How To Create A Sustainable SME

As a small business owner in the UK you might be under pressure to create a sustainable working environment from various sources. There has always been a certain degree of scepticism against the notion of making a business environmentally aware and sustainable without it costing you the earth to implement the necessary changes. With an approach to changing the culture from as early a point as possible in a businesses life cycle it is possible, and can actually save a company money whilst enhancing its reputation at the same time.

With guidance on how to set up the physical aspects of your working premises to cut costs and emissions, to working alongside confidential shredding facilities that recycle your paper waste, and offering incentives to your staff to walk more and work remotely to cut down energy consumption, there are a number of things you can put in place easily to make your company environmentally aware and to have a culture of sustainability at its very core.

Making wholesale changes to your business approach to include a green outlook isn’t something that only larger companies with bigger budgets can achieve. Even if you are a sole trader working from home, or just beginning your business ownership journey with a small core team around you there are a few things you can change right now to make a big difference.

It is easy to think that you are so small it doesn’t make a huge difference but as the 2012 European Commission pointed out, SMEs were directly responsible for 64% of pollution in Europe. With this in mind it is important that all business owners look at ways to reduce the carbon footprint of their company in order to aid the overall effort to reduce emissions and global warming.

Look at Your Immediate Environment

If you are a sole trader working out of a home office, garage or shed, or a growing business with a small team working in a distinct business premises, there are things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. First off take a look at the windows and add double-glazing if the property doesn’t already have it installed. A smart meter can help you to reduce your utility bills and work out when and why your energy consumption is at its highest. Sourcing renewable energy suppliers will also help to reduce your carbon footprint.

Incentivise Cycling and Smart Working

As your company grows incentivise your staff to car share or travel to work by cycling. This can be achieved through helping them pay for a bicycle for instance. In terms of smart working, offer flexibility to your workforce so that remote working is possible in certain situations, reducing the necessity of travel as a result.

Disposal of Paper Waste – One of the biggest impacts on the environment from a small business is the constant paper waste that is created. A local firm that can come and securely pick up your paper waste on a regular basis, dispose of it and recycle all paper to be re-used can add to your green credentials and help you easily create a culture of sustainability.

Content Written By Verity Green

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