Five ways to make your business more sustainable

By Nicole Coburn from Betsy & Francis

I hate to be a Debbie downer here but when it comes to sustainability and business, the two don’t exactly go hand in hand. The most sustainable way to do business is by not doing it at all….I know, impossible right? But, what can we do is lessen our footprint and ensure that what we do sell is needed and wasn’t created just to make a profit.

Here’s the pickle; our economy runs are consumerism, this means it’s impossible to have a successful business without the buying and selling of goods, but here’s the silver lining, as business owners we have the power to choose what we sell and how we sell it. Hooray for small business owners, we have the ability to choose how we do business!

So, we are here to share some juicy sustainable goodness. After all, we are lucky enough to work alongside conscious businesses everyday and over the years we have been swapping sustainable tips and tricks to improve our own business and ensure we can continue to be proud ethical ambassadors! Here are 5 things we have learnt and implemented in our business thanks to our conscious clients.

  1. Swap your packaging

    If you are in a products based industry, just by changing the packaging your products are delivered in will have a huge impact on the environment. Online shopping grew by 16% last year, imagine how many extra parcels that is. By switching to compostable packaging, recycled paper and natural printing ink, you are drastically reducing the amount of waste your business creates.

    Another great thing about making this switch is that your customers will see how important sustainability is to you as a business and will be much likely buy from you in the future. There is nothing more unattractive than getting a ‘sustainable’ product wrapped in plastic, but has unfortunately happened to us one too many times!

  2. Switch bank accounts

    We were recently shocked to learn that the money we earn through Betsy & Francis could be funding some pretty scary projects. Fossil fuels, tobacco, weapons and deforestation were all on the list and we hated that the money we had made through working with conscious brands was actually being used on unethical, unsustainable and immoral projects.

    I’m sure there are other ethically minded banks out there but we switched to Bank Australia. They avoid investment into companies that cause harm to the planet or the people and instead use your money for renewable energy and not-for-profit organisations. Hooray!

  3. Learn how to market your business sustainably

    Marketing is an extremely powerful tool for business growth but it isn’t always used as a force for good. It can sometimes feel like you are tricking your audience into buying something they don’t necessarily need or want. In order to ensure you apply sustainable marketing practices in your business, you need to ensure that your business solves a genuine problem for your audience and it isn’t just used as a tool to make a quick sale.

    As a business you should meet the needs of your audience without compromising future generations and the planet. We aren’t the specialists when it comes to marketing, if you want to hear more about steps you can take to be a more sustainable marketer for your business, jump on over to Young Folks Digital, these legends only work with and market conscious businesses.

  4. Making your products more sustainable

    We work with many skincare brands and every single one of them is working towards zero plastic if not there already. If you sell products, think of all the ways you can reduce waste. Many of our clients sell bio-degradable refill pouches, because even if your products are made of glass, the aim is to reuse waste as well as reduce it.

    There is a great saying going around at the moment, “buy less, make it last”. As consumers we have the power to choose where our money goes. More of us are choosing to buy better quality products at a higher price point which means higher quality materials, ingredients and less waste.

  5. Source local, shop small

    Whatever is it that you need to run your business, try to shop local. This will have such a huge impact on your footprint and drastically reduce the amount of air miles involved in your business. Consider paying a little more for packaging sent from the country you’re in as apposed to getting it shipped over.

    Perhaps you can offer a 5% discount on local purchases and focus on a large percentage of your products being stocked locally. Anything you can do to be more sustainable, no matter how small will have a big impact long term.


This article was first published on the Betsy & Francis blog. To learn more about the work that the Betsy & Francis team do, visit betsyandfrancis.com and for ethical branding inspiration, follow them on Instagram @betsyandfrancis

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