By Paul Johnson. who has an extensive experience in media, broadcast and technology fields, which allows him to advise on various business needs and developments, see more here.

10 ways to make your business more sustainable

In recent years, sustainability has moved to the top of almost all business agendas. Once a mere afterthought, committing to green initiatives – efforts that do good for the environment and help save you money at the same time – are today a business imperative. But how best to go about greening your company? Here are ten things to think about.

Rent IT equipment rather than buy it

If you tend to use laptops, iPads, projectors and other IT equipment fairly sporadically, consider hiring the technology you need rather than buying it outright. It can be cheaper as there’s no big upfront cost, easier to manage (monthly payments) and, of course, better for the environment (less energy use).

Set a mission statement

What do you want to achieve through your sustainability strategy? Ask the key stakeholders in your company who are involved and come up with some ideas, then work on developing a mission statement that encapsulates, in just two or three sentences, what your green initiative will look like and how you’ll get it going.

Recycle, recycle, recycle

Companies produce waste, and always will do in some capacity. But there’s a lot you can do to bring the amount of waste down and reduce how much you send to landfill – which, don’t forget, costs money. As much as 60% of the rubbish that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled, so start doing so today.

Mindfully reduce your energy bills wherever possible

Hiring rather than buying IT equipment is a great way to start reducing your energy consumption. But there are plenty of others – from turning the heating off at the weekend when no-one’s working to shopping around for a new provider. The Carbon Trust says businesses could save at least £1.6 billion a year by adopting smarter energy practices.

Small changes help

As well as making sweeping changes to your sustainability efforts, don’t forget that even small changes can make a big difference.Whether it’s printing on double-sided documents rather than single to save paper, recycling your printer toner and cartridges or turning the basement light off when it’s not being used, start small and work from there.

Invest in sustainable projects

What’s going on in your community? Take a look around – there’s bound to be some environmental and sustainable initiatives you can get involved with, whether it’s volunteering for a few days at a local charity or starting a sponsorship project.

Allocate resources

Becoming a sustainable company might require investment – of money, commitment and/or time. While, in the long run, a sustainability strategy should actively work to save your company money and have a positive impact on the environment, you should be prepared to invest – financially and physically – at the outset.

Greenify your distribution network

Delivering products costs money – and it costs a heck of a lot of energy too. If you manage your own delivery fleet, could you upgrade to some electric or hybrid vehicles? Could your products be delivered by bicycle? Or you could choose to work with providers and suppliers with a green initiatives to provide a link in the sustainability chain.

Assign a green advocate

Going fully sustainable is about cultural change. To that end, assigning someone (or a team of people) within your company to spearhead your green drive is a great way to embed sustainable thinking in your business. This person, or group of people, will take charge of your sustainability strategy, setting goals and communicating progress with employees.

Look for opportunities to improve

Going sustainable doesn’t just mean setting a few goals and doing your best to achieve them. That’s just the start. Always try to look for opportunities to review your progress, see what’s working and what isn’t – then setting more plans in place for the future.

We could go on – becoming a sustainable company can be an all-encompassing thing and there are many many ways to get started. These ten ideas should set you well on the path to becoming a greener, more efficient and much more productive company.

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