Make your business more sustainable
For any business owner it can often be difficult to find the time in the day to set aside making improvements. If you’ve had to close your doors due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, can you use the time to look at making changes for when you’re up and running again?
Sustainability can sometimes be overlooked as there are many other priorities, so we’ve put together this toolkit full of ideas, top tips from inspiring businesses and additional resources.
Only a few minutes to spare?
- On your next visit to the shop, pick up low energy bulbs and replace those less efficient.
- Upgrading a freezer or dishwasher? Choose white goods with the best energy rating.
- If you’ve got space for one, consider using a washing line to dry towels and linen naturally.
- Can you install a water butt to collect rainwater for your plants or a composter for food waste?
- Champion other local businesses. Whether it’s creating a guide for visitors of those must-see places, or recommending a nearby supplier, not only does supporting local have a positive impact on the environment, it’s good for the local economy too.
- Why not update your menu by sourcing local produce? If you do, make sure you mention this on the menu. Offer healthy options too.
- Compare your energy prices. There are even some businesses who will compare all of your energy costs on your behalf. If you do choose to change provider, or update your package, choose a green energy option. Have you had a smart meter installed so you can monitor your costs?
- Use refillable toiletries in your toilets or bathrooms, rather than single use.
If you’re making changes towards being more sustainable, don’t forget to tell your customers! For many a positive approach to sustainability will be appealing, and to some it will make all the difference when they decide to choose your business over a competitor. Encourage them to help you along the way by:
- Reminding guests to turn heating down (or in those sunnier months, the air conditioning off) when they’re not in their room. Could you install timers and sensors to ensure a consistent temperature? Also it can help to turn TVs or radios to standby when not in use or to allow guests to choose to wait an extra day before having towels changed.
- To help reduce water consumption, offer smaller kettles in guest rooms, and use water saving showerheads.
- Provide recycling bins to show that you’re taking steps to limit waste.
- Many award ceremonies now include sustainability or eco-friendly categories. Submit an entry to Welcome to Yorkshire’s White Rose Awards and celebrate your successes.
Another way to get the message out is to ensure your staff are up to date on any changes you’ve made. Let them know why you’ve decided to make these changes and get them engaged by asking them to offer suggestions too and encouraging them to take action by using sustainable transport methods to get to and from work. Put an environmental policy together to share with staff, and visitors too.
Some actions may seem small, but in reality any efforts towards being more sustainable are a positive step, for you, your business and for Yorkshire. If however you don’t want to stop there, there are ways to take an even bigger step:
- Feeling green fingered? Utilise an outdoor space to grow your own fruit and vegetables. It may take a while to establish, but once it has it will provide you with fresh produce to use in your kitchen, or even an attraction outside for visitors.
- If a swimming pool or spa is part of your offering, look at salt-water options.
- Making major structural changes to your property? Consider installing a rainwater harvesting system, or positioning windows to flood rooms with natural light, reducing the need for lighting. Search for any funding available; insulation and solar panels are often available at subsidised rates.
- Could your business operate as carbon neutral? It’s likely to take time to research and implement, but it’s a very Unique Selling Point that most businesses won’t have.
If our toolkit has got you thinking (and hopefully doing), there’s a wealth of information available on the internet. Visit the websites below for more ideas: