Small business activities have a significant impact on the environment. According to statistics, more than 50% of global emissions come from small businesses. And unlike in the past, businesses and production companies are now held accountable for activities that impact the environment. 

Consumers also want to associate with businesses that are committed to protecting the planet. Here are five ways small businesses can reduce their environmental impact and become sustainable.

1. Support Remote Work

The combustion of fossil fuels during traffic—oil, coal, and gas—is the main source of nitrogen dioxide. Fewer cars on the road mean fewer emissions into the air. One study shows that working four days a week from home reduces the amount of nitrogen dioxide released to the environment by up to 10%.

Besides reducing employees’ carbon footprint, remote work also offers them convenience and increases their overall productivity. No time is wasted commuting. Consider vanpooling or simply buy new cars that are eco-friendly for staff who must report to the office. According to one study, an older car releases 1.10 tons more carbon dioxide than a new car.

2. Encourage Local Sourcing

The carbon footprint of a regular passenger car is approximately 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide (C02) per year. The emission is higher for heavy commercial vehicles that transport goods and raw materials over long distances. Businesses can reduce their environmental impact and save time and money if they source raw materials locally.

Local sourcing of raw materials can also enhance the PR efforts of small businesses. Many consumers like to associate with companies that support smaller independent businesses.

3. Reuse and Recycle

Many items can be reused or recycled. For instance, instead of throwing away packaging boxes, you can use them to store small office items and supplies. Also, encourage staff to use both sides of printing papers whenever possible.

Where reuse is not possible, recycling is an option. Many office items like light bulbs, newspapers, e-waste, and printer cartridges can now be recycled. Major cities now offer bins where you can put such items for collection and recycling.

4. Embrace Cloud Storage

Statistics show that 42% of the timber harvested is used for paper manufacturing. All this paper ends up in the environment as waste. Shifting from paper to cloud storage reduces a company’s environmental impact. Cloud storage lowers costs, is convenient, provides remote access, and boosts collaboration at the workplace.

Businesses can take advantage of document management software like Papercloud. It makes all your data accessible on the cloud but maintains the paper’s look and feel.

5. Compost

Composting is an effective technique company can use to divert waste from landfills. Build a compost outside your premise where you can dump all food leftovers and any organic matter instead of piling it in a dustbin for collection by a garbage truck.

But know what goes into the compost and what doesn’t. You can sell the compost to farmers once the decomposition process is complete. That way, you make money while saving the planet.