As an eco-conscious business owner, you are always looking for ways to improve your bottom line whilst helping the planet. One way to do this is to make your business more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Here are some of the best ways to make your business greener:
Going paperless or reducing paper use is the quickest and easiest way to make your business greener. Not only will it save thousands of trees per year, but it will also save you money on office supplies. Going paperless is easier than ever, with many alternative options now available, like email and social media. If you really must use paper for things like mailing customers, use an online mailing service instead to remove as much paper from the office as possible. Within the office, emails and instant messaging make physical documents, notes and memos completely obsolete, helping to reduce paper use further.
For any paper that you still use, make it a company policy to print double-sided and ensure there are consequences for not doing so. To offset the consequences, reward employees for recycling their paper once they’re finished with it. Additionally, try to source FSC approved paper whenever you can, and use the lowest GSM possible to reduce the amount of paper physically used.
Implement an Energy Efficiency Plan
There are many benefits of implementing an energy efficiency plan. To get things started, conduct an energy audit to help identify where you’re wasting the most energy. An energy audit will assess how much energy your business uses and identify areas where you can save money. Once you have your energy audit results, you can develop a plan to reduce your energy consumption.
Some common ways to reduce energy consumption include installing LEDs, insulation, energy efficient heating and cooling systems and new thermally efficient windows and doors. You can also encourage employees to work at home, reducing the number of people in the building at any one time, or you can subsidise public transport for them to get to work, helping to remove private cars from the road.
Use Solar Power
Using solar power is becoming increasingly popular. Installing solar panels on your roof reduces your reliance on the fossil-fuelled national grid, and also saves you money on your energy bills. The panels on your roof can also give you a competitive edge by differentiating your business from others as environmentally responsible.
To use solar power, start by assessing how much energy your business uses. You can then determine how much solar power you need to offset your energy usage. Once you have a plan in place, you can install solar panels on your property. You can also purchase renewable energy credits to offset your energy usage.
Invest in Green Technology
Apart from installing LEDs and solar panels, there are other forms of green technology you can invest in, such as low-flush toilets and automatic lights. However, if you want to make a difference on a global scale, your company needs to invest in green stocks and shares. Many companies have historically invested in oil and gas, but doing so props up the fossil fuel industry. Instead, invest in the green energy industry. This will help to fund wind turbine farms, hydrothermal projects and solar arrays, amongst other things like battery research and development.
Educate Employees About Sustainability
By now, most people are pretty clued-up on sustainable practices. However, there may be a minority in your company who are either not yet educated or who refuse that sustainable practices are needed. Some may even just be lazy. To educate employees about sustainability, start by holding an informational meeting. During the meeting, explain what sustainability is and why it’s important.
You need to find a balance between not patronising those who already do everything they can, not stigmatising those are uneducated and not alienating those who refuse to do anything. The best way to do this is to introduce a formal sustainability policy, and make sure everyone knows they need to follow it. Go over the basics, like not leaving taps running, recycling rubbish and turning lights off, but leave the details for them to read over in their own time. This will help to find the balance you need.
Provide occasional refresher training when you find standards slipping, and provide employees with resources they can use to learn more about sustainability. Eventually, your policies will become second-nature, and everyone will adopt sustainable practices out of habit.
Making your business more sustainable and environmentally friendly doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. There are many simple things you can do to green your business, so by following these steps, you’ll be on your way to a greener and more profitable business!