Running a sustainable business PART 2

Part 2 - Reducing consumption

Following on from our previous post (Part 1 - Power down), we’d like to bust some myths and bring you some ideas on reducing the waste from your business. We are passionate about operating sustainably and responsibly and we like to consider the purchase of anything we use within the business carefully to ensure it’s has minimal environmental impact. Here’s some ideas from the Ralph studio we’d like to share. Hopefully it gives you some insight and food for thought on ways to reduce your own business consumption.

Paperless processes

It’s not been easy, but we now operate a totally paperless office! All our processes are entirely cloud based and even our creative presentations are all presented digitally. Invoicing, reporting, work scheduling, documentation, filing, are all digital. Some of the applications we use include, Active Collab for project management, scheduling and workflow, Google Docs and Sheets for internal documentation, Sync for work file management and Xero for invoicing. All cloud based applications. 

Refillable Pens

The environmental impact of plastic straws and cotton buds are well documented, but from a business perspective, an extraordinary volume of disposal pens are thrown away every year, millions of them. The problem can be greatly reduced by using refillable ink pens. It may seem like going back to school, but this strategy can play a huge roll in reducing the number of plastic disposable pens thrown away each year. So… go old school and refill!

Milk bottles

It’s the signature feature of every office fridge! Why not check out to see if you can get your milk delivered in bottles? We use a great service from www.milkandmore.co.uk and you can check your postcode and schedule regular deliveries online.

Plastic tea bags

There’s a widely held misconception that tea bags can be recycled in food waste, when in actual fact, most of the major tea bag brands, including Tetley, PG Tips, Yorkshire Tea, Twinings and Clipper use a plastic such as polypropylene in their sealing process which doesn't break down when recycled. Switching to loose leaf brands which are delivered in recylable packaging is a great way to combat the problem, or use tea bags which don’t use plastic, these include; Twinings loose leaf pyramid tea bag range, Pukka Herbs, Aldi premium specially selected range and Waitrose Duchy range.

Coffee pods

We loved our coffee machine, but quickly banished it when we saw the mountain of pods we were using! Switching to a cafetiere or another process which uses loose leaf coffee is a winner and ensuring that the raw product is delivered in recyclable packaging all helps too.

Green cleaning products

The benefits are clear! Releasing less harmful chemicals into the environment and less corrosive for the surfaces they are used on are just two of the many benefits of using green cleaning products. It’s a small change to make and can help massively in restoring a natural balance.

Recycle old equipment

We talked before about upgrading equipment as old equipment can soak up your business power usage, but don’t forget to recycle your old equipment! As a planet, we consume a huge amount of electronic equipment and choosing a supplier who will recycle old equipment can reduce the amount going to landfill. HP and DELL amongst others both offer a recycling service.

Committing to a sustainable business can be confusing, but you don’t need to go all out! Even adopting one of our suggestions can make a difference. Don’t forget to check out our part 1 on Running a sustainable business, which focuses on power and part 3 coming soon on getting everyone involved!

We’d love to hear your ideas on running a sustainable business. Please feel free to share your ideas with us.

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