It’s a common question: “What simple things can I do to green my business?” These 14 tips are a great place to start.
Sustainability became one of the top issues for a lot of companies. No matter the type of business you own, going green is not only good for the planet but beneficial for your finances and reputation! If you’ve never thought about the eco-friendliness of your company, it might be a difficult journey to start.
However, once you get into it, you won’t want to go back to the way you were before! Here are 14 ways that can help your business go green.
1. Write usage reports
Before you head down the sustainability road, you need to write a comprehensive report on how much energy you use and how much waste you produce. Writing this kind of report isn’t easy as you need to track your utility for the past 12 months and calculate the average cost of your bills. Once you do that, setting green goals will become less challenging. How?
You’ll have insight into your weakest points, and from that point, you can start creating a strategy on how to improve your practices. Start with smaller steps and increase your influence over time.
2. Create a green office space
Lead by example to motivate your employees to go green. For instance, one of the fantastic ways of sparking the change is by creating a green office space. Implement plants and greenery whenever possible.
Did you know that employees who have more plants in the office or greenery outside the window tend to be more productive? On top of that, plants produce cleaner air for your employees, which improves their well-being.
3. Cut electricity bill in half
Is cutting your electricity bill in half possible? Of course, if you implement some of these simple tips. Even though the usage depends on the type and size of your business, these tricks will do wonders for all kinds of companies.
Firstly, turn off your electronic devices and machines if they are not being used. It’s only intuitive to shut off the lights when you’re not in the office. However, by implementing a better lighting system and relying on natural light, you’ll save a lot of energy. Don’t hesitate to install solar panels that will reduce your costs and usage as well.
4. Mind the heating and cooling system
A lot of companies, whether they operate remotely, or from the office, rent huge spaces that tend to be heated or cooled depending on the weather conditions. Firms that have incorporated a remote type of work don’t have to worry about the heating system.
However, a lot of businesses are returning to offices and find heating and cooling systems one of the most expensive items on their bill. To overcome such issues, consider installing smart thermostats for the offices. Also, choose the best possible solution such as geothermal pumps to regulate the temperature inside.
5. Use water smartly
Did you know that the amount of water we waste can hydrate an entire country?! Water waste has become one of the greatest issues, and if we don’t use it smartly, clean water resources will disappear. What can you, as a business, do?
The first step is to detect any possible leakages. Even though droplets may don’t seem much, it’s a huge amount of water going down the drain you’re not using, but you’re paying for. Also, you can install dual flush toilets that conserve the amount of water spent with each flush.
6. Say no to single-use items
“It’s just one disposable cup”, says 7 billion people! Put an end to single-use items and consider an eco-friendlier approach by using reusable items. Each single-use item has its sustainable replacement. However, some businesses rely on such items for delivery or takeout. Is that problem solvable?
Instead of plastic, use bio-degradable items. Reusable bags are always a better and more sustainable option that replaces plastic bags. Coffee filters employees use during work are also a big hazard. So, replace them with traditional coffee makers and personal mugs.
7. Use sustainable materials
Most companies rely on materials purchased from other businesses. However, not all business owners have the same eco-awareness as you do. By purchasing items and materials from companies like that, you, more or less, directly support their unethical actions that are harmful to our planet. But how can you do business without the necessary materials?
Before considering purchasing any materials, it’s important to evaluate your business needs and determine what items are necessary for your daily operations. Consider using a refurbished all-in-one computer instead of buying a brand-new one. Refurbished computers have been restored to their original condition and can be a more sustainable option, reducing electronic waste and saving resources.
Find companies that use sustainable materials or at least are more ethical when it comes to business. Even though this requires extensive research, your company will benefit from sustainable materials and be one step closer to the green dream.
8. Recycle and reuse
When people mention eco-friendliness, one of the first things that come to their minds is recycling. So, to achieve sustainability, start recycling and reusing in your company. If you’re unsure how to start, check out a comprehensive sustainable workplace guide that will help you on that mission.
Place recycling bins in the offices and encourage your employees to truly use them and separate waste. Also, you can use some items multiple times before you recycle them or throw them away. On top of that, you can find other items with a new purpose and bring them back to life. It’s all the beauty of recycling and reusing common things around you.
9. Switch notice boards and paper use with a platform
Let’s face it, companies use A LOT of paper. Whether they print out files, emails, projects, or something else, paper waste has become one of the leading issues, especially if they don’t recycle it later. Also, a lot of businesses print out news and notices to post them on boards for employees to see. That’s the only way to keep employees informed, right?
Notice boards, are in fact, harmful to internal communication, as much as to the environment! Better internal communication examples inspire better practices that lead to a positive change. Save your employees’ valuable time, paper, and the environment by implementing an intranet platform where you’ll inform your employees, as well as maintain employee communication on a higher level.
10. Use online space smartly
While we mostly focused on physical items and their effect on our planet, we mustn’t forget about the online space most companies use so neglectfully. Did you know that the data storage units are growing exponentially over % annually?
That’s a huge number that mustn’t be overlooked as nowhere near enough developers works on cloud storage expansion. The environmental impact of data storage is inevitable. Storage systems and servers spend a lot of energy which leaves a great carbon footprint.
11. Minimize food waste
Most people generally throw away a lot of food. Even though groceries are biodegradable, food waste can be unethical considering that certain groups can’t afford a meal. So, instead of throwing away food scraps, you can donate them to homeless shelters or recycle them! How can food be recycled?
Compost is one of the most powerful yet rarely used processes in business. Food leftovers can be made into bio compost ideal for farms or your own company’s garden! So, encourage employees to compost instead of throwing away the food.
12. Cycle and walk to work
Some of the biggest polluters are cars. Even though it’s evident that planes pollute more, we can agree that rarely anyone takes a plane to work. So, to make your business more sustainable, encourage your workforce to cycle or walk to work.
Besides being eco-friendlier, this boosts their physical activity which is essential for brain power and their focus and productivity at work. So, consider equipping them with bikes to encourage a sustainable commute to work!
13. Introduce a remote work day
A lot of business returned to the offices now that the pandemic is over. However, did you know that one office day can cost your business a lot of money when it comes to energy, transport, and employee efficiency? To support the environment, introduce a remote work day. What does that mean?
This means that your employees can choose a day of the week to work remotely or from home. It saves time and a lot of money considering the electricity use will be reduced. So, if office work is necessary, consider introducing at least one remote work day.
14. Educate and train your employees
We mustn’t neglect the importance of education and training for your employees. All of the effort and new processes you’ve implemented can go to waste if you haven’t taken the time to truly explain the benefits.
If you feel like your employees won’t take you seriously, you can always hire experts externally to teach your employees how to be eco-friendly. Don’t forget to incorporate new values into the company culture if you want to make them stay!
Final Thoughts on Ways to “Green My Business”
Now you see the importance of sustainability and its benefits for your business. Eco-friendliness will make you feel fantastic about yourself and boost your reputation. On top of that, you’ve learned some of the best ways to implement eco-friendliness into your company. It’s a challenging journey, but in the end, it will all be worth it. So, go green, folks, you won’t regret it!
About the Author
Morgan Rose Elliott graduatedmarketing from The University of Sydney. Hobbies include yoga, reading, home renovation. A rookie blogger who loves writing about business and lifestyle equally. She is happily married, stay at home mother of three.