The explosion in sustainable business awards in recent years proves how much importance is now being placed on making companies green. From the likes of The Guardian’s Sustainable Business Awards from across the pond to Utah’s Green Business Award, there are now incentives for company leaders to go eco-friendly. There are plenty of interesting ways to go green that can help your business grow while allowing the planet to breathe.
Stop Wasting Energy
Perhaps the main point is to stop wasting so much energy. If you run an office or a factory then there is a chance that you are needlessly lighting and heating empty spaces, running idle PCs, and wasting energy in other ways. Over 60% of the energy produced in the US is wasted. Some simple ways of cutting back on energy usage include installing motion-sensitive lighting and timers, with leading products available from brands such as FrostFire and Sunforce. Draft excluders can lower the need for heating too. Even opening the windows on a hot day can remove the need to put on the air conditioning.
Don’t Print So Much
The idea of a paperless office has been around for ages but is it possible? Cloud technology apps and services from Google and Dropbox, among others, and other modern advances should make it possible to get rid of most of the paper. Even if you can’t go completely paperless, it is still a smart move to gradually reduce the amount of paper used. Raising staff awareness of this issue is a solid starting point.
Recycling rates in the US have increased in recent years, but so has the amount of trash generated. For example, in 2013 American generated 254 million tons of waste and recycled around 34% of it. This still leaves far more un-recycled trash as waste levels have tripled since the 1960s. Businesses can recycle just as effectively as individuals.
Having an employee kitchen with communal ingredients saves everyone buying individual portions. Placing recycling bins around the premises is a simple way of raising the profile. You could also compost aste that is generated in the kitchen. You might even choose to plant an organic garden for staff to use if you have the space.
Ditch the Company Vehicles
If you have a fleet tracking system of company vehicles, then it’s time to consider whether to ditch some of them. Transport contributes 13% of the overall global greenhouse gas emissions. Could employees share vehicles more, or could you find alternative ways of getting work done that don’t involve so much driving time? If there is no way of getting rid of vehicles then moving to cleaner, greener cars and vans is the best solution.
Move the Business Online
The most effective way of making a business greener is to move it online. This can remove the needs for offices, stores, and for commuting too. We have already seen this in retail, with firms such as Staples and Wal-Mart making moves to ramp up their online selling in recent years. Another example is online casinos that offer a selection of games that can be played from home as opposed to land-based establishments, offering the same – and often bigger – variety of games, including roulette, blackjack and others, as well as the “live” option, where players can interact with live dealers and croupiers via live video stream, still playing online. This trend can also be seen across sectors such as recruitment, business consultancies, and many other industries. Even a number of restaurants have attempted to boost online sales instead of scaling up their physical premises.
Encourage Working from Home
If you can’t move the business online, what about letting your employees work remotely, on the internet? Over 40% of employed American adults now spend some time working from home, while 80% of people report morale as being higher when they can work in this way. Planning this well could mean that you get entire days where everyone works from home, meaning that there is no need to open your premises at all. This is a fantastic way of cutting down on energy usage and commuting time.