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Consider the effect your business operations have on the environment. Picture: SUPPLIED/DOCUMENT WAREHOUSE
Consider the effect your business operations have on the environment. Picture: SUPPLIED/DOCUMENT WAREHOUSE

Sustainability is more than just a buzzword. While there is no universal definition, sustainability is about protecting the environment and ecological health, without compromising innovation or our way of life. 

While it’s always a good time to change to greener business practices, there’s something about a new year that lends itself to fresh beginnings. It’s common to set personal new year resolutions towards the end of the year, but the same can be done for your business.

Each business has a unique set of needs, so there’s no one-size-fits-all blueprint to a more sustainable business. However, there are ways to determine which sustainable business practices your business can adopt. 

Here’s how to set up a more sustainable business:

Conduct a sustainability review

This is the first step to a greener business. Consider the impact your business operations have on the environment. Which practices cause the most harm to the environment? Do you need to reconsider your document-shredding process because it causes too much pollution? Or perhaps you’re worried about how your older electronics are using too much electricity. Once you’ve determined which practices have the most ecological impact, you can figure out what needs to be changed.

Make resolutions you can stick to

Most people fail at resolutions because they try to punch above their weight. Making unrealistic resolutions is the easiest way to set yourself up for failure, whether they are personal or related to your business. Break up your resolutions into small, manageable processes with steps that offer natural progression. 

If you identify more than one area of improvement, you could focus on a few in the first part of the year and move on to the others the following year. It’s best to start with the resolutions that require help from third parties.

For instance, if you need to move to an EDMS (electronic document management system), start with reducing paper waste. The company that handles your migration to an electronic document management system will do most of the heavy lifting, allowing you to easily tick a resolution off your list. This will give you the momentum you need to tackle the others.

Get employee buy-in

Trying to enforce greener business practices on your employees will only breed resentful compliance. Before you announce any new policies, rather consult with your staff and let them know why the organisation is taking a new direction. If you can get your employees to willingly participate in your new green policies, you’ll spend far less time trying to police compliance. 

Regardless of the size of your business, there are many steps you can take to make your organisation more sustainable. As with any other sphere of life, improvement comes from slow, incremental change. Taking a few small steps towards sustainability will ensure long-term change.

This article was paid for by Document Warehouse.

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