Sustainability: 7 measures to turn your company “green”
Why is it important to focus on sustainability?
The younger generation attaches particular importance to environmental protection and the careful use of natural resources. Sustainability in the company is therefore not only important for idealistic reasons, but also of paramount importance in the employer’s ability to attract young talent that will allow it to grow and perpetuate over time.
On the other hand, customers prefer to buy from companies that produce sustainably and leave as small an ecological footprint as possible. Especially in sectors with high energy consumption, such as industry and logistics, where a “green” marketing strategy has increasing applicability and a visible return. A good example is the installation of solar panels on the roofs of companies and/or logistics parks. The investment in a self-consumption solar installation not only brings a good image, but also a significant cost reduction. Many Portuguese companies are already taking full advantage of these benefits.
7 measures to make your company’s production and logistics more environmentally friendly
(1)Where possible, use renewable or recyclable raw materials, ideally of regional origin. Always pay attention to the overall ecological balance: sometimes a plastic (recycled and/or produced next door) can be more environmentally friendly than cotton, for example, for which large amounts of water are consumed in the production process;
(2) Avoid packaging waste, which also helps save on costs, and choose mainly sustainable, biodegradable and space-saving packaging materials. There are many alternatives to plastic on the market today – for example, bamboo or straw;
(3)Optimise your fleet by using electric vehicles and, if possible, installing electric chargers for employees’ and/or customers’ vehicles, thus also reducing the overall impact of the activity of those who interact with your company. Make sure that vehicles with fossil fuels are used efficiently. Train your drivers to use defensive driving techniques (increasing safety), promoting a reduction in emissions and fuel and maintenance costs;
(4) Invest in renewable energies. With a self-consumption solar installation, part of the energy, usually purchased from the grid, will be supplied directly by your own solar installation, significantly reducing your electricity bill. You can count on 20 to 30% of your energy needs being covered and thus fix this cost, relative to self-consumed energy, lowering your exposure to the expected rises in energy costs, in this phase of energy transition;
(5) Plan the manufacturing process of new products so that they are sustainable and environmentally friendly from the very beginning of their life
(6) Invest in energy efficient machinery and equipment that will save on energy costs;
(7) Work with service providers, manufacturers and suppliers who also operate in a sustainable way, such as using photovoltaic systems for self-consumption on their premises and electric vehicles for their transport.