Reduce, reuse, recycle — and, for small business owners, reap the benefits.
If you’re a small business owner, you already have plenty to worry about. From lowering your overhead to delivering quality products and services to the customers who depend on you, a lot goes into staying out of the red. But with Americans wasting $11.4 billion worth of recyclable containers and packaging a year, it’s clear that businesses are missing an opportunity to improve their own bottom line — and protect the environment at the same time.
If you’re an eco-conscious small business owner looking to streamline your operation, read ahead to learn more about how a cost-effective recycling program can help.
1) Reduce Waste Costs
There’s beauty in simplicity, and this benefit is the simplest of all: if you reduce the amount of packaging that goes into shipping or displaying products, there’s less packaging for you to pay for. The process of “light-weighting” (i.e., making retail and shipping packaging smaller and lighter) has become increasingly popular in recent years, in large part due to regulations that limit how much material can be used in standard packaging. At the same time that light-weighting cuts down on your packaging spend, it also benefits the environment by generating less waste.
2) Cut Down on Shipping Weight
By incorporating recycled materials into your product packaging, your business can enjoy another obvious benefit: with lighter materials, you’ll be reducing the overall weight of your shipments. The less your packages weigh, the less you spend. For retailers looking to scale in the e-commerce economy, these savings seriously add up.
3) Gain a Competitive Edge
Ask any small business owner, and they’ll tell you that developing customer loyalty is one of their top goals. By making your customers happy, you’ll have the chance to secure a stable sales base that will give you the foundation you need to grow. And, believe it or not, recycling can help you get there. With 53% of consumers preferring to shop with companies that have an environmentally-friendly reputation, investing in sustainable business practices will drive revenue at the same time you’re reducing costs.
4) Make Life Easier for Customers
Encouraging repeat sales shouldn’t be your sole aim when going green. Instead, your sustainability program needs to make life easier for your customers, too. By investing in lightweight, low-impact packaging and shipping materials, you can develop consumer loyalty even further. After all, shoppers may enjoy doing business with companies that reduce their carbon footprint, but their first priority may well be reducing their own. A manageable amount of packaging will help them reach that goal while keeping waste disposal hassle-free.
5) Comply with Environmental Regulations
As it becomes increasingly urgent for the industrial sector to rein in wasteful excess, regulators will only pay closer attention to business practices that they deem harmful to the environment. By transitioning to a sustainable business model now, you won’t have to scramble to meet eco-friendly regulations as they’re issued. Avoiding costly sustainability overhauls at the last minute will save you from overspending on slapdash, one-size-fits-all solutions.