There’s no question that businesses need to do their part to protect the environment. Not only is it the right thing to do, but there are also several compelling reasons why companies should go green. Chief among them is the fact that becoming more environmentally friendly can save businesses money.
There are many ways for businesses to reduce their environmental impact, and some of them may not be as difficult or expensive as you think.
Here are four simple ways your business can become more environmentally friendly.
Reduce energy consumption
One of the simplest and most effective things businesses can do to reduce their environmental impact is to reduce energy consumption. There are several ways to do this, including installing energy-efficient lighting, using smart power strips, turning off electronics when they’re not in use, and setting your thermostat a few degrees lower in winter and higher in summer. You can also take advantage of natural light by opening blinds and using task lighting when possible.
On the other hand, if your business is unable to reduce its energy consumption, you can offset it by purchasing renewable energy credits or investing in clean energy projects. For example, you could install solar panels or a wind turbine.
Additionally, many utility companies offer programs that help businesses save energy. For example, Con Edison’s SmartWatts Program offers free on-site consultations and rebates for energy-efficient upgrades. You just need to be a Con Edison customer in New York to qualify.
Recycle and compost
Another easy way for businesses to go green is to recycle and compost. Many businesses generate a lot of waste, but with a little effort, much of it can be recycled or composted. Many office buildings already have recycling bins, so all you need to do is make sure your employees are using them
The first step is to figure out what can be recycled or composted. In the words of professionals behind the AIM Ecycling, especially electronic waste, should not go into the trash. These items, including computers, printers, and cell phones, can be recycled or reused.
You can also compost food waste, paper products, and yard waste. This is a great way to reduce your business’s impact on landfills. Not to mention, it’s a great way to fertilize your garden or potted plants.
Once you know what can be recycled or composted, you need to set up a system to make it happen. This might mean assigning someone to be in charge of recycling or composting, or simply making sure there are enough bins. Additionally, you need to educate your employees on what can and cannot be recycled or composted.
Use less paper
This can be accomplished by printing on both sides of the paper, using recycled paper, and avoiding unnecessary printouts. You can also encourage your employees to use digital documents instead of paper whenever possible. There are several ways to store and share digital documents, including email, cloud storage, and social media.
However, if your business does need to use paper, there are a few things you can do to reduce its impact. First, make sure you’re only printing what you need. This goes for both documents and photos. Second, use recycled paper. This paper is just as good as regular paper, but it’s made from recycled materials, so it’s better for the environment. Finally, when you’re finished with your paper, recycle it.
Additionally, you can reduce the amount of paper your business uses by switching to electronic billing and payments. This way, your employees will be able to pay bills and invoices online, and you won’t have to print and mail them.
Promote alternative transportation
If your employees commute to work, there are a few things you can do to encourage them to use alternative transportation methods, such as carpooling, biking, or taking public transportation. You could start by providing secure bike parking and showers for those who bike to work. You could also offer a carpooling program or subsidized public transportation passes.
Another way to promote alternative transportation is to allow your employees to work from home occasionally. This way, they won’t have to commute at all. If working from home isn’t possible for your business, you could consider allowing flexible hours so your employees can avoid rush hour.
On the other hand, if your employees need to use their cars for work, you can encourage them to drive more fuel-efficient vehicles. You could also start a telecommuting program so they can avoid driving altogether.
Making small changes in your business practices can have a big impact on the environment. By reducing energy consumption, recycling and composting, using less paper, and promoting alternative transportation, you can make your business more environmentally friendly.
Not to mention, these changes can also save you money.