The good thing about building an environmentally conscious startup is that it means different things to different people. The founder is free to pick the better green initiatives that they agree with and skip other options that aren’t environmentally friendly enough for their liking. Here are six tips for building an environmentally conscious startup.
1. Reduce Waste and Increase Recycling
First and foremost, you need to be looking at environmentally friendly ways of producing your product. For example, eco-friendly compostable k-cups are this company’s solution to creating a popular product with zero waste.
However, waste goes beyond you and your product. So, be sure to encourage staff to use coffee mugs or a refillable water bottle to fill up on filtered water too. Recycle bins should also be provided to let office and/or warehouse staff recycle items appropriately and break down cardboard boxes too.
2. Use Plant-based Packaging
For startups that produce their own physical products, you will need to ensure that the boxes and product packaging are made from plant-based materials, as this means it will be biodegradable and compostable. This way, it can be reusable within just a few weeks as a fertilizer to help plants grow stronger.
Make the information about biodegradability prominent on the packaging to let consumers know about it too. Include links to further information on the company’s website to provide more details about how the packaging can be reused in an environmentally friendly manner.
3. Promote Your Products as Eco-Friendly
People are keen to avoid damaging the planet. They look for products that are specifically marked as eco-friendly. As such, it’s important to highlight this fact in your product packaging, the website, and any promotional materials too.
Feature stories about the company’s efforts to be environmentally active in articles within the industry. Also, get published in magazines and online sites that are focused on environmental topics which likeminded people will likely read regularly.
4. Adopt Digital Processes to Avoid Paper Usage
Use digital processes like cloud storage and cloud file access. Avoid the use of the photocopier and only use the laser printer when it’s necessary. While some business correspondence is still required, many short communications can be sent via email. This saves on letterhead paper, toner, inks, envelopes and postage.
When using pen and paper, use recycled paper and pens with an internal cartridge that can be replaced rather than needing to replace the pen itself.
5. Reduce Energy Usage in the Office
Think about and plan for what energy usage there will be in the business and how it can be provided for. Certainly, some energy providers are greener in their energy production processes than others. Picking the more environmentally sensitive supplier over the cheapest one is a good first step. However, the company should look at whether they can make use of a solar panel installation on the roof of the building to generate their own power too.
Beyond that, reducing energy use by upwards of 20% is usually feasible in most businesses. This can be done by having monitors turned off when not idle, powering down PCs out of hours, using eco-friendly lighting solutions and other steps to reduce total power consumption.
6. Avoid Speed Over Environmental Concerns
Startup companies will often run at such a breakneck speed where other concerns easily fly out the window. Don’t let that happen to your company.
It’s necessary for environmental concerns to be a significant consideration with any new project or system to ensure that it doesn’t get forgotten. It’s all too easy to add green concerns as an afterthought for consideration rather than being present from the outset. Only when they’re included in the discussion from the beginning can design and planning for a new product consider their implications properly.
Being an environmentally conscious startup isn’t just good for the planet; it also attracts employees who care about these issues too. They may even have some good suggestions which can be later implemented, so keep an open mind.