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As an entrepreneur, you will shape your own destiny. After all, that is the attraction of being your own boss, isn’t it? You have an idea, you test it, you start your business, and you work hard to make it grow.

Your main goals during this process are to be profitable and to have personal reward in doing things your own way. But what will be even more rewarding for you, your community and the world around you is taking responsibility for the environmental impact your business has.

Being a responsible business citizen means doing what you can to reduce your carbon footprint and your consumption of natural resources.

Here are some tips to help you lead by example:

Be paper-free

A lot of the paper we generate as small (or large) businesses could be replaced by digital office admin. Think of all the reports, memos, accounts and mails that you produce. Discipline yourself and your team to think, and practice, going digital.

Think recycled 

If you are going to use paper, try using recycled. Your small contribution will go a long way to protecting our trees and the environment in general.

Did you know that one ton of recycled paper can save:

  • 17 trees
  • 26 000 litres of water
  • 2.5 cubic meters of landfill space
  • 4 000 kilowatts of energy

(source: University of Indiana)

Also, remember to always recycle at work and at home; and convince your friends, family, and peers to do the same.

Manage your resources. 

Always ensure that you switch off the lights and appliances you are not using. Heaters and air-conditioners should also only be turned on when absolutely necessary. Also, remember we live in a water-sensitive country so keep an eye on how you and your staff consume this precious resource.

If you can afford it, invest in alternative sources of energy such as solar power. Your potential customers will take notice and value your responsible attitude. Good business leaders set good examples!

Start a carpool

Whether you do it yourself with other business owners in your area or encourage your staff to share rides to work you can help contribute to cleaner air and less traffic congestion. If it suits your business, let your employees have “work-from-home” days to limit their travel time and distance (and fuel!).

Start today

Some of these suggestions may appear small-scale; but if we all contribute in our own way, and encourage others to follow, we will be responsible business citizens leading by example.

And if you are seen to be leading by example, the customers will notice too! And you’ll clean up the competition.





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