Greening your business brings numerous benefits to the table. First, focusing on green programs can help to cut expenses. Second, you’ll be able to provide a healthier and more productive place to work than many of today’s employees are demanding – building your business around green programs can help to attract and retain top talent! And, finally, by stepping up as an environmentally conscious business, you will build a solid brand image, attract new customers, and boost your revenue.
Here are a few ideas that may help your business bring green efforts to the next level:
1. Reduce Energy Footprint
Studies claim that 39 percent of carbon dioxide emission comes from buildings. And, the only way to stop this massive problem is to minimize these emissions by 50 percent by 2030. Businesses can be part of the solution, while also saving valuable company funds. That’s because there are numerous new techniques that can help you cut energy usage. It doesn’t matter if you’re building your business premises from scratch or updating them, you can use things like geothermal systems, natural insulation materials, solar panels, HVAC systems, or triple-pane windows to save energy. Don’t forget to do a proper investigation and seal all holes and cracks, which may help you cut your heating or cooling costs significantly.
2. Consider Outsourcing your Business
We’re living in the hyperconnected era. Cloud computing, chatbots, project management tools, IM platforms, social media and video conferencing tools have been revolutionizing the way we do business. But, have you ever thought of using these tools to move your entire business to the virtual landscape? By not having to commute to work, you’re actually cutting greenhouse gas emissions and can also save your company money on building size and costs. Not only that, but you can also reduce the need for printed materials, save energy, and minimize e-waste by embracing a remote workforce.
This bold approach benefits your business in other ways, too. First, you can hire top talent, irrespective of their location and time zone. It’s good for your finances, too. Your taxes, bills, and other expenses will be lower. Also, you won’t have to apply for highly demanding bank loans to book a huge office or buy new equipment. Instead, taking out small online loans or selling your company’s equipment will be enough to cover the costs of building a home office and investing in the right technologies. And, the ROI is amazing – telecommuting can help you save up to $11,000 a year.
3. Move your Data to the Cloud
Cloud computing has become an invaluable aspect of any powerful business plan. It allows you to save money and, at the same time, boost the overall workplace productivity. This way, you will make your information safer, enable faster workload transmission, and simplify the way massive data is stored. Most importantly, moving your workload to the cloud is a huge step towards making your office paperless. By storing all your documents online, you will make them accessible to everyone and reduce the demand for printing them. Also, you won’t also have to buy additional equipment, which again, means less pollution and saving energy.
4. Recycle Electronics
Statistics say that 9.4 million tons of e-waste are thrown away in the U.S. every year. Unfortunately, less than 13 percent of it is recycled. Most of this waste ends up in landfills or shipped to developing countries, causing serious dumping and pollution problems there. So, if you’re replacing your tech that is less than 5 years old, why not give it to schools or charities in your community? If this is not an option, you can recycle it. Do your research and find tech manufacturers that offer e-cycling programs. Since most of these initiatives include donation programs, this is a great opportunity to keep your equipment out of landfills, tell your eco-friendly brand story, at the same time, do something good for those in need.
5. Every Change Comes from Within
Keep in mind that as a business owner or sustainability leader, you’re the one your employees look up to and rely on to set the direction of your green programs. If you want to raise environmental awareness among them, you should go green first. For example, did you know that 76.4 percent of the U.S. workers drive to work? Given this fact, it’s not surprising that traffic is still one of the major air polluters. So, why not take a bus, walk, or cycle to work. When your employees see that, maybe they decide to leave their cars at home, too.
You should also work on your office sustainability. For example:
- Recycle everything that is recyclable, from plastic bottles to toner cartridges.
- Swap to sustainable lighting options, such as LED, CFL or Halogen light fittings.
- Switch to recyclable office supplies.
- Invest in green cleaning products.
- Use cloth towels or hand dryers.
- Remind your employees to turn their computers off when they don’t use them.
- Don’t use printers if you don’t have to.
- Encourage your employees to use refillable dishes and water bottles instead of buying plastic ones.
- Consider composting your kitchen waste and give it to local growers.
6. Environmental Protection is about Raising Awareness
Did you know that today’s consumers love businesses with a cause? That’s why going green is a perfect opportunity for you to earn their trust and love. All you need to do is team up with like-minded organizations and businesses, and build a plan on how to minimize your environmental impact. You could do annual fundraising events or organize “green up” days. Get your employees to plant trees, clean parks, or recycle plastic bottles. Promote such events online to inspire your followers to think more about their environment or even get them to actively participate in these events.
Going green gives your business an amazing opportunity to give back to the community. At the same time, it’s a great way to attract eco-conscious customers and save your business money. Just make sure you let your target audience know about your green initiatives! Share photos, have a green activities section on your site, and write about your mission extensively on your blog and social media, and you’ll be well on your way to boosting your sustainability efforts, brand awareness and cost savings.
Emma Worden is a business manager from Sydney. She enjoys reading and writing on business topics, and giving advice and tips through her articles. If you want to read more of her work, you can find it at: https://bizzmarkblog.com