Many businesses, even big ones, are striving to be greener. And it makes good business sense: not only has sustainability got huge consumer pull, but being greener will actually save you money in the long run.
Now in the mainstream, “green” means so much more than just recycling paper and milk cartons. We show you how your company can follow others at the forefront of the green movement.
How to Green Your Business
Implementing even a few of the following policies will make a significant difference to your triple bottom line:
- Energy Efficiency: So much financial and environmental spoilage can be linked to energy inefficiencies. Start with an energy audit to determine where these inefficiencies lie. Windows are often the main culprit. For better insulation and less energy leakage, installing secondary glazing is a simple solution—it’s easy to get plastic cut to size from companies like Cut My Plastic and apply it to the interior of your windows. Look at your electricity usage—do you shut off all your lights at night? How about your computers? Equipment on standby accounts for a huge amount of energy waste. And to maximise efficiency in the future, replace old appliances and other equipment with their energy efficient and multi-purpose counterparts.
- Cut Down on Waste: Over printing is one of the biggest sources of office waste. Go digital whenever you can—even contracts can now be signed online. And if you really must print, use smaller font and software that warns of wastage, altering your document accordingly. Simple changes like defaulting to double sided printing and single copies can go a long way to cutting down printing waste. Ditch disposable pens too—they account for a huge amount of office waste. Start encouraging reusable pen use and stock the refills in the supply cupboard.
- Reuse and Recycle: Make recycling easier than throwing something in the bin so that employees can’t help but do it. Place recycling bins next to normal ones in convenient locations all around the office—by printers and pigeonholes. But don’t stop there. Food waste is an often-overlooked office by-product. Get a compost bin in the cafeteria, break room or wherever it’s needed most. And don’t forget your electronic equipment—many companies collect and recycle computers, printers and more.
- Be a Green Consumer: Sometimes we have to print. And in this case, don’t simply plump for paper with a recycled icon on it, check it’s chlorine-free and made with a high percentage of Post Consumer Waste paper—preferably 100%. You can even get paper made with sustainable materials such as bamboo, organic cotton or hemp. And buying your ink and toner cartridges remanufactured means you can feel a lot better about those unavoidable print jobs. Using green and biodegradable cleaning products reduces harsh toxin exposure and waste, and so is a better choice for your employees and the environment.
These are just a few of the ways your business can become part of the green revolution. By making just some of these changes you can cut your costs and carbon footprint at the same time.