There’s no getting away from it. We’ve all got to up our game on environmental sustainability. It’s the right thing to do and it’s what today’s customers expect. If you’re a small business, you might feel your efforts are a drop in the (rapidly warming) ocean – and we get it, honestly. But small changes really do add up to big impact – doing great things for the environment, your reputation and even your profits. Here are 10 ways to start…
1. Ramp up your everyday recycling.
Ok, let’s start with the simple stuff. Most of us are getting pretty good at recycling at home, so encourage it in the studio too. Get a bank of clearly labelled bins, and provide somewhere for tougher-to-recycle items like batteries and printer cartridges. These can often be dropped off or sent away for recycling, so do a little research and set up a solid system.
2. Recycle your e-waste too.
Every agency loves getting its hands on great new tech, but being more sustainable means thinking through what happens to the electronics you throw away. These days, too much e-waste goes to landfill, or to developing countries where disposing of it can damage the environment.
The good news is, there are plenty of ways to dispose of your old tech responsibly. Look into local schemes that refurbish old computers for schools, charities or community groups. Alternatively, talk to your tech suppliers or manufacturers – many have their own recycling schemes.
Even better, go one step further and resist the urge to buy brand new kit:
Tech that’s been refurbished by a reputable re-seller will feel like new, come with its own guarantee, cost substantially less, and be a whole lot kinder to the planet.
3. Replace worn-out appliances with energy-efficient ones.
The next time the studio kettle packs up (or the fridge, microwave or dishwasher for that matter!), choose an energy-efficient replacement. Most new electrical items have energy star ratings so you can easily make more sustainable choices that use less energy – and cost you less to run. Don’t forget to dispose of the old ones properly by taking them to your local recycling centre.
4. Switch to greener cleaning products.
Choose more eco-friendly brands for everyday products like hand wash, washing up liquid and dishwasher tablets. And if you have office cleaners, ask them about switching their products too – it’s not great to have harsh chemicals in your work environment and they can have a negative impact on water systems when they’re washed or flushed away.
5. Keep remote working in the mix.
Most of us have had to work remotely for big chunks of time over the last year or so, and we’ve made it work. It’s not for everyone and there’s nothing like the buzz of a busy studio, but if some of your team members want to work from home part of the week, weigh up the pros and cons.
The fewer people you’ve got driving into the office, the less pollution they’ll be creating, and the less energy they’ll be using once they get there. It might even save you money too.
6. Start a cycle-to-work scheme.
For everyone who’s coming into the studio, you could also look into setting up a cycle-to-work scheme. It’s a greener way for your team to get to work, get fitter, save on travel costs – and boost their energy levels. It’s free to set up and you can find out how to get started here.
7. Get planting – inside and out.
Think about planting trees, shrubs and other plants outside your office. As well as filtering pollution and creating new natural habitats for wildlife, they’ll make your agency look more attractive too. Equally, adding houseplants in the studio can help to improve air quality and create a calmer working environment. Look for low-maintenance plants that clean the air – snake plants, spider plants and peace lilies are a great place to start.
8. Go for greener web hosting.
Behind every brilliant website there’s a data centre using a whole lot of electricity every day. All of that energy consumption puts a hidden strain on the environment, so try to find a hosting provider that powers its data centres using renewables. It’s something we’re proud to do at Nimbus and it’s a quick way to boost your sustainability, without much effort.
9. Pick sustainable suppliers.
The same goes for your other suppliers – from paper mills to packaging companies, couriers to coffee companies. Ask about their green credentials, see whether they can move you onto more eco-friendly products or services and encourage them to work with you in more sustainable ways.
10. Use renewable energy.
Renewable energy sources like solar and wind power create electricity in a cleaner, greener, less polluting way, and today there are a whole host of energy suppliers who specialise in them. Take a look online and see whether you can switch to a more eco-friendly supplier. It’s a pretty simple process – and a good opportunity to check you’re getting the best price for your energy too.
At Nimbus Hosting, we’re proud to be doing our bit for a greener world. Like to find out how? You can read Tim’s interview with Wholegrain Digital here.
And if you’d like to know more about hosting with us or taking a free, no-strings 7-day trial, just browse our packages, drop us a line or give us a ring on 0203 005 9181. We’d really love to help.