Sustainability Advice for Small Businesses

By: Guest Contributor, Hannah Corbett

shutterstock_120701584Generally speaking, people are getting better and better all the time at managing their own environmental footprints, and the effect that they have on the planet. But, as the world grows ever more environmentally conscious, and as sustainability becomes more a habit of everyday existence, it’s time for businesses – as well as individual consumers – to step up to the plate, too.

The larger corporations of the world may have more money and resources to invest in sustainability, and minimise the impact of their companies – but smaller business owners shouldn’t be disheartened. There are still a number of changes that even the smallest of businesses can implement in an effort to support sustainability – even if your business isn’t ‘green’ by nature.


Assess your Energy

Is there any way that you can reduce the amount of gas and electricity that your business consumes? There’s plenty of advice available out there on this topic, but some simple changes include turning off unused lights, reducing standby power loss, and investing in better temperature controls and meters.

Go Digital

You can seriously slash the amount of physical resources, such as paper, that your business uses by fully immersing in the latest digital technology. Use cloud computing and storage where possible, and reduce the need to print.

Consider your Supply Chain

Review your suppliers or other businesses that yours is associated, and how sustainable they are as a company. Don’t forget to do the same with your customers, and encourage them to go green, too. As an example, you could offer discounts to customers who reuse or recycle packaging from your products.

Get your Staff on Board

Make sure that your staff understand and abide by any sustainability changes you make in your business. You can even offer incentives to those who take steps to minimise their own impact, or even set up carpooling and cycle-to-work schemes for them to take advantage of.


Even for smaller business, there are a number of easily-implementable sustainability improvements to make, that don’t have to cost the Earth. Starting with the most simple and building up to the bigger ones is a great way to guarantee success and see your business really make a difference.

It’s important for small businesses to step up, take responsibility, and lead the way in sustainability. Small businesses are an integral part of the economy, and have the power pave the way and set an example for larger businesses and consumers alike.

This piece was written by guest author Hannah Corbett: an energy expert with a keen interest in the small business world. Click to find out more about small businesses energy from Make It Cheaper, or connect with Hannah on Twitter or Google+.

Sustainability Concept image via Shutterstock.

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