So what exactly does it mean to “green” your business? Greening your business means using resources more efficiently and mitigating existing waste streams. Consumers are becoming more conscious of their impact on the environment and a large number of companies are working towards being environmentally friendly. Going green has many benefits from eliminating unnecessary expenses, improving staff morale and even receiving tax credits.
Here are 6 ways to green your company:
- Lower Utility Costs
Utility costs can be quite costly for the average business and can amount to thousands of Rands per month. Lowering utility costs can be as simple as changing light bulbs or lights fixtures, not using your heating or cooling system when it’s not necessary, as well as switching off unused appliances. Businesses can also consider changing light fixtures to energy-efficient rated fixtures with LED light bulbs. It is said LED light bulbs can now last up to 20 years. They use less energy and provide a purer source of light.
- Source products and services from green suppliers
Procurement is one of the best ways that your business can go “green”. Sourcing products and services from more environmentally-friendly companies are one of the most effective ways of ensuring that your business is reducing its environmental impact. This involves sourcing goods and services that are produced and supplied in a sustainable manner. Taking the time to review your procurement policies, and making sure the purchased goods are produced from recycled/renewable/repairable materials, do not contain toxic materials or ozone-depleting substances, or use excessive packaging. Sourcing from local suppliers rather than those located far away is a good place to start in decreasing carbon footprints.
4. Recycle and reuse
If you are a consumer-oriented company, consumers are more likely to use green products that are given to them or are available for purchase provided it’s at a minimal cost to them. Retail companies can consider reusable products such as insulated and reusable shopping bags. Electronic waste (e-waste) is considered the fastest-growing waste stream in the world. When replacing electronics such as computers, monitors, tablets, smartphones, or printers, businesses might want to consider donating them to schools or charities in their area. Some electronic retail stores have a trade-in option for used electronics. Recycling or reusing products prevents additional waste from being left in landfills.
One of the easiest and effective ways that a business can go “green” is telecommuting. Employees can share and access information from anywhere. Technological advancements allow us to conduct meetings via video conference calls instead of meeting in person. Having a cloud network and communicating electronically allows us to share documents without having to be physically there. Studies show that switching to a cloud-based option can decrease the use of copy paper by at least 50% over the course of a year. Cloud networks are also more secure, do not require physical facilities for storage and can be cost-effective in the long run. Working from home and telecommuting allows employees to use their own utilities and equipment. This decreases the company’s utility expenses in the long-run.
- Landscape around the Property
Landscaping around the business property not only enhances the environment, increases property value, also has enormous benefits to your staff’s physical and mental health. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air and replace it with clean oxygen. They filter out some of the toxins from the atmosphere that can trigger allergies or airborne illness. Studies show that landscaping increases productivity and decreases sick days. Office spaces with more greenery on the exterior create a peaceful environment, permitting your employees to enjoy green space on breaks and returning to work rejuvenated. Planting trees is still one of the most effective ways of conserving nature. Just Trees has a variety of trees that are perfect for office spaces at affordable prices.
- Make green thinking a part of your company culture
Businesses can reconsider their company’s mission and vision with regards to going “green”. Businesses should encourage their employees to embrace going “green” and incorporate it into the company’s culture. The decision and implementation process should be inclusive and fun. Efficiency goals and competitions can be created. Businesses should discuss how they can serve their community better, how they can decrease their carbon footprints and holistically transition into an environmentally friendly business.
If you are looking at ways to “green” your business, there need to be congruent and consistent efforts from the top to the button. Everyone needs to get involved from your shareholders and stakeholders. Greening your business is not only cost-effective but also ensures a better future for everyone. It is simply the right thing to do.