There is increasing pressure on businesses to consider their ‘corporate responsibility’ and the environmental impact of the decisions they make within their business.

While this may seem frustrating to some, many businesses are using it to their advantage, leveraging this potential limitation to become another tool in their marketing repertoire. 

Australian founded home-compostable shipping package company, Hero Packaging, is committed to removing plastic from packaging and shipping in Australia and the world.

Hero Packaging co-founder, Anaita Sarkar has shared her tips on how to make a brand more sustainable, while also highlighting the eco-friendly efforts.

1. Write a list: Think of ways your business can become more sustainable. This can be little things like switching office paper from new to recycled, buying toilet paper plastic free and in bulk or using reusable pods for the coffee machine.

2. Consider your packaging: Eco-friendly packaging (like our satchels) cost the same price to ship as flat rate satchels with Australia Post. If you use boxes, explore recycled boxes, eco padding options and paper free tape. You can ship virtually anything plastic free.

3. Offset your shipping: Check with your shipping provider, but if you’re using either Sendle or Australia Post, both are now carbon neutral. They offset emissions from every domestic parcel sent, making shipping your deliveries carbon neutral. If you’re using a courier, check to see if they offset their shipping also. If not, switch to someone who does.

4. Offer returns for end-of-life products: Do you sell a product that can be recycled? Lots of materials (including hard plastics) can be recycled at the end of their lifespan, yet customers generally won’t do this if it’s an unfamiliar process. If you offer end-of-life returns, you can recycle those products for your customers, lowering your product’s environmental impact. If it’s not a simple step, you can recycle returned products in bulk a few times a year. If you offer a consumable product, consider switching to eco-friendly packaging that can be easily recycled/composted by your customer or add an option for their packaging to be refilled.

5. Consider your materials: This doesn’t just apply to businesses who make products. If you’re a fashion designer you can consider using less synthetic fibres, but if you’re an accountant, you can consider what paper based materials you’re using.

6. Write a sustainability page or policy: Share your sustainability values and efforts with your customers and staff with a sustainability policy or page on your website. A policy outlining the goals and steps to becoming more sustainable will help ensure everyone is on the same page. Your policy can literally be “We are trying to be more eco-friendly, these are the actions everyone in the business needs to take and the values that need to be considered when making future decisions”. If you have a website, adding a sustainability page will help outline your values for your customers and explain what steps you’re taking to become a more conscious business. If you don’t want a whole page, just add a blurb to your ‘About’ page, ‘Values’ page or even a blog or social media post.