Environmentally conscious changes within your business can seem daunting; but, it’s likely your company already has the resources for enacting positive initiatives.
As the environmental warnings for our planet become ever more alarming, we are all feeling the sense of urgency to take action. For businesses, introducing environmental sustainability plans are one of the cornerstones of corporate social responsibility, and one that can make a very positive impact -particularly if approached with creativity and motivation.
In commerce, the greatest challenges to reducing our negative impact are committing to more responsible packaging for products and actively reducing our emissions and waste. This may seem like a large scale transition but, as retailers and manufacturers, we have a responsibility to evolve in a more environmentally conscious way, for our customers, but also for long term survival in our industry.
Creating A More Conscious Ethos
When eco-consciousness is a core value, over time it will become a key component of your brand identity. This is a message that resonates with both employees and consumers, who can feel proud of their involvement. It is a positive selling point that will encourage brand loyalty, form compelling content for your marketing strategy, and raise awareness. This ethos should be proudly incorporated into company messaging and materials to drive results.
To make an active difference, every element of your business must be examined. Over time, even small adjustments can build up to impactful improvements, and also significant financial savings. In my experience, your company’s people are the best resource you have for identifying and enacting positive changes.
Building A Green Culture
For any brand’s eco-mission, company culture is the most crucial factor to build success. When green thinking is a collective state of mind throughout your business, it forms a culture where environmental consciousness and innovation can grow. As business leaders, we can facilitate this mentality by making the transition simple and beneficial for employees in several ways.
Education is the obvious first step to aid understanding and inspiring action, but by itself is not enough. In-house training programs need to be reinforced with motivation, incentives, and rewards. Placing targets for waste reduction creates a clear call to action. At Aqualisa we have introduced training along with our green schemes, and we release a dedicated company newsletter reporting on our progress for clear visibility of the difference made.
What Aqualisa has achieved
For your environmental objectives to be successful, environmental consciousness must become second nature to your staff -and therefore your entire business. Solutions must be provided so a greener daily life at your company becomes a habit.
By minimising the product packaging at Aqualisa we save on the use of cardboard, but it also means we can fit more of these compact boxes onto pallets for transport improving efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. Encouraging this way of thinking has influenced product design, with new shower features that can save up to a third of water use per shower for our customers, enabling them to save money on their energy bills and practice water savings in their homes.
As a company, we have reduced waste directed to landfill by over 1 million litres in the last 18 months by introducing recycling bins to every area within the business, and schemes such as providing reusable bottles to make each employee personally accountable for reducing plastic waste. We celebrate the figures with our employees, reporting on the financial savings and our targets.
These solutions make it easy for our culture to support our initiatives. Recycling and saving energy are now as natural a part of the daily workflow as any other daily habit. This way of mind doesn’t just influence behaviour; it influences every element of our business from design to logistics.
What can your company do to inspire your people and enact change?
By Paul Catherine
About the author
Paul Catherine is Aqualisa’s Waste & Continuous Improvement Supervisor. The rise of the circular economy couldn’t come soon enough for Paul, who is passionate about raising awareness around plastic pollution. As well as educating the workforce, through workshops and his 20 waste champions.
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