On 22 April more than 190 countries and millions of people all around the world acknowledged Earth Day.

This is a special day each year when we reflect on our impact on the planet and discuss the important climate issues.

This year, the theme for Earth Day was ‘Climate Action’. While we all care about the planet, a lack of action is still a key issue surrounding climate change.

Coronavirus over the last few months has helped many of us realise the fragility of our planet and species.

The virus has reminded us that we are still very much part of nature. Not above it, and certainly not separate from it.

If a virus is capable of bringing us to our knees, just imagine how climate change will affect us.

This is a unique chance for companies and organisations of all sizes to recognise the opportunities for business sustainability and make some real changes.

How to improve business sustainability and eco-friendliness during COVID-19

During the crisis, you may find yourself with some extra time. What better opportunity to start introducing some sustainability and eco-friendly measures into your business?

Here are a few ideas to get you on your way to a more prosperous, greener, and brighter future for all.

1. Stay consistent, stay kind

When in lockdown, all the focus may be on how the virus is affecting your business.

Try not to forget about nurturing your valued clients. They still need you! And you still need them.

People have a close eye on businesses right now. You may have seen in the news companies who have shown the wellbeing of their people matters.

Others? Not so much. Some companies have unfortunately chosen to abandon their staff completely.

After coronavirus settles down and we get back to normality, people will remember the good companies as well as those who didn’t treat their people well.

Make sure you’re on the right side and use this time to demonstrate your strong social responsibility.

2. Find all those great ideas about sustainability you were talking about

Many of us may now find some extra hours in the day. Rather than sitting around in your underwear listening to Piers Morgan shout at people on Good Morning, why not get your notebook out?

Now’s the perfect time for some sustainability planning!

Maybe you have been thinking about that recycling programme for a while but never had time to execute it.

Remember the eco-packaging company that came in to discuss plastic made from mushrooms? Perhaps now’s the time to give them a call and see what’s possible.

This extra time could be used to play around with a few sustainability ideas – the ones that have been floating around the office for a while now.

Once we’re all back in the workplace, the companies with a plan already in place will be ahead of the game!

They’ll be saving lots of time and money with their new sustainability plan.

3. Get ready for the eco-consumer

The number of eco-conscious consumers was already growing before the crisis.

We’ve all seen the images of plastic gloves being carelesssly disposed of, however once we begin to emerge from this pandemic, we’re likely to see a greater desire to buy from companies that are trying to help people and the planet recover. We’ll see innovators creating gloves made from other natural materials such as paper and bamboo.

Be at the frontline, ready with your new eco-friendly business and ready to serve. The companies that fail to go green will find themselves losing customers to those that made changes.

In the future, eco-consumerism will hopefully be the only type of consumerism. Now is an excellent opportunity to plan how you will connect with these eco-consumers … everyday people who just want to ensure their hard-earned money is going towards companies committed to doing good in the world.

Eco-consumers want transparency, honesty, sustainable materials, ethical practices, eco-packaging, and companies that demonstrate they care.

4. Transform your supply chain to safe and green

No doubt during this time, you will have looked at your current supply chain. How safe is it? How sustainable is it? How reactive is it? How risk-proof is it?

While analysing your supply-chain, you might want to consider how eco-friendly it is at the same time. Here are some ideas of what to look at:

  • Can you increase the value density of dispatched products?
  • Can you improve the mix of transport involved?
  • Can you reduce the transport distance?
  • Can you improve the energy efficiency of transportation assets?
  • Can you streamline your production methods in any way?

There’s always room to make things run more efficiently.

Take some time to evaluate how you do business and see if you can spot any distinct areas for improvement.

The result? You’ll come out of this pandemic like a well-(hemp)oiled machine ready to take on the world.

5. Take advantage of online learning opportunities

During this pandemic, many of the top education sites have reduced their fees or are offering their courses for free.

As a result, you can find some great courses on sustainability and green business practices. Resources available include courses, webinars, podcasts, email newsletters, and e-books.

Here are just some of the opportunities currently on offer:

Online courses

Google
Class Central
Future Learn
OpenLearn

Email newsletters

Webinars

Podcasts

The opportunities for free or affordable learning online are limitless, so if you’re interested in a particular area of business, use Google to find a resource suited to you and your business.

We hope you are all coping as well as possible during these very difficult times. Please don’t hesitate to contact us here at MAD Ideas if you feel that you need support in implementing new, sustainable practices into your business!