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How technology can help small business owners create a more sustainable future

 

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The ongoing climate crisis is a constant topic in media and everyday discourse. As a result, people worldwide seek ways to minimize their environmental impact in their personal and professional lives.

Small business owners can take steps to reduce their carbon footprint, make their operations more efficient, and show that they are committed to reducing the impact of climate change.

Are you looking to make your business more sustainable? Or are you just looking for ways to increase your profits while reducing your carbon footprint?

Go paperless and cashless.

 

Many small businesses across all industries including third party logistics and companies in transportation field,  have made great strides towards a paperless future by keeping their communications, contracts, HR records, and other information strictly digital. However, there are still many business processes that require paper. These include paying bills, issuing invoices, and local print advertising.

You can save trees by actively eliminating paper from your business. This will reduce your overhead and free up capital for future projects. Cashless transactions can make your business more environmentally friendly. For example, the average banknote in circulation in the UK has released 9kg of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

This means that banknotes made from polymer have released 42.3 million tunes of CO2 into the atmosphere. This is all before considering the environmental impact of producing and disseminating coins. The public has never had a greater affinity for cashless businesses. With the card reader cost being easily accessible to small business owners, it is easy to make your business cashless.

Consider closing your physical storefront.

 

Modern retail is moving beyond specialized niches to offer customers an online option. Although there are some benefits to having an actual storefront in addition to your e-commerce store, they are no longer a necessity. You can make your business digital-only to reduce the environmental impact of water, electricity and other utilities required to run the business.

Even if your business is still deciding whether to give up your physical storefront, investing in e-commerce can help reduce your company's environmental impact. It will limit the number of customers travelling to your physical location to purchase your products.

Although reducing or eliminating your physical premises might seem daunting, it can be done in stages. For example, small businesses can be more environmentally friendly by gradually decreasing their dependence on traditional business elements that can increase an organization's carbon footprint.

Make use of the Internet of Things to monitor your energy consumption.

 

The internet of things (It) refers to networks made up of computers, mobile devices, and other machines which share information via a central database. Businesses are gradually adopting this method to gain better insight into the performance of an equipment piece, the need for maintenance, and safety. It is a broad topic, and businesses can use it countless ways to make their operations more sustainable.

For example, manufacturing and agricultural companies use the internet of things and big data to track how efficiently they use water. Restaurants are using sensors to maintain the right temperature. Offices across the globe are using intelligent HVAC systems to ensure their heating and cooling aren't wasting money or energy.

These examples may not apply to your business, but the internet of everything has many potential applications for small businesses. For example, you can quickly find ways to help your company gain more insight into its equipment performance and make informed decisions that will allow you to move towards sustainable practices.

Embrace Cloud Computing

 

While most businesses use cloud computing as part of their daily operations, many small business owners need to start using it to the full extent. However, there are areas you can embrace the cloud more effectively. Cloud computing can help you make your business more sustainable by consuming less energy than traditional on-premises technology without servers or heavy-duty hardware.

Cloud-based software solutions are also more affordable than traditional software models because you only pay for what you use. Identifying areas in your company that could benefit from more cloud solutions can be challenging, primarily if your business has been run through traditional methods. However, with the abundance of cloud consulting and IT resources available, embracing the cloud is easier than ever.

For sustainability, audit your supply chain.

 

Many small business owners must look beyond their borders to find sustainable ways to improve their operations. Auditing your supply chain for sustainability is one of the best ways to achieve this. Your supply chain can be more sustainable by working with distribution centers that reduce the distance travelled.

Ensure that shipping vehicles are loaded to maximize space efficiency using 3D Container Loading Software. An audit of suppliers for packaging and materials can help you discover sustainable options. You can reduce the carbon footprint by lowering inventory through big data and buyer behavior analytics if you cannot completely overhaul your supply chain.

Although it can be difficult and stressful to repair your supply chain, small businesses can find ways to make their operations more sustainable. Final Thoughts... There are many ways to make your business more sustainable, whether you're just starting or have been in the industry for years. We hope these tips will inspire you as you strive to streamline your business and do more for the planet.

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