Businesses across the U.S. and the world are “going green” to some degree or another. Some companies have gone paperless while others have adopted technologies that allow them to travel less. Many sustainable business practices are not only environmentally friendly, but they save money for companies and are attractive to the largest living generation of adults – Millennials.
Twelve Easy-to-Implement Environmentally Friendly Business Practices
Most businesses have already implemented some kind of green change in their business. Your company probably has installed low-flow toilets or reduced waste through a paperless program. However, a business can always improve its carbon footprint.
Consider these twelve sustainable business strategies:
1. Implement work from home days – or diversify your company so employees can work from home every day.
Not only is working from home an attractive offering from employers, but it is also a simple way to “go green.” Employees who work from home don’t need to commute, thereby reducing emissions.
2. Buy local products or use local suppliers.
Some of the biggest polluters in the world are container ships and shipping companies. By buying local, utilizing local suppliers, and supporting local businesses, you are also cutting back on emissions.
3. Utilize cloud technology to share briefings and powerpoints with clients and coworkers.
Going paperless is more than shooting an email across to another employee. Embracing modern cloud technology to provide briefings, share information, and using co-editing services like Google Drive can improve productivity. Many technologies have become accessible from anywhere, which only require a computer or laptop.
4. Stock the break room with bulk items while cutting back on perishables that often go untouched.
Break rooms across the country are stocked with expensive vending machines with individually wrapped items. Do away with these expensive and environmentally damaging machines and instead stock up with bulk items for employees to enjoy.
5. Use energy-efficient products such as LED lights and low-flow toilets.
Energy-efficient upgrades not only make your office greener, but they can also cut down on utility bills, making the improvements financially sound.
6. Contribute to purchasing bus passes for employees or provide credits to those who bike to work.
Providing an employee perk like purchasing bus passes, setting up secure bike racks, or giving employees who bike a little bonus each month encourages employees to lower emissions during their commute. Additionally, these employee benefits help your company attract great new hires and create a healthy company culture.
7. Add greenery indoors and outdoors.
Trees, bushes, succulents, and hard-to-kill houseplants like philodendron all add beauty to your business while keeping the air clean. Succulents in particular work as indoor air purifiers, keeping allergens at bay and improving air quality with very little cost.
Outdoor greenery such as rooftop gardens, green buildings, or even plants and trees placed around your office add beauty and improve the environment. Adding plants to your workspace has no real downside, and can make your company a healthier and lovelier place to work.
8. Talk to service providers about their green practices and choose wisely.
As you shop around for service providers, ask them about their green practices. The last thing any company who is going green wants to do is be associated with a known energy hog. Talk to the cloud farm you are using for your servers about where they get their energy, discuss green practices with your materials manufacturers. Your employees and customers will thank you for making thoughtful choices, and the PR around choosing green companies may boost your growth.
9. Use biodegradable or recycled products.
It’s simple to buy biodegradable or recycled paper, toilet paper, paper towels, cups, and more.
10. Consider a donation program
Large companies often donate old items or unused products to third world countries or charitable organizations. However, no matter your company size, you likely have tools that could be donated. For example, here in Portland, some nonprofits teach homeless or out of work people how to repair computers. You can give your old, broken down computers to such a program. Old office chairs, desks, filing cabinets, and bookshelves can go to a charity such as Goodwill. Upcycling or donating old items can provide community benefit and reduce waste. And, let’s face it, kind actions like donating to charity provide excellent PR opportunities.
11. Get an energy audit.
If you aren’t sure where you can cut costs while reducing emissions, get an energy audit. This can be done through a professional company, or you can simply work up a checklist or use one found online. The idea is to reduce energy waste and make improvements to your company.
12. Invest in alternative energy.
Many electric companies allow you to choose where you can purchase your energy. They offer green energy options such a solar or water power – or allow you to stick with traditional coal. Selecting alternative energy sources benefits that industry, making it cheaper for everyone over time.
Finally, if you have decided to make your business “go green”, be sure to share your journey! Statistics show that Millenials want to support thoughtful, environmentally-friendly companies, even if the product or service costs a little more than another, less proactive business. Write a press release to share the news about your green updates. You can also include this information in promotional materials, on your website, and on your social media.
Are you considering ways to save time and money while benefiting the environment? Contact Business Success Consulting Group and build your strategy today!