As companies in New Zealand continue to grow and evolve, it's important to consider the impact they have on the environment. Consumers are more aware than ever of the impact that companies have on the planet, and 88% of them prefer to work with organizations that are environmentally oriented.
“Furthermore, research suggests that 90% of kiwis would stop buying products or services from a company that is known to be irresponsible or unethical.” -Colmar Brunton.
While sustainability can seem like a daunting task for some, it doesn't have to be costly. In this blog post, I will be discussing 7 cost-effective ways organisations can boost their sustainability without breaking the bank.
1. Reduce Energy Consumption:
One of the easiest ways to reduce a company's environmental footprint is to reduce energy consumption. This can be done by implementing energy-efficient practices such as turning off lights and equipment when not in use, using energy-efficient light bulbs, and using a programmable thermostat to control heating and cooling. Additionally, companies can invest in renewable energy sources such as solar panels to power their operations or switch to more eco-friendly power companies.
These two seem to be heading in the right direction.
- Meridian: Targeting zero carbon Since 2006, we've been reporting our greenhouse gas emissions inventory annually.
2. Ecotricity: The cleanest, greenest electricity money can buy.
Another area where companies can reduce their environmental footprint is through transportation. Encourage employees to work from home, or offer incentives for those who take public transportation or carpool. Consider offering perks such as bike racks or e-bike charging stations to employees who choose to bike to work. Companies in the city might be able to create policies that encourages the use of bikes if meetings locations fall within a certain distance from the office.
Offer a HOP card package for public transport instead? AT have monthly passes that can auto - top up.
Co-working spaces, like The Workshop, can help reduce operational costs for companies while also allowing employees to travel less to and from work. For example, having hubs located outside of the city centre.
3. Implement Recycling and Waste Management Programs:
Look at diverting a wider range of waste from landfills through better recycling and separation is not only better for the environment but can also in some cases save money. For example, consider going digital instead of printing paper documents, or invest in recycling bins to encourage employees to recycle more.
Here are some local services to consider:
- Sharewaste: We connect people who wish to recycle their food scraps and other organics with their neighbours who are already composting, worm-farming or keep farm animals.
- We Compost: We provide a food waste collection service for Auckland businesses and homes that are not able to compost their food scraps themselves. Get on board and assist Auckland's circular economy with Auckland Recycling & Waste Solutions.
- Reclaim: We specialise in providing recycling solutions specific to your business. All our services are tailored to achieve your businesses waste reduction and sustainability goals.
- E-Waste: Abilities Group is a non-profit, incorporated society dedicated to enriching the lives of people with disabilities through meaningful work. We are involved in numerous recycling activities.
When packaging your products, consider options with minimal environmental impact. This can be done by using biodegradable or compostable materials, or choosing packaging that can be easily recycled. There’s no need to shrink-wrap a non-fragile item that’s already protected by a box. Additionally, using minimal packaging can also help save costs.
Quick reminder: When recycling mailers, check that the label is recyclable or compostable. Alot are not recyclable or compostable. Also check whether they are home compostable or commercially compostable.
Here are some great packaging company to consider:
5. Start Measuring Your Footprint:
If you do not have the numbers to pinpoint where your challenges are, it's really hard to make the right call. This is true in healthcare, finance, and also sustainability. Like the saying goes,
"you can't manage what you don't measure".
Although not everything can easily be measured, measuring your company's impact through carbon emission tracking is a great way to start and can be done manually.
Below are ways to get started tracking your company's impact:
- Measuring Emissions: Detailed Guide 2022.
- Cogo - Connect your Xero account to understand and reduce the impact your business has on the climate.
- Toitū Envirocare - Calculate and track emissions from your travels, household activities or small business.
6. Incorporate sustainability into branding and marketing:
Re-branding can be expensive and time-consuming, but there are simple, cost-effective alternatives to incorporate sustainability into your marketing efforts: partner with a supplier that already has great sustainable initiatives you can leverage.
For example, reevaluating your organisation's uniform choices is an often overlooked but cost effective opportunity.
Textile waste is a huge problem is New Zealand, and by partnering with a clothing supplier with circularity initiatives, like us here at LUCKE, you not only minimise your organisation's clothing footprint but it also serves as a tangible demonstration of your dedication to a sustainable future.
This also fosters trust, boosts credibility, and positions you as a leader in a market where environmental responsibility is highly valued.
Educating employees and customers about sustainability can help companies reduce their environmental impact.
Here are a few suggestions to consider:
Organise internal sustainability training sessions for employees. This can include information on recycling, energy conservation, and sustainable sourcing
Incorporate sustainability education into new employee onboarding and orientation.
- Incorporate sustainability into performance evaluations and use it as a metric for employee performance.
- Organise volunteering opportunities and use social media and internal messaging systems to share the sustainability-related content created at these events.
In conclusion, there are many cost-effective ways for New Zealand companies to boost their sustainability efforts. By taking some of these steps, not only will you reap the benefits of reduced costs and enhanced reputation but most importantly, you will be sending a message to your customers, employees, and stakeholders that your company is dedicated to making a difference and leaving a positive impact on the world.