In running a business, going green might be the least of your priorities, but firms that are intentional about incorporating green practices are more likely to be profitable, have employee retention, and have a better relationship with the community, other companies, and also with the customers.
Businesses that promote their green image help customers feel that it is a trustworthy company. Nielsen surveyed 30,000 consumers from around the world in 2015, and 66% of consumers agreed they would pay more for products made from sustainable sources.
Having eco-friendly practices not only benefit your community by cutting your carbon emissions, but they can also improve productivity and create a better, more positive work culture.
With a few simple changes, you, your business, and your customers can benefit from a greener environment.
Implement a Recycling Program
Making sustainability efforts company-wide is an effective way to ensure that you are producing less waste and energy. Try to get all of your employees on board which can be the easiest way to know that you are successful with your ‘green’ goals.
You can set up recycling stations in common locations that can help get everyone involved. Let your employees know what they need to do to meet your goals, and reward them when they do their part. Make it more fun by putting them into teams and challenging them to whoever recycles more by the end of the month can have extra vacation leaves or something that can benefit them. It is a good way to show them that you appreciate them for taking action.
Switch to Being Paperless
Most offices, both large and small, rely heavily on paper. Unfortunately, this can lead to unnecessary waste. The average worker wastes 6,800 sheets of paper each year, while the average office utilizes 10,000 sheets annually.
Here are some tips to help you reduce your business’ paper usage.
- Avoid printing your presentation during meetings, stick with online slides
- Always go for electronic communication instead of printed mail
- Use applications on your phone to scan documents
- Store your files in the cloud, which will be more accessible in the future
- Digitize all your business processes and other important documents
- Invest in energy-efficient printers
Use Less Energy and Resources
There are many resources available today for people who are looking to use alternative energy sources. You can use natural resources, such as sunlight, wind, water, and heat from the ground. Though it is not that easy to reduce your carbon footprint, there are easy and convenient ways to do so. By using solar panels and wind turbines for generating electricity, you can easily cut down on millions of tons of greenhouse gasses.
But if installing solar panels is out of your budget, make it a habit between you and your employees to turn off your computers, scanners, and printers when the day ends. Go for coffee mugs and reusable plates instead of single-use utensils.
Install A Water Dispensing System
Bottled water is an unnecessary expense, and it can badly harm the environment with too much plastic consumption. According to NASA, more than 25% of the water used in cities are from businesses and public institution. You can save money by installing a filtered water system to dispense tap water for your employees.
Better yet, you can also have your own wastewater management system, which you can use to clean water by separating oil, grease, dirt, and other suspended solids. Save and boost your office’s sustainable ways by reusing your water without getting any further treatments from another system.
Buy Eco-Friendly Office Supplies And Furniture
Replace your old light bulbs with more eco-friendly ones. These last longer than the standard light bulbs and save you money on electricity and light bulbs in the long run. Compact Fluorescent (CFL) and LED bulbs are an excellent way to reduce. They may cost more than the standard illumination lights, but they use fewer resources. According to the Department of Energy, the use of LED lights can save the U.S. more than $30 billion by 2027.
With your office furniture, you can opt for second-hand or marked-down items. Many people don’t like buying used items, such as furniture; little do they know that this option helps save a lot of money. There are many advantages to buying second-hand furniture, such as reducing landfill waste, saving you a lot of money, and promoting sustainable living.
Get rid of Single-Use Plastic
Did you know that a large portion of office waste is from meal packaging? Disposable cutlery, single-use cups, plastic drink bottles, etc. Encourage your employees to bring their lunch from home with a few small tweaks.
Provide them with a place to store and reheat their food. Also, have reusable utensils available in your pantry. Investing in glassware is a great option too as there are many chemicals in plastics that we use every day.
We can’t undo the damage our habits and activities cause, but we can stop the consequences predicted by climate scientists. Companies can work together to create a future in which we live sustainably.
One of your goals should be to preserve the environment for future generations, which is why you have to commit to following eco-friendly practices.