Green is good. That’s the buzz phrase we’re all singing in the We Love Surveys office this month, because we’re doing as much as we can to reduce our waste, recycle our plastic and have a positive effect on the environment.
We’re based in Loughborough, which is about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK, but that doesn’t mean to say that the impact on our oceans should be far from our minds.
It’s quite the opposite, in fact, because it’s very much at the forefront of our thinking. We Love Surveys are passionate about doing what we can as a small business to reduce our waste, we’ve taken some big steps to achieve that, and we want to be part of the solution to tackle waste.
But before we delve into exactly what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, remind yourself of our “green is good” mantra and have a look at a few of these other catchy phrases. We’re not getting all preachy on you, we just love what they stand for:
· Give green a chance
· Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
· Feel fantastic and recycle your plastic
· Give a hoot and don’t pollute
· Don’t be mean, be green
· Get into the green scene
· Choose to reuse
· Think green, act green
We Love Surveys are one of almost six million SMEs in the UK – that’s more than 99% of all businesses. We know we’re doing our bit and many others are doing theirs, but just imagine the impact if all those businesses each took the time to review their procedures to minimise environmental waste.
Benefits and advantages of businesses going green
Going green shouldn’t be seen as a trend, it should be a constant in running any business. Not only does it help reduce waste, it creates a healthier working environment for employees and shows that business is actively taking a lead towards social change.
Besides the obvious positive impact on the environment, businesses who go green can also reap the rewards of these other benefits and advantages:
Increasing energy efficiency saves on utility costs. Even if it’s just switching to energy-saving lightbulbs, making sure all PCs are shut down at the end of the day or reusing existing materials, it will reduce overheads from consumption.
Customer trust and loyalty
If a business is going green, their customers will gain a better level of trust. Research has shown that 66% of global consumers are willing to pay more for products from sustainable sources – consumers want to work with businesses who care about the environment. By demonstrating that sustainability is part of their mission and company culture, a business can foster a great deal of goodwill from their customers.
It’s not just customers who will benefit from a business going green, it’s the employees too. Working for a company that shows it cares will impact on staff too, making them feel valued and cared for. It also helps keep employees engaged, because they want to have a say and be involved in a company’s sustainability initiatives.
One of the most valuable forms of advertising is word of mouth. If you’re a green business, you can’t buy that kind of publicity. Not only does it strengthen a company’s existing market base, but it also extends it. A business could gain the attention of people who may never have heard of that company just because they believe in being eco-friendly.
Pay less tax
There are a number of environmental taxes, reliefs and schemes for businesses. You can pay less tax by applying for schemes to help you demonstrate that you’re operating more efficiently and producing waste that’s less damaging.
How to reduce packaging waste
One of the key initiatives at We Love Surveys is reducing our plastic waste, which we’ll go into in a bit more detail later on.
The most environmentally-friendly and cost-effective way to deal with packaging waste is, of course, to avoid producing it in the first place.
We know that’s not always entirely possible, but businesses can significantly reduce the amount of waste they produce by reusing, recycling, composting or, if they can, by using products made from renewable and ethically sound sources.
Here are a few other ways in which businesses can reduce packing waste:
· Find out how your business could use waste exchange schemes
· Use plastic crates instead of single-use cardboard boxes and self-stacking crates rather than shrink-wrap
· Pay greater attention to sales patterns to avoid over-ordering
· Compare costs and services provided by waste contractors
· Shred paper and card to produce packing or fillers
· Separate packaging waste to help with recycling
· Flatten and bale cardboard and plastic sheeting before being recycled
· Install recycling bins on your premises
What are We Love Surveys doing to reduce waste?
We did what we do best, and that was ask for feedback. We asked our own clients and customers what they wanted us to do – and they said reduce packaging. So we listened.
Our first step was to completely eliminate the bubble wrap we use to package our Buzz Boxes. We have been working with a box company who are making a template to fit our Buzz Box tops and bases perfectly.
This will protect the devices during transit without the need for bubble wrap, and instead we will be using 100% recyclable card to package them, as well as fully-recyclable packaging tape.
Our clients can also return old or damaged Buzz Boxes – which are made of plastic – to us at the end of their useful life. We dispose of these ethically using the recycling service at Loughborough University, where we are based.
We also love schemes like Eco Bricks, which show us how innovative businesses can be when it comes to making use of ‘non-recyclable’ items.
You can do the same, too
It just shows what can be achieved if you put your mind to it, that even tech businesses can change their habits. If all SMEs like us were to do the same and go green, imagine the impact it would have.
The benefits far outweigh any negatives. And, as we mentioned earlier, not only is going green and reducing waste great for the environment, it’s great for your business too.
If you’d like to talk to us about any of our services, or what we do and how we do it, we would love to hear from you. Just get in touch with us here and we’ll happily have a natter.