Adopting sustainable business practices will do much more than decrease your impact on the environment. It will also support streamlined processes and reduce financial waste. Sustainability means putting yourself in a position where you can maintain growth in the future.
1. Consider Your Materials
You’re not the only one transitioning to sustainable methods, your suppliers, partners and even your clients are already adapting processes to adhere to new trends, changing regulations and evolving values. Check with your suppliers that their products are meeting the industry standards for sustainability and consider using high quality products. The more reliable the materials are, the less likely they’ll end up in landfill next year.
2. Waste Not, Want Not
Material wastage is not ideal for the environment, nor for your pocket. Not only should you ensure your designs and machines aren’t wasting materials, any waste you do dispose of should be recycled. Whether that means going through a responsible recycling company or selling to someone thrifty on Gumtree for a bit of extra cash. If it can’t be recycled, then it should be disposed of responsibly and according to industry standards.
3. Invest in Technology
Technology might seem like an enemy of the environment, but it rarely is. Technology is being developed to support sustainable practices, even for those who are not sustainably-minded. For example, a lot of new machinery will use less energy, operate more efficiently and last longer. Not to mention they’ll be made from sustainably sourced parts, contributing to a long line of sustainable practices. As well as this, streamlining processes with advanced software will save time, reduce waste and support innovative design that considers environmental impact.
4. Back to Basics
Implement some older practices, such as incorporating classic joints to reduce the parts needed. It might have been a while since you practiced the tongue and groove, dovetail bridle or wedged loose tenon but there’s nothing wrong with perfecting an old skill to incorporate with new designs.
5. Factory, Workshop and Office
Finally, look around your workshop and office. Are there lights switched on that don’t need to be? Do you print double-sided? Do you leave your wi-fi on overnight? Are you using plastic cups at the water cooler? Are your employees separating their waste into recycling and trash? Consider getting company coffee keep-cups for your employees. Every time they grab a coffee, you’ll be getting free marketing and they’ll be reducing waste. Small changes amount to big savings and open up new opportunities.
Enjoy the Profits
Whether your goal is to put more money in your pocket, contribute to a cleaner world or give yourself more time for life’s more important things, putting sustainable practices in place will benefit you, your business and your community. It’s a win-win-win.