Five ways to make your business more sustainable in 2022

28th January 2022 Posted by

As 2022 is now in full swing, we find the subject of sustainability continues to rise up in the agenda of our customer as well as the general public. Consumers are demanding greener products and services, while businesses are challenged with meeting expectations.

With so much discussion around sustainability, you might be looking to step up your efforts this year. Here are our top five ways to boost your business’s sustainability throughout 2022 and beyond.

Adopt a circular economy approach

In a traditional linear economy, natural resources are mined to create new products, which are used and eventually disposed of as waste. In contrast, a circular economy involves reusing, repairing and recycling existing materials for as long as possible, lowering the need for new products to be created.

How can you adapt the circular economy approach to your own business? One way is to look at the waste you produce. For instance, if your business generates recyclable waste such as paper, card or plastic bottles, these could be placed into a separate recycling bin, rather than general waste. Segregating waste ensures it doesn’t end up in landfill and is instead recycled into new items, contributing to the circular economy.

Adopting a circular economy approach, isn’t only environmentally friendly, it makes financial sense too. Reusing and repairing items extends their lifespan, which could create significant cost savings over time.

Keep a sustainable supply chain

It’s not only your business model that impacts your carbon footprint – it’s your entire supply chain. In fact, a company’s supply chain has on average 5.5 times as many greenhouse gas emissions as its own operations. With a range of interwoven suppliers, there could be many opportunities to reduce your carbon footprint.

For example, several large hotel brands have decided to swap the mini toiletry bottles often found in hotel rooms for bulk size dispensers instead. This change is helping to reduce the vast amount of plastic waste produced.

Consider conducting an audit of your supply chain and assessing your suppliers. This process will uncover any inefficiencies that could be affecting your environmental as well as financial performance.

Reduce your carbon emissions

The UK is now required by law to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, which will undoubtedly have an impact on UK businesses.

Reducing carbon emissions lies at the heart of many sustainable initiatives and there are various practical steps you can take to decrease your carbon footprint. For instance, many organisations are becoming more acquainted to a flexible working approach, minimising carbon emissions from transportation.

Another way businesses can become more sustainable is by installing energy efficient lighting, such as LED lights. This will reduce energy consumption, while also having the benefit of a longer lifespan than traditional bulbs.

Create social value

Increasingly, businesses are fostering a more holistic approach to their activities, taking into account the impact of their business on individuals, communities and society in general, known as social value. With research showing that a brands’ corporate social responsibility is becoming an integral factor in their purchasing decisions, social value continues to grow in importance.

From supporting local causes in your community to making charitable donations, there are plenty of areas where your organisation could make a difference. Adding social value through your business activities can improve your standing amongst the local community, enhancing your brand reputation.

The business case for biodiversity

Blue Morpho Butterfly

Biodiversity refers to the variety of plant and animal life in the world. All businesses have an impact on the environment, directly or indirectly, which in turn affects the ecosystem inhabiting the environment.

If there is an outside space on your premises, planting wildlife-friendly plants and shrubbery helps biodiversity. Hedgerows have also been found to be effective in capturing carbon, while offering a space of wildlife to thrive. At SUEZ many of our sites have implemented their own biodiversity initiatives. From installing bird boxes, to bug hotels and even beehives – small changes can make a big difference.

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