How to become environmentally sustainable

Sustainability refers to “the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.” It should not be solely restricted to large corporates, small businesses need to embrace it as it’s a factor that influences consumer’s buying decision. Consumers are more willing than ever to purchase environmentally friendly brands.

By becoming more sustainable, businesses can increase their bottom line, as the focus on utilizing fewer resources would mean cost would be lower. Not only does going green improve the bottom-line, it also boosts the company’s image. This makes it easier to secure new customers and even investors.

In your journey towards becoming a sustainable company, it is important that you start by taking small steps. We have listed out a few tips to kick start you sustainability journey, which would not require a huge investment.

1. Aim to be paperless

Although it may not be possible to be 100% paperless, there are areas where you could shift to paperless operations such as in billing customers. Documents can be stored in cloud storage platforms where users can access it from anywhere in the world, which reduces the need to manually store the document. The business would also be able to save on storage costs. Where there is a need to use paper, the business can opt for recycled paper which again reduces the company’s environmental impact.

Our clients who have opted for paperless invoicing, have benefited from faster payments, easy storage as the invoices can be saved digitally and also easy retrieval of invoices should the need arise.

2. Involve your employees

Commitment to sustainability needs to be ingrained to company culture. This would be only possible if the top management shows a genuine interest in going green which will in turn send a clear message to the employees. Employees could be encouraged to share their ideas on sustainability practices that the organization can adopt.

Initiatives like bike to work day, carpooling, recycling programs can be launched which will help reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

3. Conserve electricity

Encourage employees to switch off lighting, air conditioning and heating when not in use. It may be worthwhile investing in motion sensor lights which help save power and also electricity costs. Where possible make use of natural lighting available and switch off light bulbs. Employees should be encouraged to shut down their computers at the end of the day.

Written by Zara, ACMA,CGMA, BBA(Accountancy & Finance). Zara is a Finance and Commercial Executive at SandS Australia. She has 4+ years’ experience in Auditing, Finance and Accounting which helps her drive business growth.

Edited by Sam Mansoor. Chartered Management Accountant, CPA, Chartered Global Management Accountant, Dip. Equity Trading. He has over 30 years’ experience helping businesses achieve immediate and long-term success.