How Business Can Go Green
Going green isn't just for small homes. Businesses can get in on the act as well, helping to save the environment and company funds at the same time. Going green can be big, like switching to sustainable energy sources, or small, like setting up office recycling bins and turning off the lights after work hours. There are many ways a business can go green:
1. Go digital.
Using digital calendars, memos, and more can greatly reduce a company's waste products, one of the most important steps in going green. Going digital can also improve employee efficiency and save money. If a company reduces paper waste by ten $15 reams each month, that saves around $1,800 each year. Couple that with reduced costs for document shredding, file storage, printer/copier maintenance, and ink or toner, and even small companies will see a huge difference in their carbon footprints and bottom lines. Even if you can't go digital on everything, encourage two-sided printing where possible and look for environmentally-friendly paper products.
2. Be energy efficient.
Paperless offices save money and help the environment, but don't stop there. Reduce your energy consumption, as well. This can be done by purchasing Energy Star products, but also by switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, adjusting computer settings to "power saver" mode, and turning off the lights and unplugging appliances in rooms that aren't being used. If your company uses vehicles or provides company cars, look into using hybrids and encourage drivers to take fuel-efficient routes, carpool, and avoid speeding.
3. Encourage in-office recycling.
Recycling paper products, plastic, glass, and even old electronics can have a huge effect on a company's carbon footprint. If you set up recycling bins in the office, make sure they're in highly-visible areas where they'll be used most often, such as break rooms, cafeterias, outside bathrooms etc. Send out a reminder email now and again to encourage employees to use the bins. You may even consider partnering with other companies in your building or on your block to combine your recycling efforts.
4. Be casual.
Many companies have embraced the concept of "Casual Fridays" to reduce summer cooling costs, with excellent results. Others have encouraged working from home, which reduces a company's power consumption and the amount of carbon emissions from employees commuting to the office. It may take time and some structural innovations, but it can be done. In recent years, Sun Microsystems has saved itself millions of dollars in real estate costs and thousands of tons of carbon emissions, all while increasing worker productivity.
5. Use sustainable energy providers.
Green energy resources may seem expensive, but the initial cost can be more than earned back in energy savings. If your company is opening a new building soon, consider working with a company that provides sustainable energy, or even simply installing solar panels and generators. The effect on carbon emissions and money savings varies, but it's a well-known fact that it is worth it.
Article Tags: Carbon Emissions
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Colin McDonald writes on behalf of Haven Power - Business Electricity