Whatever you’re doing on the environmental front, it’s worth talking about and publicising. Consumers are very interested, and so are corporate and government clients – in some cases, they’ve been told to make this a priority in their choice of venues.
Put a short Environmental Action Statement on your website, and keep adding to it as you make improvements. Here’s what to include:
Energy Efficiency: how you work to reduce energy use with lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, appliances, office equipment, and transport.
Green Power: is your electricity supply contract from renewable resources that use wind, solar, geothermal or hydro-electric?
Carbon Offset Program: explain the program you use and the savings made. Comparing the numbers before and after can be very impressive.
Water Conservation: methods used for kitchen appliances, equipment and landscaping, and in a way that does not compromise hygiene and cleanliness.
Recycling: glass, plastic, metal, cardboard, paper, corks, waste oil, ink and toner cartridges are all a part of daily operations. Describe how you recycle them.
Source Reduction: Do suppliers take back the packaging supplied with deliveries or eliminate it altogether? Are polystyrene foam boxes and package still accepted with deliveries?
Sustainable Food: used where possible to support the long-term viability of agriculture, fishing and grazing. Sourcing food locally to reduce the use of fossil fuel in transport.
Tree-free Products: used wherever possible, ensuring that wooden furniture and any wooden items do not come from old-growth forests.
Non-toxic Cleaning Products: are used that are biodegradable, free of hazardous ingredients, and safe for people and the environment.
Employee Education: at the heart of an environmental commitment – how are staff educated and how is their commitment sustained? It would not be possible without their contribution.
Start with what you do now, and update as you add activities – it won’t take long for the page to be impressive! Need inspiration? Listen to this recent Podcast on Sustainability for Cafes & the Coffee Industry.