In the modern business landscape, sustainability is not just a buzzword; it’s a necessity. Both mammoth corporations and small enterprises have a part to play in addressing global environmental concerns. With decisions ranging from carbon offsetting to adopting eco-friendly delivery patterns, every little effort counts.
Beyond the noble cause of conserving the planet, sustainable business practices offer myriad other benefits. In the past half-decade, there’s been a whopping 28% uptick in the consumer appetite for eco-conscious products.  McKinsey, February 2023. Not just that, going green can trim your operational costs and unveil new growth avenues. Forbes, July 2022. For budding businesses, it’s vital to identify achievable sustainability goals.
Here’s a blueprint to guide your green journey:
A pivotal initial step is to compute your business’s carbon emissions. While online tools can swiftly give you insights, it’s equally crucial to have an innate understanding of where you can reduce your carbon usage. The pandemic-induced remote working trend is a blessing in disguise here. Embracing a remote or a blended work model can minimize commuting carbon emissions significantly.
Additionally, reassess your international suppliers. A shift towards local sourcing can curtail your carbon footprint due to fewer transportation needs, simultaneously bolstering local businesses and enhancing your brand’s goodwill.
A straightforward tactic to boost sustainability is by curbing paper consumption. Migrating to cloud services for invoicing and documentation not only diminishes paper usage but also ensures data safety and efficiency. If you can’t fully eliminate paper, adopt measures like two-sided printing, utilizing recycled paper, and ensuring recycling.
A proactive approach to monitor energy usage, perhaps by installing a smart meter, can spotlight high consumption areas. Simple actions, such as unplugging devices or turning off unneeded lights, can cumulatively reduce energy waste substantially.
Embrace Green Materials & Delivery Mechanisms
In the realm of sustainability, innovation is key. It’s time to ponder: does your business utilize eco-friendly materials? Shockingly, we’re told that more than 200 million plastic cups are dumped nationwide each year, with more than a third of all plastic used only once and then discarded. Around 22 million plastic bottles are purchased in Ireland each week.  Irish Examiner, May 2023. By integrating materials like biodegradable packing, organic textiles, and recycled paper, businesses can play a part in reversing this trend.
Revise your delivery techniques as well. Given that transport accounts for 19.1% of Irelands greenhouse gas emissions in 2022  EPA, July 2023, a conscious move towards green delivery solutions can have significant impacts. Partnering with couriers who have a green ethos or even hand-delivering to local clients can be transformative.
Make It a Collective Pursuit
The journey towards sustainability thrives on collaboration. Devise fun ways to spur your team towards eco-friendly practices, like initiating walk-to-work incentives or minimizing waste challenges. Promote your sustainability strides on digital platforms, which could inspire others to walk the same path.
At Virgin Media we are mavericks, ideas people. We have unstoppable speed and energy. Just like our business broadband. We believe in the power of digital technology and media to inform, inspire and connect. We endeavour to build these connections, so they really matter, for our customers, for society, for our organisation and for our world. Our mission is to make the ordinary extraordinary. And while we have already achieved some great things, we never tire in our pursuit of amazing.
We’re working to ensure that as our business grows, our environmental impact doesn’t grow with it. Our drive for increased sustainability will encompass everything from the products we create the network we build and the suppliers we choose to work with.