Going green or investing in an environmental policy for your company is a good idea no matter how you look at it these days. The most important reason to ‘go green’ is simply sustainability. Let’s be clear, you won’t be doing business if there is no planet to do business on. Secondly, curbing your carbon footprint, recycling and cutting down on waste can also turn out to be cost saving in the long run. Another great reason to become more eco-friendly is that in this increasingly public and connected world, your customer is hyper-aware of how you conduct business – what kind of image do you want to project?
Sound like a great idea but I bet you’re wondering “as a business, where can we start?” Here are some helpful pointers to get you headed in the right direction.
Get an energy audit and make simple changes around your office and house.
Energy audits are step-by-step holistic surveys of a facility that give you a better understanding of just how to help your business become more eco-friendly. You can discover exactly where your business is wasting resources or abusing energy and it will give you a blueprint for your environmental strategy going forward.
Create a green strategy
Use the insights gathered from your audit to draft a policy that answers key environmental concerns for your business. This will not only help give you direction, this will plot a path forward that can unfold and grow as your company matures.
Educate and involve your staff
Ask your staff to participate and inspire them to come up with news ideas and insights into how your company can be more environmentally conscious. Using their ideas to form part of your green strategy is a wonderful way to make your staff feel more invested and involved not only in your eco-policy but in the company itself.
Digitize and Go Paperless Where Possible
With more digital options such as digital faxing and electronic signatures, it’s increasingly feasible to decrease our overall paper consumption. Whenever possible, skip paper entirely, but if you have to print, make sure you use recycled or eco-friendly paper.
Use Compact-fluorescent (CFL) or LED lights. Though CFL and LED lights are comparatively more expensive than standard incandescent bulbs, however they last much longer and use a lot less energy (80% less than standard bulbs)
Replace Outdated Appliances
Everything from the clunky office fridge to the cartridge hungry fax machine and printer should be inspected and reviewed and perhaps even replaced for more environmentally friendly and energy efficient options.
Power your Office with alternative energy.
Solar power, wind power, rooftop gardens. There are a number of ways you can supplement your energy needs for your business. Using renewable energy sources to power business is smart-thinking. Not only can it improve your bottom line and save on costs, it means you’re no longer held hostage by electricity providers who can’t meet demand.
Institute A Work From Home Policy
Remote workers are on the increase. With the technology at hand to ensure we stay connected (fax to email, smart phones, teleconferencing) we can often forgo the need for a centralised office space in order to run a business. How does this help your green strategy? Commuting takes time, costs money and creates pollution, so any attempt you make to cut it down or cut it out helps. Also, with less space and less resources need for a central office space, you save on rental, lights, energy and costs.
Encourage communication via email or face-to-face
Try cut down on printing wherever you can. It’s often the number one culprit for wastage in any organisation. To communicate with others rather pick up the telephone, email or set up a face-to-face meeting. For doctors or lawyers where possible employ online faxing or digital data storage for your official documentation needs.
Recycling is still the most basic and impactful way to clean up our act, environmentally speaking. Don’t only used recycled paper and products wherever possible, re-use and upcycle (give old things a new lease on life) wherever possible. For example Instead of pricey new office furniture purchase vintage or make designer items out of repurposed materials.
The possibilities are only limited to your imagination. Find new and innovative ways to green your business and you could start reaping the rewards sooner than you think.