John here. I run a small business of 31 people. It’s mainly office work, i.e. a lot of work behind computers and loads of coffee which not only keeps us awake but also very social :).
The topic of "sustainability" comes up more and more frequently in our coffee chats. It’s all over the news, 24/7. My staff and I are becoming increasingly worried about the state of affairs. And we are all keen to make a difference, even if it is a small drop in the ocean at this point.
But how? How do we, a small company, can make a difference? We decided to break down our sustainability goals into small steps. As a team, we figured that we utilise a lot of single-use plastic, that we create a lot of waste from our coffee habits, and that our office computers consume quite a bit of electricity. We thus called for a 3-step plan, which I am happy to share here with you:
First, no single-use plastic and cups are to be used in the office again. Whether it is the morning breakfast, a take-away tea cup, lunch time food or an afternoon fruit, we won’t be sourcing any of that from shops which wrap all with single-use plastic.
Second, our Nespresso machine will go green in 2020. I am very glad one of my staff member found Moving Beans. From now on, there won't be plastic nor aluminium waste from our coffee habits. It turns out that we didn’t need to compromise on price nor quality for going fully sustainable. The several thousands of capsules we produce as waste per year will now be fully compostable – that is more than a kilogram of pure plastic and more than a kilogram of pure aluminium not clogging up waste facilities. A small but vital step, we believe.
And last but not least, I am having solar panels installed outside our offices to source renewable energy for our office computers. Whilst we are not able to go off grid completely, we will be able to reduce energy consumption significantly.
We are proud to have taken the decision to make a difference, even as a small business. Small steps are important steps! Happy new year and all the best for 2020! John.