These days, it’s impossible to avoid the topics of climate change and environmental sustainability wherever you look. With the UK set to commit to slashing emissions over the next 15 years, we all need to play our part in building a better, brighter future for our planet and the generations to come. So how can you make your online business greener?
Here are some simple tips..
The first step to becoming more sustainable is to create an emissions profile for your business. You can calculate this online, or employ the services of a professional to look at your individual situation in detail – and suggest customised solutions. Essentially, this will tell you how much impact your business as a whole is having on the environment, encompassing everything from the energy that you use within your workplace to the emissions emitted by commuting employees. Once you know what you’re dealing with, it’s easier to come up with strategies to do better.
For a lot of companies, the raw materials that they use in their products or services end up contributing a large percentage of their environmental impact. So it’s important to look at each stage of your supply chain. Where are your materials being sourced? How are they produced, and how are they making their way to your business? In many cases, there are a number of options out there, with some being far more sustainable than others. And while the less ethical alternative is likely the cheapest, you need to weigh this up against your company’s image and your commitment to positive change.
Next, if applicable, take a look at how your products are packed before being sent out to customers. Today, there are a number of affordable and effective sustainable packaging options, so there’s no excuse to be using plastics or non-recyclables to protect your goods in the post. In fact, surveys have shown that more than 75% of online shoppers want to see biodegradable packaging being used by their suppliers. But the challenge doesn’t end there. To really reduce your impact, it’s important that you also inform customers how to responsibly recycle any additional containers and packaging, such as bottles and jars.
Finally, you’ll also want to think about the delivery process itself. With more and more customers opting for carbon-neutral delivery, it’s a good time to look into shipping companies that offset their emissions. In fact, some e-commerce platforms even offer add-ons that allow you to calculate the emissions of any given order, automatically deducting a fee and directing it to conservation and preservation groups.
Of course, it’s difficult to run a business that’s completely carbon neutral, particularly when you are growing or just starting out. But if we work together to reduce our emissions and develop more sustainable business models, we can make a real difference to the future of our planet.