Now more than ever, its crucial for businesses to do their part in reducing their environmental impact. Businesses produce millions of tons of waste each year, only a small fraction of which actually gets recycled. The rest ends up in landfill, or even in the ocean. Businesses also tend to emit a lot of greenhouse gases (from industrial processes, transportation etc.) which degrades the ozone layer and contributes to climate change. Although the environment has suffered a lot due to human activities, its still not too late to turn things around, and you can help by adopting green practices in your business.
When you run a green business, you will be contributing towards saving the planet, but more than that, it could also be great for your bottom line. If you are keen on reducing your waste, reusing items around the office (either by maintaining their original purpose or by repurposing them), and recycling, you may end up conserving enough of your resources to the point of reducing your operating costs and saving your business some serious cash.
Here are a few brilliant tips to help you get your businesss footprint under control:
Involve your employees in the green initiative
The first thing you need to do is to get everyone in the office on board with your plan to go green. The whole process works better if everyone is involved because it requires a team effort to implement most of the eco-friendly measures that you need to take.
Choose the right office supplies
Instead of buying disposable stationery, you can purchase the kind that can be reused. For example, you can replace your disposable pens with pens that can be refilled with ink to avoid generating a lot of waste. Assign one of your employees (possibly the office manager) to keep track of how office supplies are used in order to avoid wastage. Also, encourage your employees to reuse stationery (such as paper clips) instead of throwing them out.
Invest in clean alternative energy
Its possible to power your office using alternative forms of energy, especially solar energy. You can install solar panels on the roof if you have your own building. If you have a large company with some land, you can set up fields of solar panels or wind turbines. Investing in solar or wind energy may initially be costly, but in the long run, you will recover your investment, and possibly even make a profit by selling your surplus power to the national grid.
Practice green procurement
Green procurement means ordering eco-friendly supplies from eco-friendly suppliers. When you are looking for new suppliers, find out what policies they have when it comes to production and transportation. Do they use eco-friendly manufacturing processes? If you source your supplies from businesses that aren’t sustainable, you will essentially be negating all the effort that you have put into saving the environment. Do they transport their products over longer distances? You should source your supplies from businesses that are located in your area because long-distance transportation means an increase in your footprint because of emissions from the trucks. Instead of looking for suppliers online, try to ask around within your city.
Reduce your postage
Even though we are in the digital age, many businesses still rely on letters for correspondence, and they still send out newsletters and catalogues to their customers. Your business can reduce its footprint by choosing to use email and other digital means for all (or at least most) of your correspondence. You can retire your printed catalogues and newsletters, and instead, use email to send digital copies to your customers. If you can’t do without postage, use eco-friendly envelopes instead of ordinary ones (eco-friendly envelopes are those that are designed to be reused). If you use postage in high volumes, at least make sure that your supplier is also eco-friendly.
Recycle old computers and electronics
Old electronics arent that energy efficient, so make sure you upgrade your copiers, printers, and computers to reduce your energy consumption. Some computer vendors will even buy back their old products, so make inquiries to find out if that is an option that you can take advantage of. Office supply stores within your locality or your local council may have programs to safely recycle electronic wastes, so you should also look into that.