15th March 2023

How can a business remain profitable and sustainable?

By TFRG Team

The sustainability agenda is on the rise for both businesses and consumers, and many are making the choice to become more environmentally friendly.

While this is an important issue to focus on, it can feel daunting to plan a strategy that ensures your business remains profitable while introducing more sustainable practices.

The short answer: make it part of a long-term strategy.

Change doesn’t happen overnight. By starting with small steps and goals, it can be easier and more cost-effective to implement greener changes, while maintaining a consistently high-quality service for your customers.

Strategies businesses can use to remain profitable and sustainable

Measure your footprint

In 2021, 1 in 10 businesses taking action against climate change were unsure of how to measure their emissions1. A simple yet effective place to start is by monitoring and measuring your business data. By looking at data such as energy consumption and the amount of waste used, it is easier to figure out which areas have the largest negative impact on the planet and therefore which factors should be tackled as a priority.

Reducing waste in a business

Once you have identified the amount of waste within your business you can start to look at ways of reducing or recycling it.

It could be as simple as switching from paper to digital, or reducing the amount of packaging used across the business. By reducing a small amount of waste it’s a sustainable step in the right direction. However, these are swift changes, and only a small step in the journey to becoming more sustainable.

Global fast food chain, McDonald’s collects used oil from its kitchens and turns it into biodiesel to fuel more than half of their delivery fleet. This is an innovative way of reducing waste, while introducing sustainable practices into the business.

We work with many leading businesses, such as John Lewis and SUEZ Recycling & Recovery, to help them recycle what would normally be a difficult and bulky waste stream – used mattresses. Using our innovative approach, we are able to provide sustainable solutions to ensure the lifecycle of every mattress recycled with us is maximised, whether that’s breaking them down into their 19 component parts to support the circular economy, or rejuvenating them and selling the refurbished mattresses on behalf of the businesses we work for, helping them maximise revenue from returns and support the environment.

Make green switches

Whether it’s packaging materials, energy sources or alternative vehicles, there is usually a more sustainable option available. Consider introducing biodegradable sustainable packaging options to your customers, provide fuel-free deliveries and collections or swap to a renewable energy provider.

For example, our logistics service has sustainability at its core. We work with businesses across waste management, retail and hospitality to collect mattresses nationwide, utilising different-sized trucks and backhaul routes to minimise CO2 emissions. We also created a world-first mattress compression machine that increases trailer capacity by over 500%, reducing the number of trucks on the road.

If there is something that can’t be swapped or would be too costly to swap, consider creating an initiative to offset the carbon footprint such as planting trees for every purchase.

By reviewing your entire supply chain, you can make decisions on the most impactful areas to focus on while maintaining cost-effectiveness. For example, manufacturing materials are a key area for improvement for many businesses. By making these larger changes to materials and suppliers, businesses can make huge cuts to their emissions.

Reduce energy consumption

Energy usage is usually a sore subject for many businesses especially during times of soaring energy and utility bills, but this can also be a significant contributor to a business’ carbon footprint.

Companies with large factories or offices can consume a huge amount of energy on a daily basis which can have a direct impact on the planet. In 2021, UK businesses reported spending anywhere from 3-25% of their total costs on energy consumption, so finding a greener alternative could help your business in more ways than one.

A great place to start is by getting an up to date Energy Performance Certificate which provides a detailed assessment of your energy efficiency and areas for improvement. Once you have that information you can begin to reduce your energy usage in a range of ways, from using energy-efficient bulbs and lighting sensors to using laptops rather than desktop or switching to a renewable energy source such as solar panels.

Shop local

By using local suppliers and partners it can not only reduce your carbon footprint through reduced travel and transportation, it can also be a huge selling point for your local and regional customers. There can be a range of local partners available to support your business, so rather than buying packaging from overseas, consider sourcing local materials and create a carbon-neutral community to help your brand.

Businesses can remain profitable and sustainable by making it part of a long-term strategy. By taking small steps and setting goals, businesses can introduce more sustainable practices while maintaining the quality of their services and products, ultimately appealing to a growing number of environmentally conscious consumers. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but by implementing sustainable practices, businesses can make a positive impact on the planet and their bottom line.

Discover how we support businesses to introduce sustainable practices while remaining profitable. Get in touch today. 

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