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Sustainability for your business: Tips for changes
NOVEMBER 11 2021
More and more businesses across Ireland are putting changes in place to make them more sustainable and to lower their carbon footprint.

As well as being good for the environment, it’s a move that makes financial sense, with initiatives rewarding changes that you make. The good news is you can make these changes on a phased basis, so it doesn’t disrupt your business. In this blog, we’ll share tips for changes you can start to make straight away.

Set out your sustainable development goals:

Before undertaking any changes, decide on what you want to achieve in your sustainability strategy and set goals for your business that are realistic. It’s a good exercise to define in a few bullet points or in a mission statement, how your initiative will take shape, how you intend to implement it, a timeline and a review date.

Recycling is key:

Most companies produce plastic and paper waste, so an easy step you can take is to cut down the amount of waste you produce and how much you send to landfill. Remember, much of the rubbish that ends up in the grey bins could be recycled, and if separate bins are available and clearly visible, most people will be happy to separate their waste and make that a daily habit.

Aim for energy sustainability:

There are different ways to save on electricity costs for your business. Look at ways you can simply cut down on your energy use, for example turning the heating off at the weekend when no-one’s working or seeing how long you need to have a water heater on during the day. Encourage staff to plug out chargers and turn off lights when they’re leaving offices.

Think about IT Rental:

If you don’t use laptops, tablets or projectors all the time it may make more sense to hire them rather than buying them. You won’t have the initial purchase price; you won’t have the risk of equipment becoming obsolete and you can pay for them monthly. The latest equipment tends to be more energy-efficient which means less energy usage too, so it’s an easy way to make a positive difference to sustainability.

Adapt your distribution network:

Delivering products costs money and uses a lot of energy. If you have delivery vans or a car fleet, consider upgrading to electric or hybrid vehicles? Could your products be delivered by bicycle? Or you could choose to work with providers and suppliers with green initiatives to provide a link in the sustainability chain.

Appoint green advocates:

A great way to encourage sustainability in your business is to assign a role to an individual or group, who will be advocates for it. They can take charge of your sustainability strategy, goals and keep their colleagues informed about what’s happening. They will often suggest practices they know of in other companies that you can adopt, and a shared sense of ownership helps make the initiatives a success.

Small changes help:

Collectively, small changes can make a big difference in making any business more sustainable. For example, using emails instead of written memos, setting photocopiers to automatically print on both sides of a sheet of paper and recycling your printer toner cartridges.
Becoming a sustainable business will change your business for the better and these simple steps are just some of the ways to get started. It is the way all businesses are going to go in the future, so the sooner you start to make changes, the better.