How To Be More Sustainable – Have you heard of Race to Zero? This is a UN-led campaign that aims to educate businesses on how to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Simply put, being carbon neutral means balancing the emissions you emit with what you absorb. If this is something important to you and your business, you are not alone. Here are just a few companies that have already achieved carbon neutrality or are well on their way to crossing the finish line:

How To Be More Sustainable

How To Be More Sustainable

These mega-enterprises know exactly what is driving this move towards neutrality. Yes, this is for the benefit of our planet, but also because consumers are becoming more aware of the damage caused by greenhouse gases.

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Regardless of the size of your company and what you sell, consumers consider sustainability when choosing where to spend their money.

Of UK consumers, 61% are now reducing purchases of products packaged in single-use plastic, while 66% of people would be willing to pay more for sustainable goods.

With this in mind, it is important that companies start thinking about moving to a more sustainable way of doing business. We know – it probably sounds daunting and expensive. That’s why we’ve put together a list of eight ways you can join Race to Zero and make your business more sustainable.

Consumers have become much more aware of the damage that single-use plastics do to our environment. They are turning to reusable storage containers, lifetime bags, bulk products and recyclable packaging.

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If your business needs packaging for sales, storage or shipping, one of the first steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint is to switch to environmentally friendly packaging such as paper and cardboard. If you really want to make a difference, there are compostable packaging options that leave no waste behind.

The costs of this change may worry you, but remember that a tax on plastic packaging will come into force in April 2022, which means using single-use plastic in your business will become much more expensive. From April 1, 2020, businesses will pay £200 per tonne for plastic that contains less than 30% recycled plastic.

Can your employees work from anywhere? Do they have to be in the office seven days a week or can they do their job from the comfort of their home?

How To Be More Sustainable

If you can provide your company with work-from-home benefits, you’ll help take cars off the road and reduce every employee’s greenhouse gas emissions. What’s more, you’ll reduce energy bills associated with your physical office space, such as electricity, heating and cooling.

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Of course, your employees will use more energy in their own homes, but we’ve still seen a decline in global emissions. In 2020, Shopify had 6,000 employees working from home due to Covid-19. During this time, it recorded a 29% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Globally, we have seen a 40% reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions thanks to work from home policies.

So maybe your company can’t allow people to work from home, you need them physically in the workplace. Why not offer employees benefits that include incentives to commute to work by public transport.

Buses and trains are a great eco-friendly way to travel. Offering employees subsidized travel passes is an effective way to encourage them to use public transport instead of cars.

Other benefits include incentives for car sharing, joining a cycle to work scheme or electric vehicle charging stations.

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As mentioned above, it is not always possible to work from home. If you need a place to work, there are a few things you can do to increase the efficiency of your office or warehouse.

If your company delivers, it’s time to consider how you can reduce the number of trips you make or the way you make them. Some alternative delivery options include:

If these are not viable options for your business, consider planning greener routes for your drivers. Optimize your routes based on time and cost efficiency. Ship from local stores or micro-fulfillment centers instead of regional warehouses.

How To Be More Sustainable

Finally, connect with your customer base. Do they tend to buy multiple items at once? If so, would they be happy to wait for longer delivery times if it meant their products could be shipped en masse?

Ways To Make Your Small Business More Sustainable [infographic]

Nowadays, technology is so advanced that the need for paper is decreasing. Look for digital tools that let you share documents, edit in real time, and collaborate with others.

Ditch traditional archiving methods and use cloud-based digital data storage solutions. Finance and accounting can also be conducted using digital software, as well as HR, operations and presentations.

Sustainability starts at the source. One of the first things you can do on your sustainability journey is to pay close attention to the products you source. Here are some questions to ask yourself during this process?

If you’re putting in the hard work and commitment to being more eco-friendly, make sure the people you work with share the same ethos.

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Finally, one of the easiest steps you can take to make your business more sustainable is to invest in making a positive impact. This means small investments in projects that offset carbon emissions by planting trees, fighting plastic pollution and much more. Just because you can’t physically plant a tree doesn’t mean you can’t help important projects that do.

At Greenspark, we are the world’s first impact-as-a-service platform with a passion for helping businesses increase their positive impact. We’ve made it as simple as possible. From registration to store integration and influence setting, it only takes five minutes, and from that point on, everything is automated. With a little bit of effort, you can make a huge impact.

Every sale, subscription or review can make a positive impact by planting trees, saving plastic from the oceans or helping communities in Malawi use more energy-efficient cookstoves.

How To Be More Sustainable

Remember – you can’t go carbon neutral overnight. These changes take time. Do what you can to do your part and Greenspark is always here to help.

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Are you ready to join Race to Zero? Remember, it’s a marathon. Not a sprint. We make it easier for everyone to plant trees and together we can make an incredible impact. Learn more

Read stories from the field, interesting facts about trees and treat yourself to a healthy dose of nature. Visit our blog

Consisting of lesson plans, learning modules, resources and exercises, the T.R.E.E.S. The school program is the perfect complement to your curriculum. Learn more

Our fan favorite reforestation t-shirt. Wear it with pride to show your support for reforesting our planet, one tree at a time. Shop now

From Sustainable To Regenerative — Sphera

Give a gift that will last a lifetime! Select an image, write a personalized message and select a delivery date to gift your tree. Give a tree

Do you drive an electric car, eat lentils and don’t want to throw anything away? Is your library stocked with copies of Silent Spring, The Sand County Almanac, and The World Without Us, and is your home equipped with solar panels, smart switches, beehives, and plenty of compost? Then you might just be an environmentalist!

Just starting your journey and feeling overwhelmed by all the ways to live more sustainably? That’s completely normal and okay – you don’t have to have it all figured out to make a difference for the planet! As we often say here, “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” The world needs many people who do sustainability imperfectly, not just a handful of people who do it perfectly (but we applaud those who do!).

How To Be More Sustainable

The chemical additives, microplastic beads and plastic packaging included with most soaps pose a threat to our health and the health of the planet, but have you ever considered making your own soap?

How To Make Your Small Business More Sustainable

You’ll be able to choose your ingredients wisely, using the best local, organic produce you can find. What’s more, just one batch can keep you and your family clean for many months! Are you nervous about working with lye? Just do your research, invest in the right equipment (you can probably find at least some of it at your local thrift store), and follow all safety precautions. You got it! 💪

Composting is a great way to reduce food waste, feed your garden and do your bit for the planet, one meal at a time. One easy way to get there is to create a worm composting system and let the creepy crawlies do the work for you! The beginning is the hardest part, but once the worms settle into their new home, they can eat 1/2 their weight in food scraps every day. So if you start with 1 pound of worms (which we recommend), they will eat 1/2 pound of leftovers! Most of the same principles apply to worm composting as they do to other garden varieties, so if you’re already familiar with this practice, it will be a simple and easy way to ensure a steady supply of compost.

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