Down To Earth Business Strategies
It’s time to invest in our planet!
Businesses have a big impact on the environment. As a business owner, it’s your choice whether said impact is negative or positive. About 50% of top American companies and 60% of international companies are investing in strategies to reduce their environmental impact. 63% of consumers hope businesses take lead in driving environmental change.
Adapting an eco-conscious philosophy not only elevates your brand but also reduces costs and improves sustainability. Let’s get down to some basic tips to help get you started:
Assess your impact.
Before you start enacting various eco-friendly policies, you need to look at your business operations. Identify and analyze where you can make the most positive impact. Is it your paper use? Is it your energy consumption? Do we really need to ask everyone to drive to the office for a two-hour meeting we can just do via zoom? Once you identify where changes can be made, then enact a step by step policy that everyone can follow and participate in.
Paper less. Digitize more.
On average, office workers use more than 10,000 sheets per year. That’s roughly around two cases of paper per employee. If the average cost of a case is $40, the annual cost per employee is $80. Avoiding, reducing, reusing, and recycling can greatly lower your cost. Avoid using single use paper. Reduce your paper needs by digitizing your documents. Reuse paper by encouraging employees to use the other side of printed documents as scratch paper or note taking pads. Recycle by shredding excess paper and having recycle bins accessible to employees.
Encourage going paperless by utilizing the cloud storage. From Google Drive to Dropbox to OneDrive, there’s certainly many options to choose from. This can lead to more efficient and collaborative business processes.
Involve your employees.
What better way to make a change than to encourage others to change their habits as well? Get your employees involved in these changes. Instead of using a single serve coffee machine, get a regular coffee maker and encourage them to bring their own mug. Have an incentive for employees who bring in their lunch in reusable containers. Better yet, provide company branded reusable swag—from bento boxes to lunch boxes and even travel mugs–to encourage employees to reduce waste. If single use items can’t be avoided, make sure you provide recycle bins to help employees recycle their trash.
Cut the travel.
More and more companies are open to employees working from home. Saving on office space rental and energy consumption, companies can funnel their savings into growing their business. If possible, encourage your employees to work remotely to reduce travel into the office. Hold meetings via Zoom or Google Meet if it’s not necessary for all participants to be physically present at the office.
If you must meet at the office, offer public transportation incentives or even getting to work by walking or riding a bicycle (or an electric scooter) if they’re close enough.
Reducing employees’ travel cuts down on pollution, fossil fuel use, and reduces your company’s overall carbon footprint.
The ideal is to power your office with a renewable power source like solar panels. If installing solar panels is not feasible, find other ways to conserve energy in the office. Set aside time to power down the office, preferably after office hours. Utilize natural light as much as you can or switch to LED lighting. Install motion activated light switches to save a significant amount of energy.
Taking steps to become eco-friendly benefits not only your company but your community at large. In the long run, your actions will have a greater impact in saving our planet and creating a better future for all.