7 Easy Ways Your Business Can Go Green
We’ve gone over ways that we–as individuals–can live a greener lifestyle, but what can businesses do? Big or small, every business makes a contribution to mankind’s carbon footprint, and implementing some eco-conscious practices is a great way that companies can minimize their impact and set themselves apart from competitors.
Start by re-examining your business from every angle: consider production, distribution, marketing, and every employee or client that may play a part along the way. If you take small steps throughout your business now, your company can help us build a brighter tomorrow. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Get an Energy Audit
Requesting an energy audit is an excellent starting point for companies that are looking to create a greener workplace. This will help you both increase sustainability and reduce excess costs. An energy audit usually leads to an analysis of lighting efficiencies with usage recommendations that can help achieve long-term savings. Your clientele will also love to hear that you are making sustainability efforts, so it might be a good idea to make the energy audit public knowledge. To learn more about energy audits and their many benefits, check out this article from Mr. Electric.
Go Beyond Basic Recycling
Providing clearly marked recycling bins for your employees is probably a no-brainer, as is providing them with a straightforward visual guide. But how can your company go beyond basic recycling? The answer is easy: start using recycled products! For paper products in particular, you should see if you can switch to using recycled or post-consumer waste (PCW) paper. Which brings us to our next point…
Go Paperless Whenever Possible
If you don’t absolutely need to print something out? Don’t! It sounds easy when you put it like that, but maintaining a paperless workplace can be tricky when lots of employees in the workplace. Encourage your staff not to print anything unless it’s absolutely necessary, and try to move all payroll and HR paperwork to a strictly digital system. It also helps to update your mailing lists regularly, and remove your own business from any unnecessary mailing lists. These efforts may seem small, but every single piece of paper counts, and it is shocking at how quickly they add up!
Enable Sleep Mode
It can be especially effective for office settings to make sure all computers and other electronics have “sleep mode” enabled when possible. Set the “sleep mode” to a relatively short time, such as ten minutes, to ensure the mode activates any time that the device goes unused. This will conserve energy without turning the device off entirely, which can be a life-saver during meetings and breaks.
Install Automated Lighting Control
One of the best ways to limit electricity usage in a workplace is with automated lighting. Motion sensor switches operate lights based on the occupancy or vacancy of a room, ensuring the lights are only on when they’re actually in use. Sensor switches can install on the ceiling for large areas like a showroom, or in place of a standard light switch in smaller locations like a conference room or restroom. People forget to turn off light switches all the time in shared spaces, but a motion sensor switch makes sure that nobody has to remember.
Replace Incandescent & Halogen Light Bulbs
Did you know that the type of bulb in your lighting fixture has an effect on energy consumption? Investigate the bulbs throughout your establishment and replace them with LED or CFL bulbs whenever possible. These newer styles of light bulbs use less energy and last longer, so it’s a win for everybody.
Recycle Your Electronics & Buy Refurbished
Okay so this tip is actually two, but that’s because they go hand-in-hand. When a camera breaks or a computer needs replacing, don’t just toss them in the trash. According to the World Economic Forum, e-waste is one of the largest types of waste clogging landfills with more than 48 million tons of it produced in a single year. Even electronics that are completely broken can often get recycled for their parts. Look into local charities and recycle your electronics whenever possible. Additionally, look into buying refurbished electronics over brand new ones. This can help slow the rate of e-waste produced, as well as save you a couple bucks along the way.