As part of our series on the SMEs and the environment we decided to ask a number small and medium sized businesses the approach they were taking to adopting green practices.
Freshly Spiced | Food Production and Retail
As our business has developed we have ran regular checks on production to ensure we are purchasing the most efficient sizes of our raw materials to cut down on multiple packaging that is not needed if we can buy one larger size. This links directly to deliveries as well, ensuring one larger delivery rather than several smaller orders to reduce the carbon footprint. Our production work is scheduled on set days to be more energy efficient rather than doing several small production days we can have two full days of production.
We have recently switched to cardboard postage boxes instead of poly bags which ensures they can be reused or recycled by our customers. While it costs a little more it was important for us to switch to match our own ethics. Parcels that we send to stockists are often sent in reused boxes rather than throwing them away or buying more for the sake of it. Also at any food events whilst we encourage customers to use their own bags, if they require a bag we only use brown paper bags, again to maximise recycling options. We run a minimum printing policy to only print where necessary.
Elysia | Hospitality
We are using local, artisan surplus food from local producer to cater for events in order to help reducing food waste and carbon emission. We believe that by impacting on food waste positively it is possible to impact positively on some key issues of our time – climate change, water security, food security, soil degradation, deforestation, and many more.
Farah Qureshi | Jewellery
I am a Fairtrade Gold licensee and use as much recycled precious metal as possible. Being environmental and ethical is important to me and to my jewellery business. I also believe that the pursuit of best environmental and societal practice makes sound commercial sense. I feel that it is important to make a contribution as each miniscule step helps the future of the planet.
Planet Pursuits | Business Travel
We successfully cut out all single-use plastic in our office and are now encouraging our clients to do the same. It's been achieved through a series of small but important steps, such as purchasing reusable water bottles, refusing plastic promotional gifts, and creating a kitchen area that encourages team lunches that eliminates plastic waste (a step that's been positive for our company culture too).
Ross & Ross Food | Food
All of our ingredients such as spices are bought in exact quantities, so nothing is wasted. Products like our rapeseed oil, use the leftover husks to make animal feed and the oil can be used as biofuel after it has been used.
We source our ingredients from as close to us in the Cotswolds as possible. If we have all this amazing produce on our doorstep then it makes perfect sense to use it. We have also removed the use of plastic straws from our catering events.
Incognito | Anti-mosquito products
We have won a Queen's Award for our efforts in the area of sustainability. The ingredients we use in our products are extracted by a chemical-free process not requiring pesticides or fertilisers and are grown in nitrate-free soils and extracted from plants by steam distillation. Being biodegradable, they do not pollute groundwater; the development saving, annually, many thousands of litres of pesticide from entering the environment. We further reduce our environmental footprint by reducing packaging by up to 50 per cent, incorporating recycled plastic in its bottles, achieving an overall recycling rate of 95 per cent and, through its Plant a Tree Today foundation, becoming carbon positive.
All of our electricity comes from Good Energy and is 100% renewable from solar, water or wind-generated. Our vehicles are Environmentally Friendly Vehicles (EFVs). They are either 100% electric vehicles (EVs), which are literally powered indirectly by wind! Or they use super-efficient hybrids for longer distances. No animal testing occurs on any of their products or product derivatives. As it used to say on their spray bottle, "tested on humans not animals".
Even the packaging is designed to protect our oceans; incognito’s Second Skin Suncream comes in renewable source sugarcane plastic, which significantly eliminates the carbon footprint of the product – every kilogram produced prevents 4.6kg of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere.
Has your SME taken steps to become more sustainable? Tweet us at @365BizFinance.