A green business is one that takes steps to reduce their carbon footprint. This can be done in every aspect of daily operations, from how employees get to their workplace to utility and supply use. A truly green company goes beyond government regulations and demonstrates a commitment to eco-friendly practices and sustainability. Improving the quality of life for the employees of the company and reducing its impact on the environment are priorities in a business’ green initiative.
The value in ‘going green’ is not just one of social or political pride. As resources become more scarce, prices rise and companies must look for alternatives. Consumers and employees are becoming more environmentally conscious and will seek out those companies that are too. Committing to sustainability not only improves a company’s outlook, it improves its relationship to its customers, itself, and can even boost its bottom line.
Follow these steps and go green at your business:
- Recycle – Sounds easy, right? Cutting back on paper, plastic, and other common waste items is easy when you have a system in place. But if you don’t have a plan, you may find employees trashing recycles and recycling non-recyclables. Develop a recycling initiative for employees and keep recycle bins near trash cans to remind employees to recycle. Send progress reports detailing how much was recycled each month.
- Reduce Waste – Cut back on printing documents and transition to a more digital system. You’ll not only decrease your paper and ink use, you’ll increase your office space. Provide ceramic mugs and glasses in the break room rather than paper or styrofoam cups. Reuse packaging and shipping materials and reduce the burden your company puts on area landfills.
- Save Energy – Replace energy sucking equipment with energy efficient models and watch your energy bill drop. You’ll also be saving precious resources and lightening your environmental load. Install energy efficient light bulbs and encourage employees to turn out the lights when they leave a room. Unplug equipment that is not frequently used and plug it in only when necessary. Make a game out of your team’s morning commute. See who can ride a bike, take public transportation or car pool the most times each week and reward the winner with a special prize.
- Help Others – Encourage your customers to get in on your company’s green initiative. By shipping products in recyclable materials, you’re one step closer to sustainability. Include a note in each package asking the recipient to follow through. Provide incentives for customers to buy in bulk to reduce packaging and shipping expenses like paper products and fuel costs. Reward customers with a rebate when they bring their own reusable bags into your store or refill their own packaging materials with the items they need.
- Set an Example – Take your own advice. Commit to buying only paper and packaging made of recycled materials. Buy office furniture and equipment second hand or refurbished and you’ll not only save money, but reduce the need for more production. Recharged laser printer cartridges are less expensive and reduce the amount of harmful chemicals leaking into the environment. Ask customers and business associates to communicate with you digitally and to reduce the use of paper mail.
Every little step your company makes is important in furthering your green initiative. Improving your business in this manner takes more than cutting waste. And it isn’t only about making you feel better about your impact. Investors and clients are liable to ask about your environmental compliance, and will consider or reconsider their investments and purchases based on what you are doing to reduce your business’ impact.