Start-ups? It’s green for goPosted on: April 1, 2020
by Ruth Brooks
Being a green business is very important in today’s world. No matter the industry, business owners have an increasing responsibility to be environmentally friendly and reduce their carbon footprint. And as more and more companies catch on to the importance of limiting their eco-footprint, green business trends are on the rise.
According to the European Business Awards, the rate of new businesses starting up in the EU is three times faster than in the USA. We are entrepreneurial, innovative, creative – and going green. Some have baked green business ideas into their profit motives, while others are working to reduce their eco-footprint even when doing so isn’t directly tied to their mission. In the process, they’re trailblazing the way for sustainable business initiatives of all kinds.
Here are five ways UK start-ups are going green.
- They’re reducing waste.
Sometimes start-ups don’t begin with an environmental ethos but work to reduce their eco-footprint over a period of time. Other times, businesses arise expressly because of the need for more sustainable industry solutions. For example, with around 88 million tonnes of food wasted annually in the EU, UK start-up Design by Sol created the Bump Mark. By simply feeling a label containing a special gel, you can instantly know if it’s safe to eat, regardless of the sell-by-date instruction. Meanwhile, UK start-up Adaptavate has created plasterboard made from agricultural waste and unlike normal plasterboard, which is hazardous waste, Breathaboard is compostable.
- They’re promoting sustainable energy
Skyrocketing energy usage is one of the greatest drains on natural resources. Once considered a niche and potentially risky investment, clean energy technology is now a huge opportunity for businesses, marrying Britain’s burgeoning tech start-up scene with a well-established energy industry. For clean energy tech start-ups, this represents an unprecedented opportunity to create new systems to power homes, businesses and electric vehicles and capitalise on growing demand. One example is Bulb Energy which supplies 100% renewably sourced energy from independent generators across the UK. The start-up raised £60m last year and increased its customer base six-fold. It plans to launch a flexible tariff that would allow customers to opt for cheaper payments if they avoid peak energy hours between four and seven PM.
- They’re sourcing sustainable materials
Selling any physical product inherently requires some degree of drain on environmental resources. The manufacturing process involves large amounts of water and energy, and the transportation needed to ship products releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Investing in sustainable materials can help offset the size of this eco-footprint. Start-ups are rising to the challenge by utilising organic materials, investing in sustainable farming, and utilising non-toxic materials.
- They’re minimising paper use
The production of paper requires the destruction of natural resources (i.e. trees) as well as copious amounts of water and energy. Thus, minimising paper use is a simple way for businesses in any industry to become a little greener. Many start-ups are working to reduce their own paper usage—as well as their customers’ paper consumption. And a wide variety of start-ups are doing it by utilising cloud storage, digital invoicing, and other tech tools.
- They’re incentivising green lifestyles
Some start-ups have identified opportunities to use consumer rewards programmes for environmental good as well as profit. https://www.greenredeem.co.uk/Greenredeem (formerly known as Recyclebank) motivates people to take every day green actions. Focused on the environment and recycling, you can earn points, discount vouchers and money off coupons. Mobile apps are also available so you can earn on the go.
Whether sustainability is at the forefront of a business’s mission or simply one of its values, it’s possible to find creative ways to go green in virtually any industry. Wrexham University’s unique Masters of Business Administration degree is designed for ambitious, self-starting professionals who may be looking to set up their own green business or bring new green ideas to the board room of existing businesses.
With a comprehensive curriculum covering key business disciplines including marketing, finance, strategy and human resource management, the 100% online MBA is designed to enable students to study around existing commitments. There are six start dates a year, flexible payment options and postgraduate government loans to cover the full programme cost, for those that are eligible.
For more information, or to apply, visit: https://online.wrexham.ac.uk/mba/