What's your supply chain like?
Consumers are becoming more curious about the story behind a product. We want to know about the journey materials have taken to get to us, the wellbeing of the growers and pickers, and the manufacturing processes involved in creating a product.
The same curiosity is being applied to the world of small businesses. There are increasing numbers of impact-driven, environmentally aware businesses constantly striving to better their practices and reduce their impact on the planet.
This post will explain how outsourcing to an ethical business can benefit your business.
Know your sources: what’s their impact?
When I do my food shopping I read a lot of labels. I want to know whether something is organic, produced locally, what the packaging is made of and how I can reuse or recycle it. Choosing which business to outsource to or collaborate with can be a similar experience.
Decide what’s important to you. Perhaps you’re trying to reduce your carbon footprint or maybe you want to support a valuable cause. Once you’re clear about your values it makes it easier to find a business that aligns with you.
Doing a bit of research into a business’ values and actions can make the difference between sending that ‘Hey, let’s work together’ email or not. Some businesses have About Me pages on their websites. Others will demonstrate their values via their social media content and by the other businesses they network with.
Being ethical in the way I promote my business is important to me. I hate being spammed and signed up to things without giving consent, so I use Email Octopus for my newsletters. They support ocean clean-ups and non-profits, and they are hot on ethical and legal marketing. It feels good to know they share my values, and it was an easy step forward in greening my business further.
Benefits for your business
You will reduce your business’ environmental impact
You get to be the savvy consumer when it comes to your business. Do you also love trees, totally dig the ethical marketing vibe or only want to work with businesses who use renewable energy? Choosing to work with a business that shares your values isn’t just empowering. If the business you outsource to also uses green energy, this reduces the footprint of your business.
It’s great for your conscience and wellbeing
Oh man, eco-anxiety is real! It can be overwhelming. Working with a proofreader, for example, who is planting elephant grass and whose website is ‘cleaner than 74% of other web pages tested’ (thanks, digitalbeacon.co) can take a bit of the pressure off.
You will grow your network
If you’re keen to work with other business owners who have a positive impact to make, joining my network of likeminded business owners means that your network and audience automatically grows – boom! Easy peasy. Come and say hello on Instagram or LinkedIn.
A few great collaborations have emerged from one of my favourite networks (Katie’s Duck Pond), including this mini-series blog that Claudia Kozeny-Pelling (ethical copywriter) and I created about getting started with an ethical proofreader or copywriter.
My bit for the planet
Keeping the environmental impact of my business low is important to me, but it’s a journey. I use renewable energy and I’m conscious about my energy use (currently wearing 5 layers to avoid the heating). I’m an ambassador for Carbon Trap and through them I plant elephant grass and wildflowers each month – they sequester carbon dioxide quicker than trees, and elephant grass can be used for so many things. I also plant trees via Treeapp and in person (here’s my recent LinkedIn post sharing my experience of planting trees).
Keeping my website’s carbon footprint low was a challenge I undertook last year, using Blue Raspberry Design’s challenge. Want to know more? Here’s the blog post. I’m also the co-host of the Green Pea Podcast, where Amanda and I chat about how to be ethical and green in business. Listen here for ten simple ways to reduce your digital carbon footprint.
When I outsource elements of my business I reach out to those in my ethical networks. It’s important to me that anyone I work with is also conscious about their impact.
The next step of your journey
So now you know how working with ethical and conscious businesses can benefit you, your business and the planet. What step will take next?
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© 2021 Emma Hewlett Proofreading