“But how do you know where to start when trying to be greener?”
The question of knowing ‘where’ to start when trying to reduce and improve our environmental impact on our planet is often one of the first hurdles we all face, and it is a question I hear repeated time and again from so many.
‘Being green’ is so broad and varied, covering so many different aspects of environmental impact, and meaning so many different things to different people, that it can be very hard to pinpoint ‘where’ to start when thinking about embarking on this journey.
Trying to single handedly research what we could change or should change, in order to become ‘greener’ is, in itself, a daunting prospect, then trying to achieve all of these changes all at once can result in ‘eco overwhelm’ and then failure to really change anything at all. It is the lack of taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture at the outset of the journey which is missing here, and it is this simple yet effective process of initial assessment and planning which is key to the success of our green journey.
The ‘where’ to start is the important piece of the jigsaw here, and if we nail the ‘where’ and the ‘how’, then the ‘what’ falls into place much more easily. By not nailing the ‘where’ the journey to becoming greener often becomes too much, too big, too hard, too time consuming, too expensive, and too much effort, even for the most enthusiastic among us.
Being greener as a business
I’ve spoken to a number of businesses who all had great enthusiasm and intention to become greener and reduce their overall environmental impact, but they didn’t know where to start. In some cases this has meant the business has done nothing, in other cases the business has applied a scattergun approach to improvements and changes with no real plan of action, leading to some minor successes in a small number of areas. In general most of the businesses I have spoken to have had good intentions but when faced with pinpointing where to start, have experienced overwhelm which has then halted any progress.
Knowing where to start is therefore key in this journey, and the first step a business can take to move through the inevitable overwhelm is to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, which leads to the setting of realistic and achievable ‘green’ targets and goals.
An initial assessment of a business, or ‘green audit’, provides the business with a bigger picture and a clear view of where it sits currently in terms of its environmental impact. Using this bigger picture approach immediately highlights any areas within the business which require work, and allows for a clear understanding of the steps required. Mapping the audit findings into an action plan provides the business with a clear roadmap of where to start in order to improve its environmental impact, and provides a clear understanding of what is required which in turn assists with the important task of setting the clear accountability.
How a business moves from the action planning stage to the implementation stage to becoming ‘greener’ depends on a variety of factors within the business and this will differ from business to business. The general process however is the same, and taking the time to conduct a ‘green audit’ at the outset gives a business a solid starting point from which to work from and answer the ‘where do I start’ question.
By working closely with each business to understand their strategy and model, and conducting an initial green audit, Achieving Greenness helps them to apply the correct processes, systems and techniques, assisting with overcoming their eco guilt and overwhelm, and implementing sustainable and achievable action plans to reduce and improve their environmental impact in both the short and long term.
If you have also struggled with the ‘where’ to start question when trying to improve your business’s green credentials then get in touch as we can help.