Making your business more environmentally friendly

1 March 2022

There's never been a better time to take steps to make your business more environmentally friendly. It's incredibly easy, and there are so many reasons to do it, primarily to:

  • reduce your running costs
  • attract more customers
  • do your bit for the environment

Reduce your running costs

The ACT Government offers a range of incentives and subsidies for ACT businesses, to help you become more environmentally friendly. 

Some of these are: 

  • business rebates for energy and water efficiency upgrades 
  • a lighting efficiency webtool for businesses to check the efficiency of your lighting setup 
  • Business Recycling Program 
  • ‘straws suck’ campaign 
  • Community Clubs Program 
  • Business Sustainability Awards 

You can find out about all of these programs, and start saving money today!!, in the links below.

RESOURCES

 

Attract more customers

Sustainability initiatives are good for business! 

Recent research has found that 90% of Australian consumers consider the environmental and ethical impacts of a product or brand before making a purchase. 

By making your business more environmentally friendly and letting your customers - and would-be customers - know this, you'll likely attract more business and be a step ahead of your competitors. 

Make sure you advocate your efforts; people want to know it; and they’ll be more likely to support you, and to choose your business over your competitors!! 

Some simple signage in your premises and online social media posts will help raise your brand identity and commitment to a purpose. 

 

Do your bit for the environment

Reduce food waste

Food waste in landfill is a significant contributor to harmful methane emissions, with food rotting in landfill releasing methane 28 times stronger than carbon dioxide. Here's some other trivia on food waste:

  • Throwing away one burger wastes the same amount of water as a 90-minute shower; and 
  • It takes 25 years for a head of lettuce to decompose in landfill. 

The good news is that reducing food waste is our 3rd most effective way to address climate change. 

For local hospitality businesses in the ACT - in the first instance try to reduce any food waste that goes to landfill. Can you partner with and give any leftover food to local charity or other services?  

In the second instance, it’s better to compost than send unwanted food to landfill. Take a look at the 'Cool Seats' link below for some inspiration here! You could also consider partnering with a local school to collect your food waste for their own composting and school garden purposes.

Recycle

Over 900 ACT and Queanbeyan businesses are already signed up as ACTSmart business recyclers! This is great. And, as a local ACT business why wouldn’t you?! 

It’s free, it’s available to any business in the ACT or Queanbeyan, it helps reduce your business’ running costs, it reduces impact on the environment, it helps you benefit from public recognition about your policies and actions, AND helps you meet corporate environmental responsibilities. - All by taking some simple actions on waste management and recycling. 

Take a look, and start the (pretty straightforward) process to become accredited at: https://www.actsmart.act.gov.au/what-can-i-do/business/recycling 

Reuse

Make it easy for your customers to be environmentally friendly with you by:

  • offering a small discount for customers who bring their own reusable coffee cup;
  • offering reusable fruit and vegetable bags for purchase right alongside the plastic options; and
  • selling reusable products available for purchase, which proudly convey your branding.

Tap into the sharing economy

Have you considered tapping into the sharing economy with other local businesses in your area? Are there key pieces of equipment or other items that you use only infrequently? Could you team up with other businesses in your local area to share resources? 

This is a great way you can become more environmentally friendly while also reducing your business costs, and having something positive to tell your customers about your contribution and commitment to sustainability. 

There's also the Canberra Community Toolbox (link below) which operates as a 'Library of Things'; which your business might be able to use, to reduce your need to purchase tools or equipment that you only use infrequently. Items available in the Community Toolbox include drills, hand tools, a mitre saw, data projector, drop sheets, ladders... 

RESOURCES