Micro businesses with up to ten employees have unique challenges when it comes to going green. If you work from home, have no staff and do not travel very much it may seem that there isn’t much you can do to be green. In fact, your impact is going to be much lower than larger businesses anyway! However, there is still so much you can do to ‘walk the talk’ help build a sustainable business community across the region.
Go Green held a workshop with experts Traci Lewis from Sustain-Live Consulting, Matthew Gitsham from Sustain Ltd, Richard Crook from Essential Trading Co-operative and Rhian Sherrington from Choose2Flourish. They shared their experiences as small businesses themselves and provided some top tips on writing a sustainability policy, energy saving, bulk buying groups and personal wellbeing.
As a group, we identified the things that attendees were already doing to Go Green and it was pretty impressive:
- Using recycled paper
- Using a printing company that has good environmental credentials (for more tips on this see out Linked In group)
- Cycling to meetings
- Having an ethical pension
- Agile working and using The Cloud to store documents
- Task lighting using individual lamps rather than lighting a whole room
- Putting on slippers and fleeces when it gets cold rather than ramping up the heating
- Turning electricals off at the socket (for more tips on energy saving download our handy guide)
- Air dry washing
- Replace bulbs with LEDs
- Buying organic food
- Using electric cars or bicycles to get to meetings
- Using a website hosting company that has good environmental credentials
We then discussed the challenges that micro businesses face when trying to go green and what we can do to support them.
Prioritising green challenges and access to small scale technical advice were seen as particular issues.
Being part of Go Green and putting some time aside every month to work on your action plan (perhaps to coincide with a Go Green Business Breakfast) is a good opportunity to move green issues up your agenda, and our events are great opportunities to build your local networks too. There is also funding available for small-scale energy saving advice through the Energy Efficiency Fund.
- Download a Sustainability Policy Template to adapt for your business
- Funding available for a free energy survey and up to £6000 to install energy efficiency improvements for small businesses
- Monitor your energy use with EnergyDeck, a free online platform
Want to get some top tips on going green as a micro-business?
We compiled tips from our workshop experts into a handy guide to get you started if you are self-employed or have up to ten employees.