There’s a growing interest in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) wanting to green their businesses, but real action is slow as they usually lack the knowledge and resources to do so. If you’re a SME who wish to be more sustainable, we present 4 simple green strategies here as a starter for you to take the first few steps:
- Reduce Risks
- Reduce Costs
- Increase Revenue
- Enhance Brand
1. Reduce Risks
Look at aspects of your business that has environmental impacts. It could be the use of resources: energy, water, chemicals and materials. Or discharges to the environment such as wastewater, air and chemical emissions, and waste disposal.
If these resources and discharges are not handled properly, they could be a risk to your business due to fluctuations in prices of resources, over-dependency on suppliers, change in government regulations, change in consumer demands, legal issues and liabilities, and hazards to employees.
Start now by identifying your environmental risks, monitoring them regularly and reducing those risks over time.
Some questions on environmental risks that you might ask:
- How much energy, water, materials and chemicals are we using?
- Which are the chemicals that are toxic and how are they handled?
- How do we dispose or discharge wastewater, air emiisons, waste and used chemicals?
- Are we meeting government regulations and how do we anticipate future regulations to change?
- Are there incidents of leaks and spills of chemicals, and how can they be prevented?
- Are we using too much resources and generating too much waste as compared to the industry norms? What happens if prices of the resources increase or disposal fees increase?
- Do we depend only on resources from one or few suppliers, and are those resources sustainable and non-toxic?
- Are our customers demanding for greener products or are more environmentally conscious?
- What happens to our products after being used by our customers?
Keep track of those questions above and other relevant risks, and get someone or a team to monitor the potential risks. Take immediate actions to reduce the important and urgent environmental risks. And set a timeline to reduce other lesser risks.
To be continued in Part Two.
Image credit: asifthebes via stock.xchng.