Most of us need to do more to protect the environment and reduce our carbon emissions (did you watch David Attenborough’s A Life on Our Planet?!) – but as a digital business, it can be hard to know how to make a difference. If you don’t have an office, you can’t save the world by asking staff to work from home or by going paperless. But there are different things you can do to reduce your environmental impact.
Here are five of the greatest ways to make your online business more environmentally friendly.
1. Switch to a green web host
With a website, you need the right web hosting provider. The most common hosts are GoDaddy or TSO Host, but did you know there are greener alternatives?
Smart Hosting are one of the first truly green hosting providers in the UK, offering 100% renewable web hosting at a price all small business owners should be able to afford. There are lots of other green hosting providers, so shop around and find one that suits your needs.
2. Optimise your site
Each time someone logs onto your website, their internet browser downloads files including your images, CSS and HTML files to their computer from your server. A complex site will have more files downloaded by users – requiring more data and power.
Shaving a megabyte off of the size of your website isn’t going to save the world, but if every website was properly optimised, we would collectively use less power and data which would make a difference.
Use WordPress plugins like WP Super Cache to cut down the size of your website files. Search engines also favour websites that load faster, helping you rank higher.
3. Encourage customers to be conscious
Another way to make your online business environmentally friendly is to encourage your customers to be more conscious of the environment.
Rather than meeting your customers or clients face to face, suggest phone calls or Zoom meetings to reduce emissions from transport.
If your business provides gift cards, an e-card alternative can help reduce waste.
If you offer resources for download, add a request that they think before printing.
These simple things can quickly add up. Plus, they often help you to save money as well as protect the environment.
4. Talk about sustainability
As an online business, there’s only so much you can do to show people that you care about the environment. But you can talk and spread the word about charities and green initiatives. You could create a page on your website talking about your company ethos and environmental policy, or even start a fundraising campaign for a good cause, which will also drive great PR for your business.
5. Put your money where your mouth is
If you really want to protect the environment and be more green, put your money where your mouth is and invest in eco-friendly initiatives in your local area. Or you could donate a percentage of your profits to a sustainable charity. Make it part of your company mantra and give back to the environment.
There are so many things that you can do to protect the environment, but you have to start somewhere. Doing something is better than nothing: don’t think you can’t make a difference just because you’re an online business without a physical store.