Nowadays, businesses are making more of an effort to change their workplace practices to become eco-friendlier and more sustainable.
Going green doesn’t just help the environment, but it can also benefit your business. It can help reduce your operational costs and give your business a better brand image.
This can be a vital competitive advantage, making your business stand out and attract new customers who value goods and services from environmentally friendly businesses.
Just by making changes to your workplace and how your equipment is used, to the way your team operates; there are various strategies you can implement to become more sustainable and less harmful to the environment. The following are some simple steps that you and your company can take today to start saving money and improving your green footprint.
Tips on how to make your business eco-friendly
1. Start recycling and re-using materials
Recycling and re-using materials is a common strategy used to become more environmentally friendly. You can drastically decrease your business’ waste and dependence on natural resources by using eco-friendly products.
These products are made up from recycled materials and have minimal packaging. Setting up recycling bins in the workplace and encouraging your staff to recycle will go a long way in achieving this. You can implement strategies in the workplace of how to correctly separate waste into what can be recycled and what needs to go to landfill.
Daily activities and tasks are also a good opportunity for recycling. Consider printing double sided on your paper and re-using unwanted pieces of paper for scrap or notepaper. Another approach would be replacing single-use paper cups with glasses or ceramic cups and encouraging your staff to bring in their own mugs.
2. Turning off lights and other electrical appliances
A proactive and hands-on way of being sustainable in the workplace is to turn off any lights, computers, air-conditioning and other electrical appliances when they are not being used, particularly after work hours and on weekends.
Not only will it reduce your electricity bills, but you can prolong the lifespan of your electrical equipment, saving money on maintenance and having to buy new appliances.
Depending on your workplace design and whether you own the property or are leasing it, you could install motion sensor lights and use LED bulbs that are much more energy efficient.
3. Going paperless
Going paperless is a great way to become more environmentally friendly, but it can be difficult for some businesses, depending on your industry. A start would be looking into using cloud-based storage systems such as Google Drive and Dropbox for company files and documents.
Using cloud-based storage systems will improve the efficiency of your business as documents will be easier to find and can be accessed from any location and at any time.
You should also look for ways to remove the need of printing paper, like having documents emailed and making digital copies of files. To maximise the value of cloud-based storage systems, make sure you have solid filing measures in place, including indexing files, encrypting sensitive documents, and frequent backing up of data.
4. Encouraging staff to use public transportation or bike or walk to work
This is another great eco-friendly strategy, but it may not be possible to implement for all staff. Any of these three transportation methods will reduce your business’ carbon footprint and highlight your positive environmental commitment. Also, saving you money in the long run.
This could also encourage your staff to use these forms of transport in their own time and making them more environmentally friendly individuals as well.
5. Switching to biodegradable cleaners
An easy way to become eco-friendlier is using natural, biodegradable cleaning products. These cleaning products can reduce your exposure to harsh toxins and other chemicals, ultimately reducing the effect of these substances on the environment.
The next time your workplace runs out of soap, floor cleaners or other cleaning products swap for a greener option. Many stores sell green cleaning products in bulk.
6. Keeping appliances modern
A lot of businesses still use those old desktop computers and monitors. Yes, they’re reliable, but they are far from being energy efficient. By substituting an older laptop for a much newer model, in most cases it can lead to an energy reduction of almost 90%, saving you a lot of money in the long run for an initial outlay.
To ensure that you purchase the right laptop, one that is highly energy efficient, make sure you look for laptops with 80 PLUS designation on the packaging. This means the laptop’s power supply is at least 80 per cent energy efficient.
7. Using green web hosting
This is an emerging online eco-friendly approach. Not many businesses are aware of this, but energy conservation can even extend to your web hosting service, with more and more international companies offering eco-friendly web hosting packages.
These companies are able to offset their carbon footprint by utilising renewable energy, buying carbon offsets, or planting trees. The good news with this strategy is that most of these services are competitive in cost with those companies using fossil fuels. Companies offering green web hosting include GreenGeeks, iPage and Ethical Hosting.
8. Adding indoor plants
One simple method to be eco-friendlier is to add indoor plants into your workplace. You can make your office or shop-front more sustainable and appealing by incorporating fresh plants.
Also, natural greenery can improve the quality of air in your environment, making it feel fresher, enhancing productivity, and being attractive additions to the work-space. Aim for hardy plants that do not require a lot of attention, such as ferns, peace lilies and bamboo palms.
By following these simple strategies and tips you can save thousands of dollars off your bills and make your business more attractive to eco-conscious customers.
No matter which of these steps you have taken, make sure to spread the word to your clients. Let them know about what you are doing and how you are helping the environment by creating an environmental mission statement. Make sure to post it on your website and social media pages and include any badges or certificates you earn on the way too.
Start making these changes today! You may be shocked at how these simple changes to your workplace can help your business reap the many rewards of being eco-friendly.