How to Make Your Retail Store More Sustainable

Sustainability has become a buzzword for many businesses, and customers are paying attention to the positive impact companies are having on the environment. Pollock Orora wants your business to run as smoothly as possible while reaching your sustainability goals. Read below to learn several ideas to generate a green revolution in your company.

Go paperless

Paperless contracts, brochures, and receipts save an enormous amount of carbon for your business. Think about this: if United States businesses only issued paperless receipts, 10 million trees, a billion gallons of water, and 250 million gallons of oil would be saved. Going paperless reduces a business’s carbon footprint and the amount of waste thrown into landfills. Paperless receipts allow you to collect customer information such as email addresses or phone numbers for later contact and give your business a platform to advertise social media, upcoming events, or QR codes linking to your website.

Reduce, reuse, recycle, repeat

Look at your current business strategies. Do you really need to print 1000 copies of a sales event flier? Does in-house correspondence need to be on top-quality, new paper? Do co-workers leave the water running when they wash their hands? Do your co-workers recycle? Even the smallest changes cause huge impacts. Here are a few to consider:

  • Installing filters above EPA standards rather than filters that meet EPA standards could shrink your carbon footprint.
  • If your organization has a fleet of cars, consider more economical vehicles, especially electric or hybrid models.
  • Install energy efficient appliances and lights.
  • Co-workers can find companies to recycle used items. Soft-soled shoes can be repurposed into playground materials to replace sand, and denim jeans create fantastic insulation.
  • If you manufacture your own products, look for recyclable options for your base materials.
  • When you sell products with removable batteries, have customers bring back the non-working batteries for recycling. Landfills and batteries are a poor combination.
  • Use renewable energy

Solar and wind prices are declining, and many power companies offer rebates if your energy consumption is less than your creation. Many areas are now offering hydropower and geothermal options.

If your business resells products from other manufacturers, ask for transparency in their manufacturing processes to ensure their methods include energy conservation models.

Ask for an energy audit

Your local power company, subcontractors, and stand-alone businesses are all ready to examine your energy use and recommend changes to save you money. Small businesses may qualify for a free audit. Learning how your power is consumed aids in finding more efficient methods to save energy, from simple fixes (turning off computers and printers at night or replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs) to more elaborate long-term plans (energy-efficient HVAC systems or double-paned windows).

Create sustainable products

Consumers have been conditioned to purchase clothing or electronics, use them for a year or so, then discard these items. Clothing manufacturers have caught onto this trend. Many major brands advertise inexpensive clothes designed not for durability, but for fashion. Wear them a few times, and when they snag, lose a button, or fade, simply replace them with another cheap item. Look around at many major appliances, and try to find a repair center. Most companies are designing their appliances to last 5 years rather than 30. Create long-lasting products consumers can rely on and repair if necessary.

Along those same lines, consider renting. Even the clothing market is turning to clothing rentals with monthly subscriptions so consumers can wear new outfits for a month or so, then return them for another batch of fashionable attire. Automobiles and appliances have long been rented with favorable results.

Ditch the plastics

Plastic packaging can often be replaced with a plant-based, biodegradable product. Many companies are using refillable glass containers for their liquid products, and food services are offering bamboo utensils in lieu of plastic.

With the current information concerning microplastics and their extreme negative impact on the environment, companies are changing their use of plastics in packaging and one-time use products, and the environment will greatly benefit.

Pollock Orora has information on reducing your carbon footprint and other ideas. Let us know what we can do to help your business succeed.