Ways for Your Small Business to be More Eco Friendly


Ways for Your Small Business to be More Eco Friendly

Ways for Your Small Business to be More Eco Friendly

People are becoming more and more conscious about their sustainability. This influences how they live, how they work and also on their spending. In a recent survey, it was found that one in three consumers prefer eco-friendly options, and this number only looks to rise. In fact, whilst 35% of those surveyed stated that they would definitely buy a product that has better environmental credentials over a cheaper alternative, 56% said they could consider it, showing that people are willing to pay more if the product is sustainable.

There are many ways that a business can be more eco-friendly, reducing its impact on the environment whilst improving customer opinion. Below are just some sustainability ideas for businesses.



Encourage an Eco-Friendly Culture

Creating an eco-friendly culture in the workplace will be a huge help in maintaining your sustainable goals. Both employees and customers should be encouraged to find ways to be sustainable.

Employees should be well informed of the business’s targets to be more eco-friendly, and they should know exactly how they can support these goals. They should be encouraged to implement sustainable ways of working with ideas to reduce their carbon footprint at work. Employees should be provided with the right tools to help them, and feedback should be taken to see where the business might be able to improve.

Customers should also know that the business has strong sustainable targets. Small businesses should aim to update customers on the progress that’s being made. It can also give customers ideas for sustainable living, and they should know how using services or products from your small business is good for the environment.



Use Eco-Friendly Equipment

When kitting out your office or workplace, you should aim to use eco-friendly and sustainable equipment. At Leitz, we have a range of eco-friendly stationery, perfect for keeping your small business productive and organised whilst also being sustainable. Every product is climate neutral, 100% recyclable and made from a high percentage of recycled materials. For example, our Recycle Stapler is made from 94% recycled post-consumer plastic and it can be disassembled so it can be recycled as separate materials. Our green stationery has been built with Leitz premium quality and durability, so you’ll know it will last. Not only does this reduce your business waste, but it will also be better for your bottom line.

Use Sustainable Packaging

Look for sustainable packaging options for your products. There are plenty of options and you should be able to find a suitable eco-friendly material that works for your products. For example, you could use material that is easily recycled, such as paper or card. Or you can use a biodegradable material that can be composted, such as mailing pouches or packing peanuts made from potato starch. You should avoid using plastic as much as possible, especially packing material that combines paper and plastic bubble wrap lining, which can be difficult to recycle. If you must use plastic, look for materials that contain a high percentage of recycled material, and make sure it is one type to make recycling easier.

You can also opt for packaging that can be reused by the customer. Design a stylish and sturdy box or bag and encourage customers to find another use for this. This will reduce waste and can also help with promoting your business if you use your logo on the packaging.

Reduce Energy Use

The energy your business uses will have an impact on the environment and also on your profits. You should look to reduce your energy consumption as much as possible. A simple way to do so is to use energy-efficient lightbulbs around the workplace. These will use less energy and often also last longer than other types of bulbs. You should also aim to get as much natural light into the workplace as possible, as this will reduce the need to use electric lights at all.

Equipment should be switched off when it’s not in use, including computers, lights, printers, and air conditioners. If equipment needs to be turned on so it’s ready for use, implement a sleep or hibernation mode to reduce the amount of energy it consumes.

To further investigate where your energy might be wasted, you can have an energy audit carried out. This will identity any issues or areas where you can improve and reduce your energy consumption in the business, which will save you money and also reduce your impact on the environment.



Reduce Water Use

Reducing how much water your business uses will also have a two-pronged effect on both the environment and your profits. Investing in water-saving facilities now will probably save you money down the line. Installing automatic, aerated taps will be a huge help in reducing your business’s water use. Automatic, touchless taps will also improve hygiene in the workplace. You can also install dual-flush toilets to save water, as well as low-flow toilets and showers.

Any leaky taps or toilets should be fixed quickly, to reduce how much water gets wasted. You can get a professional to conduct a water audit to see if there are any places where your water efficiency can be improved and to find any problem areas that could be updated or fixed.

Reduce Paper Use

Reducing the paper used by your small business is a great way to reduce waste. It might not be possible to be 100% paperless, but there are plenty of areas where you can reduce how much is used.

For customers, you should have an option for paperless billing and encourage people to switch by citing the environmental benefits. You can also switch to email receipts rather than paper. Both methods will reduce waste and can also save you money and space, by reduce the need for storage space for paper invoices. It can also help your customers, by making it easier for them to store and find e-documents rather than paper versions.

You can also reduce how much paper your employees use. Provide them with a glass notepad or glass desk easel to take notes, rather than using sticky notes that clutter desks and create waste.  Encourage employees to only print what is absolutely necessary and to use both sides of the paper wherever possible.

Reduce Waste

There are a few different steps a small business can take to reduce its waste. If you want to give out promotional materials, avoid using items that will likely end up in the junk. Investing in good quality products, such as a reusable water bottle or tote bag with your brand logo on it, will mean that the customer will be more likely to keep using the item. This will get your brand name out into the world and also minimise what goes to waste.

You should also avoid using mailers to promote your business. A lot of junk mail ends up going straight into the bin, meaning your business wastes money as well as having a negative impact on the environment. Instead, stick to digital mailers and social media to amplify your business.



Source Sustainable Materials

The less distance your materials and ingredient shave to travel, the less impact there will be on the environment. You should research local suppliers for the items your business needs, whether that’s food, raw materials, or anything else that your business requires. A shorter supply chain will also usually save you money and time, reducing the risk of delays and the need for storage.

If you can’t find a suitable local supplier for your needs and you need to look further afield, you should make sure to check their sustainable credentials. Check that the materials have been sourced ethically and in an eco-friendly way. If applicable, look for suppliers that have a fairtrade certification, which shows they pay their employees a fair wage.

Use Eco-Friendly Shipping Methods

For e-commerce businesses especially, your shipping methods can have a huge effect on the environment. You should aim to pack your products in the most efficient way possible whilst still protecting the contents. So, you should avoid putting a small product in a very large box that then needs a lot of filler. Instead, use appropriately sized boxes, to reduce the amount of material needed. You could also encourage customers to make multiple orders to reduce how many shipments are made, by giving discounts for bulk purchases or reduced shipping fee for a higher spend. You should also look for a shipping company that uses eco-friendly transport, such as electric vehicles.


Leitz has a range of office equipment and your home office tools to create an efficient and relaxing working environment.

Read more about environmental practices in the workplace:

What are the Benefits of Sustainable Working for Your Business?

How to Work More Sustainably in the Office and at Home

Could Creating a Greener Home Office Also Save You Money?