Even if you have a small business in web design or a digital agency or have some other talent that enables you to create and run a business there are ways to implement sustainability. Not only will you be doing your bit to help keep the environment safe and clean, you’ll most likely be saving money too, since so many such practices cause less wastage.
For instance, when your business can use less power and less water, the cost of paying for it is reduced. This is good news, especially when it doesn’t even decrease productivity. Once you decide to implement these changes it may not be so easy, especially if staff have to change their way of doing things. We are creatures of habit and habits die hard. Here are some tips to help ensure success.
- Keep programmes simple and easy to implement. If they have a health benefit or are fun for the participants all the better. For instance, one company implemented a wellness programme where participants could sign a non-smoker or smoking cessation affidavit at no cost, have an annual physical check-up covered by health insurance and take part in one wellness activity sponsored by the company, such as a charity walk, fun run or trail clearing in a National Park.
- Scale down big ideas to make them easier. What ideas? Recycling overall may be huge to implement, but if each employee takes home a box of rubbish from the company to recycle it becomes easier and more cost effective. Very often, such rubbish makes good fertiliser for the garden that they are getting for free. Event planners can choose caterers that offer locally sourced, healthy foods; motion sensor lighting can be installed in rooms that are not always in use. Even keeping presentation slides for meetings digital instead of printing them out will save on the cost of paper.
- Engage employees by using rewards as incentives. For instance, wellness programme participation can result in lower insurance premiums. Use employee surveys to get ideas from staff and implement those that are easy enough or make lots of sense. This gives employees a feeling of satisfaction to know they are being listened to.
Be consistent. By embedding sustainability practices and goals in every activity, you are sending the message that it is important to you and your business. It will then become part of employees’ lifestyles and they will do it as a matter of course. They may even go above and beyond what you expected of them as they think of even more ways to be sustainable. In fact, most will end up doing similar things in their personal life and so sustainability will increase gradually across the whole country.