Starting a new business is an exciting time, as you embark on your entrepreneurial future with passion and determination. For many of us, new ventures often have sustainability as a focus. Whether it’s a drink, a clothing brand, jewellery or a café, many of us want commit to a sustainable ethos as part of our brand. But what about our own sustainable efforts? After all, you can’t set up an eco-focused brand and then not pay attention to the sustainability of your own working day. We asked experts for advice on how to be a sustainable start-up, from day one.

MAKE YOUR LAUNCH PARTY AND GIFTING SUSTAINABLE

Planning an event and gifts for customers to welcome your new ‘business baby’ into the world is all very well, but you need to do it in an eco-friendly way. Bec Evans is author of How to Have a Happy Hustle. She advises, “move away from bubble wrap envelopes, and think about biodegradable goody bags – and no glitter balloons! Think about plastic in gifts and plastic waste when gifting. It’s about showing intention – when you set up a business it’s about building a community and working with early users. Think ‘does the world really need this?’”.

MAKE SUSTAINABILITY A ‘GIVEN’, NOT A ‘MUST DO’

Jesse Tran and Son Chu are fellow students from Vietnam who are starting their own trainer business and their products are made from recycled coffee cups. Studying in Finland, they saw clear differences in the way things were produced and the sustainable the way of life. They’ve channelled that into their brand, RENS. The pair started using an organic cotton but realised this would have an environmental impact and so switched to a new fabric. “As millennials, for us sustainability should be a given,” says Jesse. “We want to play a role as ambassadors – it’s easier to live a sustainable life in Finland!”

THINK ABOUT YOUR ENERGY SUPPLIER

Bills aren’t the most glamorous topic, but choose the right energy supplier; you could save money as well as the planet. Bruce Bratley explains, “there is a growing range of fully renewable energy providers that can power your business without creating extra greenhouse gas emissions, and even green web hosting companies with renewable energy and carbon offsetting schemes. Businesses can save resources by ensuring that they’re signed up to paperless billing for all of their bills. Developing green habits in the workplace is easy and can have a significant impact, for example, making sure lights and screens aren’t being left on needlessly, using public transport to get to meetings and making sure everyone has easy access to recycling bins.”

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