5 Tips To Make Your Business More Sustainable in 2019
In the current climate, almost everyone says they want to operate their business more sustainably. But when there’s a choice between profits and ethics, many still plump for the former.
Kristine Nudds says that it doesn’t have to be an either-or situation. After an illustrious PR career in London, she moved to Hong Kong to launch The Feel Good Business, a marketing agency that only works with "businesses who care"—helping them develop CSR strategies or sustainable solutions and communicate them with clarity.
The agency's current clients include Pizza Express, Beef & Liberty, and a number of start-ups, perfectly positioning Nudds to offer advice on how to create a greener work environment at no extra cost.
1/5 The sharing economy leads to lower impact—and lower costs
"This is not just about doing good—using the sharing economy can lead to profits, too. There are lots of ways to share resources and be clever about your office set-up while being kind to the environment. A good example is using a shared office or coworking space, which already have infrastructure in place. Look at ways of leasing, rather than buying, equipment. And use cool, second-hand furnishings to create a real impact."
2/5 Do sweat the small stuff
"It’s all about making sure every day products are fair-trade and organic. Instead of bottled water, look into water-filtering systems or glass bottles in the fridge. Use refillables for soap and washing up liquid, and make sure your stationary comes from green sources like FFC-managed forests. Also, think about your paper trail—do you really need all those print-outs? Finally, recycle. Get bins for regular paper, metal, and glass and make sure your council knows what to collect when."
3/5 Get real about temperature
"Nobody needs their air-con set to 18°C or their central heating set to 25°C—we are all perfectly capable of wearing a jumper indoors in winter and light clothes in summer. Air-cons in Hong Kong summers should be set no lower that 24°C, which is a very comfortable temperature. Just that 5°C shift will have a big impact on the energy bills. Fans also do a good job and look great. Think about different ways to get rid of this dependency on working in really cool spaces all the time."
Related: A Plastic Ocean Director Craig Leeson On The Environmental Catastrophe That Faces Us All
4/5 Say goodbye to one-time usage
"Say you're setting up an F&B business—ask yourself if you need single-use wet wipes on all the tables. Do your customers really expect them? If you’ve never had them at your restaurant, then don’t introduce them. At the moment, there's a lot of talk about straws and take-out packaging. Pay attention to that, but also be mindful of everything else you buy that's single-use and ask yourself if you actually need it."
5/5 Ensure your supply chain is green
"Even if you’ve got good habits, you still need to make sure your entire supply chain is working towards ethical goals. Ask your producers and suppliers about how they operate their businesses. If you don't feel comfortable with the answers, question whether they are right for you. Look into workers’ rights, fair trade and labelling, and the environmental impact of what they’re supplying to you. What’s great is that this conversation will hopefully inspire them to start changing their habits, too."