Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have an enormous impact on sustainability. They can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by shifting to alternative technologies and saving energy and resources. They can also create jobs and support the local economy in their sustainability efforts. It is not difficult for a small business to embrace the route to sustainability and contribute to a better and greener world. And adopting a green business model helps reduce waste, save on utility bills, and draw customer attention and appreciation. Lately, sustainability has become a significant focus of small businesses across the world.
According to the NAVEX Global Study, 2022, 46% of small businesses that participated in the survey had increased spending on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives this year. And almost 83% of those small businesses said ESG factors had favorably impacted their brand reputation. Small businesses can incorporate sustainability programs into their business models by changing routines and procedures and taking up new initiatives. They can adopt sustainable routes and practices such as energy efficiency, waste reduction, and water conservation.
Another way is to develop products or services with a positive environmental or social impact. Small businesses can also support the transition to a low-carbon economy by investing in renewable energy or clean technologies. They can also engage their employees and customers in sustainability initiatives. As a small business owner, you can also make some strategic decisions, like tying up with intermediaries and supply chain partners who focus on sustainability. You can reduce the amount of packaging you use by promoting bulk purchases to cut down on packaging.
Using reusable containers and bags or biodegradable alternatives when you can’t support reuse is something you can actively practice in your business enterprise. You can hold more virtual meetings and offer remote work, as not having to commute to the workplace means less fuel loss and emissions. Composting food waste is another option quite often adopted by small businesses that want to contribute to sustainability. Contributing to sustainability doesn’t always have to be technologically complex. It can start with going paperless, using recycled paper wherever possible, and then moving on from there.
It is not difficult to adopt renewable energy practices that can help reduce carbon emissions and energy waste. For instance, using energy-efficient equipment and installing solar panels to generate electricity can significantly reduce and optimize the use of gas and natural fuels. Promoting carpooling or eco-friendly commuting for your employees can help the world. You can also conserve water in washrooms by installing smart faucets. Even if you can’t do anything else, plant some trees to offset your carbon footprint. And if that seems too troublesome, hold some programs to raise environmental awareness. Such initiatives, efforts, and practices can help heal the wounds inflicted on our planet for a long time.