Go green: the secret of environmentally friendly retail companies
It's time to transform your retail business into an eco-friendly store. From cleaning supplies to tax credits, sustainability can be implemented at all levels of your organization. Whether you are an independent store or a chain retail store, these environmental tips will come in handy.
RUBICONMethod and our unique acronym "DIVERT" are designed to help brick-and-mortar companies implement successful waste and reduction programs. "DIVERT" (determining, initiating, vocalizing, eliminating, rolling out, and tracking) consists of six necessary steps that will guide your business. The waste reduction goal is achieved through preliminary inspection and planning, communication and waste reduction basis, and tactical implementation and tracking.
1. Consider green when cleaning
Evaluate your cleaning supplies cabinet. Chances are, your business has been using cleaners that contain toxic or irritating chemicals. Switching to natural cleaning products is an easy first step.
You can test natural brands and even try DIY solutions. Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice can go a long way in cleaning almost everything you need.
2. Say goodbye to paper and move towards digital
Millions of tons of paper are used every year. This kind of paper production not only requires a lot of electricity and water to make, but also a lot of paper is wasted. Make sure your retail business does its best and eliminate paper as much as possible.
Use your POS system to achieve digitization. By eliminating paper receipts and switching to email receipts, you will save money and reduce paper waste. In addition, email receipts help your marketing strategy. You can use customer emails in newsletters and advertisements.
Turn your business to online billing for all vendors and vendors, use online payroll, and distribute employee timetables digitally. These are simple ways to quickly eliminate most paper waste. If you do need some paper to meet other needs, please consider using recycled paper.
3. Eliminate useless waste
From the plastic bags you give your customers to the packaging when you receive new items, there is a lot of unnecessary waste in the retail space. Audit your business and thoroughly check the types of useless waste you produce or consume. Then, develop a feasible plan to eliminate these items.
The important first step is to stop using disposable plastic bags. Consider creating reusable branded handbags and selling them for a small fee, or even giving them to customers for promotion.
Make sure your cashier asks customers if they need luggage at checkout. Chances are, the customer may have prepared a reusable bag. If they do need bags, your business can switch to recycled paper bags for customers. Your cashier can also use paper towels or bubble wrap more sparingly when making calls and packing items.
Refillable dispensers instead of individually packaged goods can reduce packaging waste. For example, use a pot of coffee instead of a separate coffee pod, a filter faucet instead of a plastic water bottle, and a dispenser instead of separate creamer and sugar. Again, talk to your waste partner and purchasing team to determine what is right for your business.
4. Invest in environmental protection updates
Although some sustainable switches may be expensive at first, they can have a positive environmental and financial impact on your business. For example, consider investing in:
Electric high-efficiency hand dryer with automatic lighting sensor, especially in storage rooms and bathrooms CFL and LED bulbs water-saving sinks and toilets
The above projects can be an upfront investment, but they will save your business bills in the next few years. In addition, they are more friendly to the environment. Now this is a win-win situation.
5. Research on retail tax credits
Make sure you explore any opportunities for retail tax credits related to sustainability programs. Under normal circumstances, measures such as switching to efficient lighting or reducing waste will bring benefits to the local, state or federal government. This helps pay for the cost of environmental updates implemented by your retail business.
First, check the list of tax incentives from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the IRS's small business tax credits.
6. Communicate your values to your team and customers
Once you decide to go green, make sure that the management team communicates your new sustainable business values and priorities to your employees. By properly training your employees, you will instill support from the start.
After the action plan is developed, it is time to publicize the plan and educate various stakeholders. The best way is through signage, training and central contact points.
This communication can take many forms. You can send weekly reminders via email to encourage employees to reduce waste, post posters in trash and recycling containers to remind you to follow the correct agreement, and hold regular team meetings to report on business progress.
Sharing your environmental values is more than just communicating with your store’s team. Also share these values with your customers. Communicating your retail store’s green initiatives through social media, newsletters, logos, etc. will enhance your brand image.
By incorporating some of these external communication activities into your plan, make sustainability a part of your brand recognition and resonate around the excellent work your business has done.
Looking for some greener business tips? Read the full text of RUBICONMethod and immediately begin to develop a more successful waste reduction and recycling program.