This year, the world hit a milestone that none of us wanted to celebrate. Global temperatures hit a record high. It doesn’t take long to find stories of forest fires, floods, or extreme weather events online. The environmental crisis is here for all to see.
Can businesses do more to contribute to sustainability efforts? The answer is yes, and surprisingly, it doesn’t have to be expensive.
Take business liquidation auctions, for example.
They might not be the most apparent environmental strategy, but they are fantastic ways to boost your business’s sustainability credentials. Discover more here and how to make the most of this approach.
What Are Business Liquidation Auctions?
A business liquidation auction happens when a company closes down or restructures. The auction is an event to help sell off the assets of that business to the highest bidder.
Assets can be anything. You may find office furniture or commercial kitchen appliances. It sometimes even includes company vehicles. In rare cases, a business also sells intellectual property via an auction.
Liquidation helps a business generate cash to pay debts, such as during bankruptcy. They often need to get some money fast, which is why an auction is valuable.
This offers buyers a unique opportunity to get hold of excellent quality assets at a discount.
Aside from the financial benefit, you’re buying recycled goods instead of new ones. So there is a sustainability angle, which we’ll cover through this guide.
Eco-Friendly Potential of Equipment Reuse
The reuse of equipment presents an exciting avenue for environmental sustainability.
Businesses need to look at new ways to cut their carbon footprint. Yet some initiatives come with hefty costs. Equipment reuse is different because it often saves money.
By repurposing existing items, a business is reducing demand for new production. When done at scale, that could have a massively positive environmental impact.
It means energy-hungry factory output worldwide is lower. It also removes the need to extract new raw materials from the ground. Furthermore, it reduces waste.
In other words, it dramatically reduces the environmental footprint of manufacturing.
Despite the clear advantages, equipment reuse isn’t widespread yet. Many businesses still focus on more traditional procurement methods like existing supplier relationships.
Yet revisiting your procurement approach as a business from a sustainability viewpoint is vital. It can potentially impact our environment in a significant and positive way.
Examples of Sustainable Equipment Reuse: The Food Industry
The food industry is a perfect illustration of sustainable equipment reuse in action.
Consider a restaurant. These businesses have large, expensive pieces of equipment like ovens and refrigerators. Yet the equipment is relatively similar between different restaurant businesses.
If a restaurant business closes, the kitchen equipment and furniture could get discarded. Imagine the environmental impact or what this looks like in a landfill. It’s a significant contributor to environmental waste.
To make matters worse, restaurant business closures are a common thing. The industry is vulnerable to downturns in the economy. Plus, it suffered during COVID-19.
Now look at the scale of the problem from afar; you can see the significant environmental damage that can happen with multiple restaurant closures.
Consider the same scenario of a restaurant closure, but this time the restaurant auctions its equipment. If other restaurants buy old goods instead of new ones, it creates a different picture. It’s a sustainable practice.
Now multiply this approach throughout the entire restaurant industry. You can see that it can massively reduce waste and landfill.
A recent study backs up this approach. If more restaurants bought second-hand goods, the environmental impact would be “incredibly consequential.”
We all need to do our bit to reduce carbon emissions. And this is an easy, low cost and intelligent way to approach the problem of global warming.
Find the Best Liquidation Auctions
Now that you understand the benefits, let’s talk about how to use liquidation auctions in your business.
Your first step to using auctions is to find the right ones for your business. That way, you’ll have more opportunities to find equipment that’s the perfect fit for your business.
Research is key here. First, start by finding auctions in the same industry as you. For example, if you’re a food business, you’ll find a helpful list of live liquidation auctions on our website.
It’s also worth asking other people in your industry for their recommendations. Use networking events to find out about auctions.
When you’ve found auctions for your industry, check upcoming dates and review the catalog of items.
It’s best to habitually review new auctions so you can access these catalogs early. For example, you could assign an hour weekly to add new auctions to your list.
You should also research manufacturers and brands. That way, you’ll understand which auctions provide the most high-quality and durable equipment.
After all, sustainability is also about using equipment for a long time instead of continually replacing it.
Check locations too. Some live auctions may take place online. But if you are going to a venue, consider the distance and the transportation emissions.
The same is true when getting items shipped. Carbon miles should always be a factor in your sustainability efforts.
How to Master the Auction Process
Mastering the auction process is invaluable and will help you save money.
First, start by registering for the auction in advance. Spend time researching items in the catalog that seem unfamiliar to you. It’s worth having a list of things you need for your business so you can find the best matches.
Be flexible here. If you can accept equipment that isn’t your usual brand, you’ll have more choices during the auction.
Before participating in a live auction, attend some as an observer. This will help you get a feel for the process and you can spot the bidding strategies of the most successful buyers.
When you are in an auction, set your maximum budget to avoid overbidding.
Ensure you understand the payment process. Also, know the options for collecting an item or arranging delivery for your winning bid. You should calculate the cost of this delivery before choosing a maximum bid price.
How to Maximize Your Sustainability Efforts Through Auctions
You can do much to maximize your sustainability efforts via a liquidation auction. It all comes down to planning.
Begin by making conscious choices about the items you buy. Bid on equipment that has a reputation for longevity and durability. Buying long-lasting items reduces your carbon footprint.
Second, prioritize equipment with high energy-efficient rates.
For example, if you bid on kitchen items, choose the ones with the best ENERGY STAR rating. This is an independent score given to appliances so that you can compare their energy efficiency.
Other factors to consider are the materials of the equipment and the manufacturing process for each item.
Some equipment will be manufactured using sustainable or recyclable materials. Some equipment will have had a less energy-intensive manufacturing process.
This is a feature to remember when browsing catalogs. Those with low maintenance demands will also score better for sustainability, as you won’t need to buy any new parts.
You may need to arrange transportation for your winning items. Think about hiring companies that offer the most eco-friendly transportation. For example, they might have a carbon offsetting initiative or use low-emission vehicles.
The key to maximizing your sustainability efforts is understanding what you buy.
Not all products are the same. But by being mindful of our purchasing choices, we can all positively impact the environment. It will reduce the impact of manufacturing, encouraging sustainability instead.
Making Sustainability a Core Business Value
Your sustainability efforts can do more than impact the environment. They can also affect your business in an equally positive way. You can make your sustainability practices central to your branding and marketing.
By making it a part of who you are, you’ll attract a growing percentage of the population for whom sustainability is a core value. In other words, it will attract more customers to your business.
So it’s a win-win. You save money buying equipment at auctions and make more money by boosting customer sales.
Staying Sustainable When Upgrading Your Equipment
You may choose to buy new equipment because you want to get rid of the existing kit. If so, consider selling these old items at auction. It will boost your sustainability efforts and make you a central part of the circular economy.
Ask yourself whether the equipment is good enough to go to auction rather than a landfill. Even if the equipment is broken, you may be able to remove valuable parts and sell them at auction.
As more businesses adopt this practice, it will create a domino effect, creating sustainable business models in many industries.
Try Business Liquidation Auctions for Your Next Purchase
It might be cutting-edge technologies that make the news headings for sustainability efforts. Yet sometimes, it only takes some simple steps and tried-and-tested methods to help improve the environment.
Business liquidation auctions are an easy way to embrace the reuse and recycle approach to sustainability. Try it today. Start by visiting our marketplaces here.