22 Apr 2019, 18:51 — 6 min read
“Think global, act local” urges people to consider the wellbeing of the entire planet and to take decisive action in their own cities and communities.
Small businesses can contribute substantially to the environment, especially since they are a third of all businesses in the country and employ nearly 40% of the workforce.
This Earth Day we look at some small business owners who are making a big difference in protecting the environment and contributing to their communities.
1. Tracking energy consumption
All forms electricity generation negatively impacts the environment. The need of the hour therefore is efficient use of electricity and opting for appliances that can significantly reduce the energy consumption, greenhouse gasses and other forms of air pollution emitted as a result.
Alwyn Lasrado, Director of Omnia Platform Ventures Pvt. Ltd. shares, “We try to switch off electrical appliances when not in use." This is a small but a significant step we can follow to reduce the consumption of energy at our homes and workplaces. Offices can even adopt the use of online energy measurement tools to benchmark the performance and energy consumption of their office buildings.
Shashank M G, CEO of Suveechi Technologies Pvt. Ltd’s initiative of reducing the consumption of electricity at his work place can be a learning for all of us. Their office had approximately 70 lighting fixtures. All these were fitted with 2 X 36 Watt CFL bulbs which amounted to 550 units of electricity consumption per month. He changed these with 15W LEDs and the electricity consumption came down to 115 units a month!
SMEs have a big role in contributing to the environment by committing to earth friendly acts, conserving energy, making harmony with nature to achieve a proper balance between economic, social and environmental factors, reducing the carbon footprint, going green, etc.
2. Saying no to plastic
We regularly see advertisements and campaigns urging us to stop using plastics. The important question is: Are we mindful of this in our daily lives? Shital Karkkar Mehra, Founder of International School of Corporate Etiquette and Protocol Pvt Ltd shares, "We have completely stopped the use of plastics at our workplace. Instead, we use glass bottles."
Sunil Ved of Shri Radha Krishna Gases And Gas Plant Leasing Company adds, “We have implemented the use of glass bottles instead of plastic ones at office and at home. Even during hotel conferences we request only glass bottles to be given to all members.”
3. Use of green building materials
Bhupendra Kumar, Co-founder of Aeiforia Constructions Pvt Ltd, an architectural firm specialising in building green workspaces shares, “We decided to bring ‘green’ to every workplace where we spend one third of our entire life.” He adds, “The impression of green being expensive often prevents clients from opting for this solution. But we decided to challenge that mentality."
4. Recycle and reuse
Recycling and reusing products is the best way we can give back to our environment. Use of eco-friendly products and materials that can be easily recycled can reduce the amount of waste we produce every day.
Sandhya Gupta, Founder of Fragrant Petals, a company which recycles used flowers to produce fragrances shares, "I could not bear to see wastage of such beautiful flowers in temples. I spoke to the authorities and started collecting them and processing them to produce natural, aromatic fragrances.”
5. Sustainable agricultural practices
India being an agrarian economy, sustainable agricultural practices can go a long way in protecting the ecology.
K Karthik, Founder of Suma Agro India Pvt Ltd, which produces sustainable agri products shares, "SMEs have a big role in contributing to the environment by committing to earth friendly acts, conserving energy, making harmony with nature to achieve a proper balance between economic, social and environmental factors, reducing the carbon footprint, going green, etc.”
6. Conserving energy with green transportation
Committed to the cause of fighting climate change, Coimbatore-based entrepreneur S. Manikandan, established Spero Mobility and Energy Solutions Pvt Ltd to manufacture electric bikes. He shares, “Climate change is a problem that will be affecting us and is a worthy cause to take up. The thought process was to be prepared for the energy revolution to take its next step. One of the areas we explored was renewable energy. We needed a product to tell the world who we are and that would make a difference. E-bikes made the cut."
Commenting on the need to reduce pollution in cities, Geet Jalota, Founder of Askgeet HRD Solutions OPC Pvt Ltd. opines, “We can use bicycles instead of cars or switch off the ignition when not moving or stuck in jams. Traffic rules need to be followed strictly.”
Several small business owners are doing their bit to build sustainable businesses and adopt green practices. K. Karthik sums it up as, “Every small change will add up to create a huge impact. SMEs have to educate and inspire others to follow the change. We have to contribute towards a better world for our children.”
This Earth Day, how do you plan to contribute to the environment?
Network with SMEs mentioned in this article by clicking on the 'Connect' button on their profile. Alwyn Lasrado, Shashank M G, Shital Kakkar Mehra, Sunil Ved, Bhupendra Kumar, Sandhya Gupta, K Karthik, S Manikandan, Geet Jalota
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