With emissions and excess waste at the forefront of many minds, consumers, competitors and activists alike are pushing for more sustainable solutions across every industry. But how can small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) reduce their carbon footprint while still providing affordable solutions and lightning-fast service?
Switching to more sustainable business practices takes time and money – no business can “go green” overnight. However, there are still ways to point your business in the right direction and show consumers your ongoing commitment to reducing your company’s carbon footprint. To help you get started, Unishippers has compiled a list of sustainable business and UPS® shipping practices – both big and small – that your customers are sure to appreciate.
Green Business Practices
- Raise awareness within your own company. Educate your employees about the importance of going green – and how they can be more environmentally friendly at work. Practice turning off computers and lights at the end of the day to save energy and money on your electric bill. You can also encourage employees to think before they print and look for digital solutions to administrative tasks like billing.
- Purchase sustainable office supplies. Consider the supplies your company regularly orders. Do you use single-serve coffee pods? Think about investing in a traditional coffee maker and stocking up on reusable thermoses and mugs. While a larger up-front investment, changing from paper towels to automatic blow dryers can also go a long way in both the cleanliness and energy efficiency of your office.
- Recycle your electronics responsibly. The United States produces approximately 6.3 million tons of electronic waste – or “e-waste” – every year. Old and unwanted electronics such as cell phones, laptops and televisions typically end up in landfills or are sent to developing countries where they are later dismantled (producing even more unhealthy emissions). If your company needs to dispose of e-waste, try to find a recycler that’s certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- Select alternative energy sources. Depending on where your business is located, you may consider using alternative forms of energy for your office, such as installing solar panels on the roof of your building. Many communities even offer incentives to lower the price of sustainable energy sources. Visit the Small Business Association’s website to find energy efficiency programs in your state and see if you qualify for financial assistance.
Green Shipping Practices
- Be thoughtful about your packaging. One way to easily reduce the amount of waste your company produces is to reduce the size of packaging for your UPS shipping. Are you shipping your products in the smallest possible packages? Some items can even be vacuum-sealed to save space. By limiting the size of your packages, you not only save resources but also limit the amount of truck space you take up, reducing your overall carbon footprint.
- Choose sustainable carriers. One way to show your customers that you value sustainability is to work with carriers who also prioritize environmental initiatives. UPS has many ongoing efforts to be more environmentally friendly, including testing neighborhood drop-off locations to limit door-to-door drop-off emissions, investing in hybrid electric trucks and using smaller delivery vehicles that use less fuel. As one of the only authorized UPS resellers, learn how Unishippers can get you great rates on your UPS shipping.
- Consider carbon-neutral shipping options. UPS now offers a carbon-neutral shipping option, meaning that they purchase certified carbon (CO2) offsets to balance the emissions produced when transporting your UPS shipments. You can utilize carbon-neutral shipping to demonstrate your commitment to reducing your environmental footprint. Budget-conscious shippers may consider offering this as an optional UPS shipping method, allowing customers to select and pay for the additional expense at check-out. Learn more about carbon-neutral shipping.
Laying the groundwork for more sustainable business practices sets your company on a socially responsible path that employees, associates and customers alike can all benefit from. While you may not be able to make your UPS shipping logistics faster, cheaper AND greener overnight, you can still establish a plan and take small steps to limit your waste production and reduce your carbon footprint.
Looking for more ways to go green with your UPS shipping?
Download Unishippers’ tip sheet, 5 Ways to Go Green With Your UPS Shipping.
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