At home, we are constantly looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable. But for some reason, many of us don’t bring this passion for greener living to our business lives. This is a shame as there are so many opportunities for companies to make their products more sustainable.
There are many benefits in putting a focus on environmentally friendly policies for your company. For example, a recent study by major brand Unilever found more than one-third of consumers prefer brands that are doing social or environmental good. And more than just as a preference, the study indicated that consumers were actively choosing to buy from brands that they believed were more sustainable. This indicates that focusing your business around sustainable and environmentally-friendly products can actually lead to a boost in sales.
Other studies have shown that it is not just customers that prefer environmentally friendly businesses. Indeed, job seekers are more likely to want to work for a sustainable business, and job satisfaction and staff retention rates are higher in those businesses that are interested in being eco-friendly. So you could also be increasing the morale of your team and helping to keep them around longer, through your actions around sustainability.
But a business being eco-friendly and sustainable constitutes more than just a commitment to using less electricity and setting up a recycling scheme. Businesses need to walk the walk with the actual products they sell. So here we take a look at four ways that you can make your business’ products more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
- Incorporate recycled materials into the design
Take a look at the design of your product, it may be the case that you can find ways to incorporate recycled materials into the design. Re-using materials that have been recycled is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of your business, and you might be surprised at just how easy it is to add these aspects of design into many products.
You might be concerned that re-working the design could be expensive, however there are many ways to counteract this expense. Firstly, consider adding recycled materials as a part of a re-branding exercise for the product. Rather than forcing you to re-tool or invest in new machinery for no reason, this gives you the opportunity to make it a positive step.
- Use biodegradable packaging
Many businesses create excellent, green and environmentally friendly products, and then package them inside the worst kinds of cheap, plastic packaging, which can be extremely harmful for the environment. You should look into your packaging options as there are some excellent ones out there.
For example you can now opt for biodegradable package that biodegrades in just 90 days. Plastic packaging will never biodegrade so it really does make a huge difference. And you might be surprised at just how cheaply you can transfer over to either biodegradable or similarly eco-friendly packaging.
- Make your packaging as small as possible
Now while you are considering the material that you use for the packaging, it is also worth looking into the physical dimensions of your packaging. There has been a trend for using impressive and elaborate packaging from products that really do not require it. If you want to be as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible then you need to look at ways to reduce the size of your packaging. Smaller packaging means that you can deliver products more easily and in larger quantities too, so you can reduce your carbon footprint.
- Focus your distribution locally
Whilst we are talking about your carbon footprint it is definitely worth considering how you distribute your products. For example, focusing your marketing on the local area will make you able to distribute your product more easily without the use of eco unfriendly haulage. Something as simple as where you market your products to can actually make a huge difference to the sustainability of your business. Of course this may not be applicable to every business but if you are in a position where you are a smaller distributor, try to focus on the local area to keep things as simple as possible.