Sustainability Ideas for Small Businesses
The internet is full of tips and advice for small businesses wanting to become more environmentally sustainable, but what’s lacking is something practical that suits all businesses, no matter what size or scale.
When I started this website, I knew I wanted to do good for our planet, but also knew my budgets would initially be constrained. I looked for a way to do small yet impactful things that would scale as my business hit milestones and goals.
This is how I did it, and how you can do the same …
If you’re looking for sustainability ideas to help make your business more sustainable, then let me share my story and the tools that I created that can help you become a more sustainable small business.
Sustainability Examples for Small Business
I made my business more sustainable by finding ways to integrate positive impact with key milestones and successes, such as when someone gets in touch with me via my website, or when I raise an invoice.
There are examples of how to make your business more sustainable all across this website, for instances:
- I sponsor the planting and growing of a tree for every newsletter subscriber.
- When anyone books a meeting with me I provide fresh water to a family in need.
- When a website visitor interacts with a webpage, I support one of seventeen pre-selected worthy-causes that are aligned to the UN SDGs.
- When a potential customer makes an enquiry through a contact form, I support a global sustainability project.
Beyond these, there are plenty of other sustainability examples for small businesses built into my business, including rainforest protection when I raise invoices, carbon removal via Kelp farms or concrete sequestration when audiences interact with my presentations, and many many more.
How to Make Your Business More Sustainable
While many small businesses today are looking to become more sustainable, the facts remain that budgets and time are tight.
My business was the same, so to make this work, the cost of making sustainable impacts needed to be inline with my budget, and the time to do it needed to be minimal.
As such, I decided on an approach of automated micro-impacts.
Automated micro-impacts are small, sustainable actions that are triggered each time something good happens in your business. The more good that happens in your business, the more good your business does for the planet, people or communities.
Automated micro-impacts enable your small business to become more sustainable, but also, importantly:
- Are automated, so have almost no on-going time commitment
- Are small, yet incremental so won’t hurt your bottom line and scale with your business
- Can be quick to get started
Three Steps to Becoming a more Sustainable Business
If the sustainability examples above sound like they could be an interesting step towards making your small business more sustainable then there are three steps you can take now to get going on your journey to becoming a more sustainable:
Step 1: Decide what micro-impacts you would like your business to support.
For example: providing water, cleaning up waste, combating climate change, removing carbon from the atmosphere or plastic from the oceans, tackling poverty, hunger or inequality, increasing access to education, improving access to quality health care.
Step 2: What business goals or milestones could act as a trigger for these impacts?
Receiving an inbound inquiry via your website, when people visit your premises, when you send an email, when your team members receive positive client feedback, when you raise an invoice or get paid, when a client mentions you on social media.
Step 3: Learn how to set it up
Head over to this page to learn how to set up automated micro-impacts using tools such as Google Sheets, Zapier and B1G1.
The tools and video tutorial I can provide will help you become a more sustainable business in two hours or less. So what are you waiting for? Get started here.
Additional Information on Becoming a More Sustainable Business
My journey to becoming a more sustainable small business started with trying to combat the climate impact of my website by planting trees for each and every subscriber.
To do this I partnered with a company called DigitalHumani.
This was a great first step, and still continues to sponsor trees across the globe, but I wanted to do more. I wanted to support more Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) related projects so partnered with B1G1.
This work led to my business being voted one of the most inspiring businesses of the year, and to an interview with B1G1’s co-founder, Paul Dunn.
You can watch my conversation with Paul below. In it you will hear more about my journey, how I solved these challenges and the tools I created along the way