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53% of people plan to live more sustainably in 2021 as part of their New Year’s resolutions. If your company isn’t already thinking about it, you can bet your employees are. With a new year comes new challenges, and in 2021, your environmental sustainability ambitions (or lack thereof) will make or break your company. More and more companies are embracing sustainability. 52% of companies surveyed cited climate change as a very significant focus. However, the level of self-reported integration of sustainability practices has only increased incrementally. Make embracing sustainability your company’s New Year’s Resolution.

Reducing your carbon footprint is key to sustainability. Remember; reducing your greenhouse gas emissions isn’t just good for the environment, but will save your company money as well in the long run. In the last 5-10 years, we’ve seen more heat waves, storms and other severe weather events like rampant wildfires. This extreme weather will directly or indirectly affect your company in the not too distant future, and if you can do something to mitigate potential losses through green initiatives, this is the year to take action.


So what can your company do to fulfill your new year’s resolution of being more sustainable? Start where you can have the greatest impact: your supply chain. According to McKinsey, the typical consumer company’s supply chain creates much higher social and environmental costs than its own operations, accounting for more than 80% of greenhouse emissions. If your company wants to make a real change, examining the carbon footprint of its supply chain is the logical first step.

Recycling and using recyclable material in your supply chain is the easiest way to dive into more sustainable practices. For your supply chain, investing in high quality corrugated packaging over plastics will transform the sustainability of your company’s production process. Consider how much plastic you are using and make the switch to alternatives. Plastics have a very long decomposition time, releasing toxins into the soil when breaking down. One 500-millilitre plastic bottle has a total carbon footprint of almost 83 grams of carbon dioxide. Replacing single use plastics with more environmentally-friendly alternatives such as glass or cardboard in your supply chain will have a positive impact on your company’s carbon footprint.


Consider the effects that transport has on your company. If your company is involved in logistics you should invest in hybrid or electric options over traditional diesel or petrol based vehicles. According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, transportation is the second largest emitter at 15%. This will also benefit your expenses as carbon taxes on vehicles globally are set to increase with each forthcoming year. Consider where materials used in your supply chain are transported from. If they are travelling long distances, this is impacting your emissions because of petrol or diesel being burned in the transportation of your material. Around 22% of global CO2 emissions stem from the production of goods that are, ultimately, consumed in a different country. Source locally for materials to cut back on transportation emissions.


Finally, another thing to consider in your sustainable resolutions this calendar year is to upgrade your energy sources. Old and inefficient technology such as the existing heating and electricity systems present at your company’s site are hurting your bottom line. By investing in energy efficient technology, your company will not only reduce its environmental impact but its expenses as well. If your company is based in a warehouse or factory setting, high quality LED lighting can really make a difference on your bottom line. You can start now by investing in high quality LED lights before taking a greener plunge into more advanced renewable energies like solar. Don’t forget to turn your LED lights off when they aren’t being used! With regards to temperature inside your facility, consider improving efficiency through a thermographic inspection to identify uncontrolled heat gain or heat loss. You could be wasting precious money on inefficient heating and cooling.

Of course there are other aspects your company and employees can get involved in on a lower scale. Smaller-scale initiatives can make a significant contribution. Those who go into the office should consider alternative methods like carpooling or utilising public transportation. Adding recycling bins in your company’s office or investing in reusables instead of single use plastics is also beneficial. Working from home has seen a substantial increase over the past year and this or a hybrid schedule could cut your emissions as well. 

Creating a green space at your workplace doesn’t just boost employee morale, it also has significant environmental benefits. This can involve a garden or even desk plants which are proven to increase productivity and stimulate oxygen flow. Around 8% of your personal carbon footprint comes from food. A communal corporate garden of fruit or vegetables grown on site will not only provide your company with food but will reduce carbon emissions from buying food that was transported from its growing source. With this green space, you can begin to compost extra trimmings and organic waste which also reduces greenhouse gasses. Saving space in your waste bin will save money on the number of bags you go through, and reduce your consumption of single-use products.

The goal of your sustainable resolutions should be to get your entire company on board and transform your culture for the better. Ideally, you can take your company’s sustainable initiatives and apply them to your personal life as well. Being sustainable isn’t just a 9 to 5 job, it’s all the time everyday. The changes and the impact of the actions you take this year will benefit your company as the future unfolds. With proven initiatives, sustainability for your company in 2022 won’t need to be a new year’s resolution, it will be a part of your company’s DNA.