Now is the time to Go Green….

Did you know that 82% of millennials strive to be employed by a company publicly recognised for its ethics, while an overwhelming 92% of millennials are more likely to buy from a company committed to ethical business practices[1]. The case for “greening” your small business has never been more compelling. It benefits the health of your workforce, society, the planet and your bottom line.

To start you off, here are ten simple ways to green your business

  • Save energy: Switch to LED light bulbs and ask staff to switch off computers and lights at the end of the working day.
  • Avoid single-use plastic including drinks in plastic bottles. Promote the use of reusable items by investing in reusable coffee cups and water bottles for your staff.
  • Do business with green suppliers. Find out which of them genuinely care about the environment. Could you switch to a competitor that takes its environmental and social responsibility seriously? Could you switch to a bank with an ethical investment policy[2] or a green insurance company[3]?
  • Buy recycled printer paper and loo paper, rainforest friendly coffee, loose tea (or plastic free tea bags) and use green cleaning products. Group deliveries for the office kitchen and stationery cupboard into one big order from the same supplier to save on delivery miles or even better, buy locally.
  • Make recycling easy by providing labelled bins in your office. You can even recycle your office furniture. Or you could upcycle your furniture instead of buying new[4].
  • Encourage staff to walk, cycle or use public transport to get to work. Take advantage of the Cycle to Work scheme[5]. Have a working from home policy where appropriate and consider using video conferencing instead of travelling to meetings.
  • Use a green energy supplier[6]
  • Consider giving staff an extra day of leave to get involved in local environmental projects or, better still, use it as a team-building exercise. Alternatively, plant some trees[7] or sponsor someone to do it for you[8].
  • Get ‘Green Small Business’ certification to promote your green credentials![9] (it only takes about an hour of your time).
  • Make green thinking a part of your company culture. Engage your employees and customers in your vision.

Need help with any of this? Come along to our Green Business event in Kendal on Fri 15th March between 12noon and 2pm where you can sign up for FREE advice and half price ‘Green Small Business’ certification. More details here:

Can’t make the event but still want advice on greening your business? E mail me: or call me on 07854 751169 (First session FREE for Cumbria-based businesses through Cumbria Chamber of Commerce’s Catalyst programme.) I look forward to hearing from you.

If you need more evidence that the time is right….

  • Over a quarter of those who responded to a 2018 YouGov survey stated that they had avoided buying a product or using a service due to its negative environmental impact in the past year – an increase of 65% since 2016.
  • Green energy use grew 56.3% in 2017.
  • Ethical clothing increased by 19.9% and buying second-hand clothing for environment reasons increased by 22.5%.
  • Ethical Food and Drink sales grew 16.3% in 2017, the largest increase since 2012, fuelled by growing sales of vegetarian and vegan products[10].


[2] See the guide to ethical small business banking at

[3] Such as

[4] check out The Coggin Group near Lancaster


[6] Check out Ecotricity who will also give a donation to the local charity Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) if you use this link

[7] The Woodland Trust might be able to help with a grant

[8] See