With our carbon footprint an increasingly weighty topic on everyone’s mind, there’s never been a better time for your business to go green. Not only will you be doing your bit for the environment, but you can actually set yourself apart from your rivals and make yourself more attractive to prospective clients and customers. In a market as competitive as the SME sector, every little helps.

If you’re keen to cut down your carbon footprint and ramp up your eco-friendliness but not sure how to go about doing so, here are five small ways in which you can have a big impact on the future of our planet… and the future of your business.

Going paperless

It’s 2018! Filing cabinets and handwritten correspondence are all but relics of the last century, so if you haven’t yet made the leap into a digital realm, now’s the time to do so. Reducing your consumption of paper is not only beneficial to the environment and cheaper for your company, it’s also a safer and more secure method of data storage, especially if you utilise Cloud technology.

Reducing e-waste

Global e-waste is projected to exceed 50 million tonnes in 2018 – make sure your business doesn’t contribute to that staggering amount more than it needs to by recycling all outgoing electronics. Much of the time, you can simply ask the provider of your new office equipment if they will take the old gear off your hands. If not, search for a specialist Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) recycling facility to meet your obligations.

Green procurement

One of the biggest ways in which your company can have an impact on the environment is by being discerning in whom it chooses to do business with. For example, this could involve purchasing office supplies which don’t contain toxins harmful to the Earth, or contracting a supplier that puts an emphasis on sustainable manufacturing and minimal packaging. Establish a responsible supply chain and your footprint will shrink exponentially.

Renewable energy

With renewable energy sources such as solar and wind almost reaching cost parity with fossil fuels, there’s really no reason not to go green with regards to your consumption policy. If possible, install solar panels on the roof of your premises to achieve maximum sustainability; otherwise, simply source a renewable provider for your electricity and your web hosting needs as well.

Conserve!

Finally, remember to turn off all light switches when not in use to avoid wasting precious energy. Similarly, office equipment is another big power drain; the use of computers, phones, photocopiers and the suchlike is projected to cost UK businesses around £300 million every year – bring down the financial as well as the ecological price tag by switching off power outlets after hours.