Making the decision to run a greener business is something many large multinational corporations are making right now in light of increased pressure from ethical consumers, but small businesses have a role to play as well. You may not have the deep pockets of a large organization from which to fund and implement green initiatives at your workplace, but when enough small business owners make these decisions, the effects are meaningful. Below are three green decisions you can make as a small business owner.
If you are a small business owner and you have a credit card for business-related purchases, there are green credit card options out there that could be helping you maximize your positive environmental impact.
Green credit cards typically work by donating a portion of what you spend on the card each month to initiatives or programs that help fight climate change or make a contribution to some other environmental effort. The Bank of America, for instance, has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund, which receives a percentage of each transaction you conduct with the card.
Do Business With Green Vendors
Before signing contracts with new vendors, do some due diligence on their environmental record and current corporate social responsibility initiative. If you consider yourself, as a small business owner, to be someone with an environmental conscience and environmental convictions, you can have an outsized impact by, in effect, putting your money where your mouth is.
The more people who choose to make what essentially amounts to an ethical consumption decision, the more pressure you as a consumer (both individually and through your small business) can exert on companies. Ask your vendors questions about materials and their supply chain to make more informed decisions.
Whether you conduct business from a home office or have a commercial space you rent, there are almost always ways that you can reduce the amount of energy you consume by getting rid of inefficiencies. For instance, if you know for a fact that your home or office space makes use of out-of-date windows, lightbulbs, and even flush toilets, changing these for newer, more energy-efficient ones come with a range of benefits.
Energy-efficient windows and lighting can save you a considerable amount on your central heating and cooling as well as lighting costs. What’s more, you can often get tax credits for making these upgrades to your private or business establishment. Additional energy efficiency could also include the vehicle you drive to work, choosing to bike more often, or taking public transit when possible.
Small business owners may feel like meaningful environmental impact is out of their grasp running a small operation. Still, there are plenty of things to be done that add up–especially when a critical mass of small businesses follow suit. From being more selective about what kind of credit card you choose and the vendors you do business with to upgrades to the kinds of lights, windows and vehicles you use, there are many green improvements that are accessible to small business owners.