Additionally, if you have the option of building new business premises’, you can implement LEED accreditation to keep energy bills at exceptionally low rates.