6 Simple Ways a Small Business
Can Be ESG-Friendly
Over the past several decades, sustainability and ESG investing has gained increasing significance – particularly among consumers and investors. Increased public awareness about environmental concerns causing concern, and recent global weather events exacerbating this sentiment further. A recent global study on ESG (environmental, social, and governance issues) also revealed that these concerns are becoming more prominent globally.
The adoption of ESG practices is on the rise as businesses increasingly recognize the significance of sustainability. In addition, as environmental concerns continue to escalate, there’s an increased awareness of greenwashing, and customers seek transparency and authenticity from companies that prioritize sustainability – including employee wellbeing. But implementing ESG principles can be daunting for smaller companies that may not be familiar with this concept. Therefore, here are some tips on how to overcome these difficulties and become more ESG-friendly.
Ask ESG Questions
Embracing ESG initiatives requires both self-reflection and increased transparency. Without adequate preparation, a misstep in this unfamiliar terrain could not only lead to losing your competitive edge but also alienate your customer base. To succeed, you need a realistic strategy based on your current situation. Some crucial questions to consider are:
- Could the adoption of ESG principles negatively impact your company’s competitiveness?
- How should the business address issues such as racial and gender equity in society?
- How can an ESG strategy be made resilient enough to meet the economic challenges of the future?
The key is to assess how much change can be realistically implemented within a specific timeframe rather than striving for unattainable goals. Furthermore, your competition may operate in a less regulated environment, so a disproportionate emphasis on ESG may hinder your ability to compete effectively.
Offer Remote Work to Your Employees
With more and more work being done online, physical office spaces have become less necessary. Remote working has seen a recent surge in popularity, providing employees with greater work-life balance and significantly reducing commute time. Not only is this trend beneficial for individuals but also for the environment – fewer cars on the road equals less carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere, decreasing traffic and businesses’ carbon footprints. Plus, small companies save money on expenses lighting, heating, and stocking the workplace – by having fewer people present at their desks.
Make Everything Sustainable
This philosophy extends to day-to-day operations as well. Nowadays, there are countless sustainable alternatives for everything from toilet paper and disposable plastic cups to environmentally friendly office supplies, coffee, snacks, light bulbs, and electronics. A great place to start is investing in warm-toned LED bulbs which last for years without needing replacement.
When considering environmental sustainability, small companies must prioritize principles over direct customer benefits. How can a small business claim be “ESG-friendly” if it does not apply these external principles internally? Creating awareness of ESG initiatives within your company culture is essential and should be inclusive, open for discussion, and supportive of local suppliers, businesses, and initiatives whenever feasible.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
To minimize landfill waste, it’s best to prevent it from being created in the first place. Small companies should prioritize reducing their usage wherever feasible – for instance, instead of using disposable cups, plates, and utensils, they could switch over to glass or ceramic alternatives instead.
Reusing items as often as possible is essential. For example, instead of throwing away structurally intact boxes, small firms can reuse them again in their warehouse. Furthermore, employees should be encouraged to utilize both sides of printer paper in the office.
Recycling can be the ideal alternative when reducing or reusing is not possible. Many cities
now provide recycling bins, and the process has become simpler in recent years – making it easier to avoid filling your trash can completely.
Participate in a Carbon Offsetting Program
The aim is not to completely eradicate carbon emissions from a company’s operations but rather take gradual steps in that direction. This process starts with small tasks and can also apply to more intricate businesses with “externalized” components like manufacturing supply or logistics. One way to begin is by joining an offsetting program and not getting overwhelmed by its enormity.
Website Hosting Services Consider Green Hosting
Small firms consume energy through the continuous operation of servers hosting website data. However, they have the power to make an informed decision about where their data is stored, and many eco-conscious businesses are taking steps to offset their carbon emissions and become carbon neutral. Google has taken major steps in this regard with their cloud services, claiming they produce zero net carbon emissions. Amazon, too, as one of the leading cloud computing providers, is making a commitment to becoming net zero carbon by 2040 by using wind and solar farms.
Being ESG-friendly means being proactive and taking small steps toward sustainable practices. No matter the size of the company, ESG is good for the environment and your profits as well. There are opportunities to analyze operations, get employee input, and move towards more environmentally and socially responsible practices. There are plenty of tools available for this process. All businesses should start considering some aspect of ESG to stay aligned with the global economy’s direction as well as address Climate Crisis challenges head-on. Embracing ESG not only benefits the planet, but it offers businesses a chance to make an impact while creating long-term value.