With the UK in full election mode and the main political parties putting environmental issues front and centre of their campaigns, issues which would otherwise be the focus for fringe parties, and this week the Queen boycotting fur, how can small business do its part to help save the planet?
As the inspirational climate activist Greta Thunberg says, ” no-one is too small to make a difference”. As a small business owner you have the power to make a difference and do your part to help save the planet. Here are 5 processes that we employ ourselves at Southside Accounting which you can incorporate into your small business straight away, if you are not doing so already.
No 1. Go paperless
Here at Southside Accounting, we use cloud accounting software, which means we store client’s financial data on the cloud and our clients do not need to keep a paper trail of expenses, invoices and other admin paperwork. For small businesses, cloud accounting has been revolutionary, allowing for more time to work on business growth rather than necessary, but time consuming, administration. Furthermore, here at Southside Accounting, by going paperless, we are advocating environmentally friendly business processes both for our own small business and our client’s.
Is your small business paperless? If not, how can you use technology to help you?
No.2. Leave the car at home
If you are a small business that works at home or some of your time at home, you will already be reducing your carbon footprint significantly by avoiding the daily commute.
As a small business owner, you set the rules, so why not use this to your advantage and think actively about how you can reduce your carbon footprint for you and your small business?
For example, why not plan meetings avoiding rush hour so you have more time to travel on public transport, cycle or walk and leave the car at home?
Bonus: no need to start your day stressing out trying to find parking either!
No.3. Enjoy homemade lunches
Did you know that UK employees habit of ‘lunch on the go’ generates 11 billion items of packaging waste every year, and shockingly, a vast majority of this packaging cannot be recycled?
If you work from home, you are already doing your part to reduce this considerable harm on the environment. If you work from an office or co-working space, why not consider taking a packed lunch with you or, if there is a lack of time or inclination, why not take a container with you? Lots of places now offer discounts for takeaway lunches, a win win, and conscious effort on both consumer and provider to do your bit for the environment.
Alternatively, why not consider eating in to skip the packaging altogether.
No 4. Household recycling
The UK targets a 50% reduction in household waste by 2020.
Only Wales is well ahead of plan, with 64% of household waste currently being recycled. England, Scotland and Northern Ireland however are lagging around the 45% mark.
As a small business, what can you do to play your part?
Whether you’re looking to improve your recycling efforts or you are just getting started, a good place to begin is understanding what local recycling is available to you to make the process easy for you.
Recycle Now is a useful resource to help answer any questions you might have about what you can recycle – and where – in your area.
No.5. Ditch single-use plastic
We have all seen those devastating images of sea life trapped in plastic or plastic being consumed in our seas and oceans.
One of the biggest issues our planet is facing is the issue of single use plastic, which can take up to 500 years to fully decompose.
There are actions we can take now as small business owners. By having an understanding and an awareness of the single plastic we currently consume in our business and as a consumer is the first step in reducing our single-use plastic. Changes could mean avoiding non-renewable materials when possible or opting to work with sustainable suppliers and products.
You can make a difference now
We all have our part to play as individuals and businesses and it starts with a conscious effort to think about how we can make small changes in our every day processes By adopting these 5 simple strategies you are taking tangible steps to help save the planet. Why not start now?