9 ways you can have a greener business
Is being greener important for your business?
Making changes to any of the following 9 areas will help solidify your connection to your environmental values.
Some of these suggestions will make more of a significant difference than others. Choosing greener companies sends a message to those companies not yet doing enough for the planet. Hopefully, more companies will improve their sustainable credentials as a result.
1. Your internet service provider
Choosing your business and home broadband supplier is much like choosing your other utilities like electricity and gas. Some companies have better ethical credentials than others. Some supply both phone and broadband services.
I switched to Zen Internet around 15 years ago, and am pleased to discover they are considered to score highly on ethical grounds and are now a Certified B Corporation. Not only that, I’ve always been very impressed with their customer service. Any issues I’ve had have always been swiftly dealt with and solutions explained clearly.
Other suppliers worth a look are GreenISP and SSE.
2. Your website hosting
Choosing greener website hosting for your website is one way you can reduce its environmental burden. I choose Krystal Hosting for all my websites and any new client website builds.
In 2017 Krystal became one of the first hosts to be powered by 100% renewable energy. They also offer an incentive scheme for their staff to help them make the switch to 100% renewable energy supplies at home. In addition, they make regular direct donations to Trees for Life, a charity based in Scotland working to rewild the highlands with natural forests.
3. Your website content
Compressing image files and disabling unused plug-ins will help reduce the carbon footprint of your website.
4. Your internet search engine
It’s really easy to set your default search engine to Ecosia (I have it installed as a Chrome plugin). Ecosia uses at least 80% of its monthly profits to plant trees where they are needed most – in Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Peru, Indonesia, Morocco, Brazil, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Tanzania and many more countries.
5. Your business banking
Where you put your money can be a huge vote for a better future for our planet. Banks run on our money and we all have to bank somewhere, so where can we do this with a clearer conscience? It’s not always easy to find out where these huge financial institutions are investing our money, but a few are starting to be more transparent in their communication about this so we can make a more informed decision.
I switched to Starling Bank after seeing rave reviews online and from personal contacts. Starling does not invest in fossil-fuel based energy companies, arms companies or tobacco companies. All four of their offices run on renewable energy. As a branchless, largely paperless bank hosted in the cloud, Starling has a lower carbon footprint than high street banks.
Every time a Starling customer recommends them to someone new and they open an account, they plant a tree via Trillion Trees as a thank you.
On top of these environmental credentials, switching to Starling is seamless and their intuitive app makes the whole process exceptionally smooth.
Other ethical banks of note include Tridos and Co-Operative Bank.
6. Your workplace or personal pension
As with banking, your pension investment might be worth reviewing if ethical funding is a high priority for you. If your pension is not invested in an ethical fund you will likely be investing in unethical sectors such as arms, tobacco and fossil fuels.
More and more pension companies are enabling customers to choose ethical funds. A common concern is that ethical funds won’t perform as well as their traditional counterparts but the opposite has more recently found to be true.
I have a fantastic pension advisor with St James’ Place and have selected a bespoke pension plan with no investment in fossil fuels, arms or tobacco and a strong lean towards sustainable and responsible equity.
Pensions that allow customers to choose ethical finds include Aegon, Aviva, Legal & General, LV= (Allianz), Nest, PensionBee, Prudential (M&G), Royal London, Standard Life, The Path and The People’s Pension.
7. Your business printing
Talk to your printing contacts. Ask them to source FSC-certified paper, plant-based inks, reduce the use of laminates, glitter and metallic effects on your printed collateral. Ask them to choose biodegradable processes instead.
8. Your video calls
If you and your colleagues are suffering from ‘Zoom-fatigue’, reduce the number of video calls you have. You’ll be helping to save the planet too!
9. Dedicate a tree
Since the start of 2020, I’ve been dedicating a tree from The National Forest for referrals and as a thank you to clients at the end of a project. The tree donation process provides a customisable, personalised certificate that you can send on.
Recipients have been really positive about this. It’s definitely a win-win, as I’ve been able to show my appreciation as well as offsetting some of the carbon footprint of my work.
A recent client recipient said “Thank you for dedicating a tree to us in The National Forest. I was not aware of this initiative but have enjoyed looking through the website and it has given me a few ideas for our own involvement.”
Are there ways your business is helping to save the planet that I haven’t included?
Get in touch and let me know.
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