With the majority of consumers becoming more and more environmentally conscious, it’s a given that businesses are going to have to adapt to this newfound attitude towards sustainability sooner or later. But how easy is it for those that aren’t globally spanning corporations to hit the ground running with new consumer culture?
Conscious consumerism is on the rise. Seventy-three percent of consumers globally say they would definitely or probably change their buying habits to reduce their impact on their environment. With conscious consumers now the majority, businesses are rightfully adapting to the new attitude towards sustainability.
For larger businesses, becoming more environmentally friendly can be quite the undertaking, but if it’s such a huge adjustment for larger businesses, how would a smaller start-up, or a single entrepreneur fare in this new environment?
Evening the odds
If you’re not a big corporation and are worried about your sustainability, don’t fret. Considering your entire business model is brand new that means it can adapt to the new trends found in conscious consumerism.
Compared to larger businesses, small businesses are at the forefront of reducing the carbon footprint in business, according to a report by changemakers.com. Having a new business means you don’t have to worry about an immense pivot towards the current trends since you can develop your business around the trends themselves.
Here are some quick wins when trying to ensure your small business has an even smaller carbon footprint:
1. Remote work
Remote working has seen a huge increase during the pandemic for obvious reasons, but coincidentally has seen an even huger impact on the environment. The reduction of commuters and their cars has led to a significant decrease in carbon emissions across the UK along with a variety of other environmental benefits. Ensuring your employees at the very least have the option to work from home means less of them contributing to pollution on your businesses behalf.
2. Sustainable packaging
While debatably more expensive, sustainable packaging of course has a huge impact on the environment. What might be considered an outright loss actually has more benefits than initially seen. Sustainable packaging signals to your customers that your business cares about the environment and is taking steps to mitigate its carbon footprint.
Sixty-four per cent of consumers in the UK want brands to reduce packaging, according to a report published by Deloitte. With the vast majority of consumers in the UK attesting to conscious consumerism, what may at first seem like an unnecessary cost could lead to more customers overall, or prevent an outright loss of purchases.
3. Going online
If you’re planning on providing a variety of products to your customers, consider primarily focusing on e-commerce. While concerns are presented about online shopping due to things like excessive packaging and increased carbon emissions due to delivery, it’s actually been found to be more environmentally friendly than conventional shopping methods in some cases.
Moving your business online could not only hit one of the previously mentioned methods of eco-friendly-ing your business, allowing workers to primarily operate from home, but could save you money when it comes to supply chains too.
4. Environmental efficiency
If you do need an office, consider a variety of ways to reduce the impact of that office on the environment and the impact of those travelling to it. Covering public transportation costs for your employees could be the push needed to get them on the bus instead of in their individual cars. subsidising bus passes or even implementing a cycle to work scheme can do wonders.
On the flipside, inside the office more sustainable alternatives could be used for equipment or products. Certain types of sustainable printer paper, lights or even just switching off or minimising the equipment not in use can make a difference at the office, not to mention save you a little on equipment costs in the first place!
There’s a variety of ways your business can make sure it’s sustainable, not only will this benefit the environment but your business itself as it will portray the image you need to modern day conscious consumers, who are always on the lookout for the next sustainable product.
Keep a lookout for any more ways to keep your eco-impact down, since with the way the world is going, it might just result in your revenue going up!