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A focus on sustainability

Sustainability is rapidly changing the way we do business. Consumers and retailers in New Zealand and international markets are increasingly demanding sustainably produced goods and services. Most business owners want to reduce their energy use and lower their carbon footprint, but many worry about the costs involved. You might be surprised to find that becoming more environmentally sustainable is more cost-effective and less resource-intensive than you first thought!

When adopting sustainable practices, you'll most likely find a little goes a long way. There are many things you can do at home and at work to become more environmentally friendly and sustainable. It's not just about being eco-friendly – by saving resources you save money and increase your profitability too. Rather than a hindrance to growth, sustainability presents a number of opportunities for any business, including:

  • Creating value by providing you with a marketing advantage.
  • Driving innovation.
  • Developing corporate responsibility and global awareness.
  • Reducing costs.
  • Improving productivity.
  • Enhancing brand integrity and corporate reputation.
The good news is there are a number of simple and easy steps you can take at home and at work to become more energy efficient and save money too. Here are some options to consider;

  • Try to drive less, reducing fuel consumption, vehicle emissions, and your petrol bill – 100 km not driven saves 28 kg of CO2 emissions.
  • Turn off all lights and electrical equipment (at the wall is best) when not in use. Unplug any chargers since they are still draining power.
  • Print things only when absolutely necessary, use the double-sided or booklet printing option and recycle all paper.
  • Use stationery and office paper with at least 50% recycled content and FSC accreditation.
  • Eliminate, minimise or recycle packaging when making purchasing decisions – check if the product can be recycled.
  • Look for accepted environmental accreditation such as Environmental Choice or ISO 14000. More than 700 products in New Zealand are now accredited.
  • Remove individual staff rubbish bins, or promote waste reduction and recycling by providing only a paper box and a small bin. About 80% of office and household waste can easily be recycled.
  • Reduce/increase air conditioning temperatures in winter/summer. Moving your thermostat up 2°C in summer or down 2°C in winter can save hundreds of kilograms of CO2 emissions.
For further tips, check out: http://www.business.govt.nz/laws-and-regulations/the-environment/sustainability/becoming-environmentally-sustainable


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