As the demand for more eco-friendly products, goods or services grows, more and more businesses are also going green. Businesses that think such practices are just simple marketing ploys or the newest viral trend need to reassess the value and impact of sustainability not just into the environment but into the communities that surround them, as well.
Whether you’re handling a small business, a medium enterprise or a large multinational corporation, injecting environmentally friendly practices into your company’s values, actions and products reduces your carbon impact and improve your ethical standing in the community.
Here are some sustainable approaches you can make to improve your retail business.
Eco-Friendly to Go
Creating an environmentally friendly packaging can mean a lot of things. It can be the creation of reusable packaging for your retail products—tote bags, containers, spoons and forks—or the use of biodegradable products as a substitute for plastics—paper straws, recycled cardboard containers or usage of compostable cutlery. Either way, both methods attempt to limit the waste your products produce by making them either recyclable or biodegradable.
Examples of these include your favorite coffee shops using biodegradable cups instead of plastics or grocery stores giving you reusable tote bags for your next shopping. These reduce the unrecyclable waste made by their products because they can either be reused or be turned into pulp.
Locally Sourcing Products
Reduce your carbon emissions by locally sourcing everything you use. This means that ingredients and packaging materials were obtained from nearby farms and producers. Say, if you live in Kansas and you need to print some materials, then go to a Kansas-based printing company, like Action-Mailing.com, and have those materials printed there. Since you’ve sourced your materials locally, you’ve reduced your carbon footprint because you’ve traveled less for it.
Another example of this includes the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Azurmendi in Spain. This restaurant by world-class chef Eneko Atxa is self-sustainable without disrupting the local economy, sourcing their ingredients through their greenhouse and rooftop vegetable gardens or nearby farms.
Greener Retail Stores
Sustainability in retail can also be achieved by making the store itself adhere to eco-friendly ideals and practices. This can be as simple as usage of permanent dishware, replacement of old appliances and computers with EnergyStar-certified equivalent, or reducing paper usage by double-sided printing or going all-digital—transactions, emails, orders and invoices all recorded and made inside your computer. When it comes to energy conservation, proper insulation practices ensure that heat doesn’t escape as much, shaving off any heating spending you make. A lot of sustainable, eco-friendly practices, when done in your retail store, can bring a lot of understated benefits that will help improve the upkeep of your store.
For example, the Amicus Green Building Center, a home improvement store, strives to create a green environment in their boutique, making every facet of their operations sustainable—wind power for electricity, recycled paper usage and organic waste composting.
Sustainable practices aren’t just a fad or a temporary trend. It’s here to stay. As more consumers see the value of seeking eco-friendly products and experiences, businesses must do the same not only to attract more customers but for the cost-reduction of your operating expenses. These reduce the environmental impacts your business makes, slowing down the further degradation of Mother Nature. After all, these approaches will help improve your business’s reputation in the long run.