It is best for online businesses to abide by the principles of the sustainable web manifesto and become part of the global movement to address climate change. The manifesto is an international initiative to promote the development of web applications that are socially and environmentally sustainable.
Created in 2011 by Marcin Jakubowski and Tim Berners-Lee, who also designed the World Wide Web in 1989, the manifesto has been signed by over 50,000 people from across the globe.
Here are some tips on creating a more profitable, equitable, and planet-friendly online business.
Making Your Online Business Sustainable
1. Educate yourself and your team on sustainability issues.
Make sure you and your team are up to date on sustainability issues to make informed decisions about how to make your online business more sustainable. You can do this by reading articles, watching documentaries, and attending workshops and conferences.
2. Make sustainability a priority in your business.
Make sure sustainability is a priority in your business by setting goals and measuring your progress. Create a sustainability policy to ensure everyone in your company is on the same page. Monitor your progress so you can identify areas for improvement and continue making improvements to reduce your carbon footprint.
3. Make sure your website is hosted on a green web host provider.
That is important because the web hosting industry contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. It’s estimated that the sector emits as much CO2 as the entire airline industry.
When looking for a web hosting provider, make sure they offer sustainable hosting. A green web host provider uses green data centers with energy-efficient servers powered by renewable energy such as wind or solar power. By choosing a green web host, you can ensure your website is powered by clean energy and isn’t contributing to climate change.
4. Design your website for sustainable usage.
When designing or redeveloping your website, ensure that it’s as sustainable as possible. Ask your professional web design service to make your site fast, efficient, and easy to find or load. That helps the environment by reducing how much power is used when the website is powered up.
It also makes a difference for people who have limited access and use mobile devices. They won’t needlessly drain battery life during loading times.
5. Use sustainable web design practices.
There are several ways to make your website more sustainable through its design. One way is to use green web fonts, eco-friendly alternatives to standard fonts. These fonts are either created with environmentally friendly practices or are open source, meaning they have a smaller carbon footprint.
Another way to make your website more sustainable is to use responsive design. This type of design adjusts the layout of your site according to the device it’s being viewed on. That not only provides a better user experience but also saves energy.
6. Ensure that your products are sustainable.
The products you sell on your website should be eco-friendly and sustainable. That means they shouldn’t damage the environment or contribute to climate change.
Make sure the products you sell are made with environmentally friendly materials and practices. You can also check if the product is certified by an organization such as the Forest Stewardship Council.
7. Choose eco-friendly packaging for your products.
When you’re shipping products to your customers, use eco-friendly packaging. That includes items like recycled paper, biodegradable peanuts, and reused boxes.
8. Choose environmentally responsible courier services for deliveries.
The courier services you use to deliver products to your customers can also impact the environment. Make sure to research the different courier services available and choose one with eco-friendly practices.
For example, DHL uses electric vehicles and bicycles for some deliveries in urban areas. They also have a goal to be carbon-neutral by 2025.
9. Implement an energy-efficient office plan.
Save energy and money by implementing an energy-efficiency plan in your office. That can include turning off lights when they’re not needed, using power strips, and setting thermostats to energy-saving mode.
Purchase only energy-efficient computers and equipment and eco-friendly office supplies. Dispose of all recyclable materials properly.
10. Encourage sustainable commuting options.
If you have employees, encourage them to use sustainable commuting options, such as carpooling, biking, or public transportation. You can provide incentives, such as a special allowance for carpoolers, public transit commuters, and bikers.
11. Reduce food waste in your office.
Encourage your employees to bring their lunch and avoid ordering food that will go to waste. You can also compost food scraps.
12. Educate your customers and clients on sustainability.
Make sure your customers and clients are aware of the importance of sustainability and how your online business is working to make a difference. You can do this by writing blog posts, sending email newsletters, and including sustainability information on your website.
Be Green Online
Whether you’re selling a digital service or a product, these environmental and cost-saving practices can help your bottom line in the long run. The first step is determining which of these principles will work for your industry best and then implementing them into your business model.