How To Make A Small Business More Sustainable

Many consumers these days are changing their behaviour in the pursuit of a more sustainable lifestyle. A recent survey by Deloitte of over 2000 adults discovered that 85% surveyed were making more sustainable life choices than previously and 31% actively seek out brands with a strong sustainability and ethical focus. 

As a small business you may have already thought about how to make your business more sustainable for the benefit of the planet but it makes great business sense too. Why? Well, it can drive consumers to your company especially if you actively promote your eco-credentials. 

You may have already been looking at what actions you can do, but let's have a look in more detail at how you can make a small business more sustainable. 

Source sustainable products 

protect the planet

Source products that are ethically made and use sustainable practices. For example, Fairtrade produce where workers, farmers and artisan craftspeople are paid a fair price for their goods. It's important to look at the supply chain too. When I had my own jewellery shop, we always sold diamond jewellery that adhered to the Kimberley Process, which helped prevent conflict diamonds.  We knew where the diamonds were coming from and could trace the source. 

Use eco-friendly packaging 

Use eco-friendly packaging when needed and don't overpack or use too much packaging. The world could do with less packaging that ends up in landfill, don't you think?  Seriously avoid plastic bubble wrap, styrofoam and plastic wrapping. For sustainable packaging that literally won't cost the earth then check out companies like Tyler Packaging, which make affordable sustainable packaging including compostable, biodegradable and recyclable packaging. 

Conserve energy

light bulb
Buy low wattage light bulbs to conserve energy. Consider motion sensors for corridors to only see light when needed and that will turn on only when dark. Turn down the thermostat in the office or workspace. Switch off computers at the end of the day. Encourage staff to turn off lights when not in use. Smart meters can help you keep track of how much you are spending. If you have a kitchen in the work environment, only use the dishwasher when it's full. Consider creating your own energy by having solar panels installed. 


green car
If you have a company car, then a hybrid or electric car should be considered, and avoid a diesel car for its pollution. Encourage cycling to work by installing a bike stand in your office or workspace. Encouraging working from home, even part-time can help prevent pollution from car fumes.  Maybe you can car share and give other workers a lift?

It's the little things

Small things that you do can really count. Rather than print everything out go paperless. If you have to print,  set the printer to double-sided to conserve paper and use recycled paper.  Use eco-friendly ink or refill your cartridges. If you have to give a traditional business card, use a recycled card.  Be sure to make the recycling bags clear and in an obvious place so everyone knows what to recycle.  It's the little things that matter. 

Write a sustainability policy

go green

Write everything you are putting into practice down into a sustainability policy. You and your staff can see what you are aiming to do, the action plans and how your business is helping preserve the planet. These eco-credentials should be on your website, in your literature and promoted when you advertise. This will then attract customers who want to buy from a business that has eco-friendly practices. 

So here are some ideas on how to make a small business more sustainable. Do you have any ideas? Is it a selling point to you, if a business is eco-friendly?

*Collaborative post

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