Whether yours is a small web design business run by yourself, or a larger one with several employees, it’s important to understand what sustainability means for your business if you want to implement environmentally sound practices. There are three elements to be considered.
- Saving the earth’s resources. For business, this can mean simple things that are easy to implement, such as using LED lights, turning off lights when not needed – for instance, in meeting rooms or amenities blocks – using toner save mode on the printer and so on. There are many ways to save and often such practices save you costs as well. You can also choose to work only with suppliers or other businesses that follow similar practices, but this can get a bit more complicated. It all depends on how serious and dedicated you want to be.
- Reducing waste to keep the environment cleaner. There’s no doubt about it, placing the wrong kinds of things into landfill spoils the environment, with poisons washing into the waterways and plastics floating around in the ocean. Marine animals eat it in mistake for food and end up dying because the plastic tangles up in their gut, their mouth or even their fins so they can’t swim properly. Fresh water is polluted and in turn pollutes crops and animals that drink it – which in turn ends up making our food and water impure. Businesses must shoulder a great deal of blame for pouring their waste into the earth. They can prevent this happening by reducing and recycling their waste wherever possible and taking care to treat poisonous substances carefully.
- Ethical spending. This simply means buying the things you need from suppliers whose goods come from people who are paid well without having to work in horrible conditions or for long hours. Everyone deserves to be treated fairly. When you see young children working over 12 hours a day and sleeping beside their machines for fear of losing the only income the family can get, that’s not ethical. If children or adults have to risk being poisoned by poor work practices we should be ashamed to support the companies that require them to do so. It may take a little research to ensure your goods are sourced from an ethical company, but it’s worthwhile in the end. If everyone does it, those unethical companies will soon find out that they have to change their ways to survive.
When all businesses and people everywhere get more serious about environmental care and sustainability the world will be a safer, healthier and more pleasant place for us to live in. And it will last a lot longer too, being a safe place for all the future generations to come.