As companies look to make plans for the remainder of their fiscal year, revenue and profitability tend to take a front seat in the conversations. With that, green initiatives can easily slide off the agenda. But every year, organizations are held to a higher standard by customers to increase sustainability and provide a more ethical product delivery model.
As your reach, resources and efficiencies scale, don’t let your environmentally-conscious efforts get left behind. Here are four ways to increase your green initiatives in 2021.
Find Suppliers Who Share Your Vision
When evaluating partnerships and looking at contracts up for renewal, find out where your suppliers stand on their own environmentally sound initiatives. Do they have the proper certifications and protocols in place to demonstrate a commitment to excellence and sustainability?
In the professional home services space, look for certifications like:
These are helpful signals when detecting whether a potential vendor is dedicated to high-quality, safe and efficient green practices.
Work closely with suppliers to direct their efforts, establish a shared vision, and push for optimized manufacturing and delivery practices.
Finding your own set of equivalent signifiers of quality and sustainability can help you align your green-based values and goals with your partners. Plus, dedicating some of your own expertise to shaping the partnership can help ensure you’re both on the same page.
Optimize Logistics and Travel Time
Optimizing logistics and reducing travel time probably doesn’t sound like the most earth-shattering tip. Many companies already do this in some fashion to improve product delivery. When layering in the environmental benefits, it’s an area where you can check two boxes at once. However, it may also mean a greater investment in technology and other resources for the remainder of 2021.
Tapping into tools like transportation management software (TMS) can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by limiting the time that materials are on the road. As you grow and scale, adding more locations and new offices around the country can help lower your gas mileage and increase fuel savings.
Question the ‘Standard’
When something becomes a functional best practice in an industry, it can be easy to overlook environmental initiatives. Focusing in on these opportunities is a helpful way to set yourself apart from your competitors and find new ways to innovate.
For example: Take a close look at your gutters. Most professional home services providers will reach for steel or aluminum as the right building material. But gutters made with recyclable PVC are more durable; the material helps reduce common situations where homeowners need to repair or replace parts of their gutter system over time.
Take a close look at the materials your industry labels as “standard,” and you might find an alternative opportunity for sustainable, long-lasting innovation.
Find Solutions for the Big Polluters
One of the most common points of waste in any industry is packaging, both with material deliveries and delivering your own products. Applying a little bit of green-focus can result in a considerable reduction in waste.
Think about redesigning your packaging to reduce the use of boxes and palettes. When possible, look for easily recyclable materials and encourage your partners and vendors to do the same.
Take a close look at your shipping and manufacturing practices to see what opportunities there are to improve efficiency and lower waste. Is there a way to invest in renewable systems like water reclamation or scrap recycling? Relying on solar power systems can also help both with your utility bills and with your green initiatives.
Being environmentally friendly may sound like it’s synonymous with lower margins and decreased efficiencies, but in 2021, there are many ways to increase your environmentalism without skyrocketing your costs.
Finding better ways to make and deliver products is in the best interest of your bottom line — and in the best interest of the positive perceptions of going green that your company can own.
Michael Gori is vice president of product development at Leaf Home Solutions.
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