You know you should make your business greener. You’ve heard all about how it can help protect the environment, save your company money and boost your public image. But how exactly do you get started? Here are 10 steps your business can take.
1. Green Your Product
One place you can look to boost your company’s environmental awareness is the products and services you offer.
To really get a good idea of this, you have to look beyond the end use of your product. In addition to that, you need to look at your supply chain and the environmental impacts of the companies you work with. Choose greener suppliers, and you can reduce your footprint immensely.
2. Energy Efficiency
The way you run your facilities can also have a substantial impact. By making your office, manufacturing plant or whatever other facilities you have more energy-efficient, your company can become more eco-friendly and save money.
Start by doing an energy audit, which helps you determine how you’re using, and wasting, energy. This will show you, for example, where air is escaping from your building so you can patch the leaks to reduce your heating and cooling bills.
You should also take a look at all of your equipment that runs on electricity. If you’re operating older machines, you may want to upgrade to more efficient models. You should also ask employees to turn off devices such as computers before leaving for the day.
3. Clean Energy
To make your energy usage even greener, opt for clean energy. Today, it’s easier than ever for companies to access clean, renewable energy from sources like solar modules, wind turbines and geothermal heat pumps.
Your utility may be able to provide you with access to this power from renewable energy facilities they operate. You can also install your own solar modules, geothermal heat pumps or maybe even wind turbines if you own enough land. You can reduce the costs of doing so by taking advantage of tax rebates and other incentives.
4. Encourage Clean Transportation
Transportation is another big contributor to many businesses’ environmental footprint. Making it easy for employees to use clean transport and reducing the number of travel employees have to do for work can make a big difference.
Consider installing bike racks that include protection from the elements and electric car chargers at the office. This will make it more feasible for employees to use these transportation modes. If building a new facility, make access to public transportation a key consideration.
You might also choose to conduct more meetings via phone or video conference instead of taking physical trips. If you do need to make business trips, consider investing in a clean-running company car, such as an electric car or a hybrid.
5. Environmental, Health, and Safety Training
Changes that the company as a whole makes have an impact, but so does the way that individual employees go about their work day. Training programs can help staff learn more about how they can help make the company greener.
If you have a sustainability team in your company, they may also need training on sustainability reporting and other topics to help them do their jobs more effectively.
Whether you have a formal sustainability team or not, always make sure your staff is informed about the environmental initiatives your business is undertaking.
6. Volunteer and Donate
Also, consider setting some time aside for employees to volunteer for environmental charities or other causes. Organise an after-work event or even let employees use work hours to volunteer somewhere. If your company supports charities, make one of them an organisation that focuses on sustainability.
7. Go Paperless
In today’s digital world, it’s easier than ever to reduce the amount of paper we use. Encourage employees to print less by allowing them access to devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. Make sure all important company documents are available in an easily accessible digital format.
If your company doesn’t have a recycling program yet, it’s time to start one. This goes for paper, plastic and metal. You should also either recycle or donate larger items like electronics or furniture for reuse. You can often work with your local waste management organisation or nearby recycling companies to create a recycling plan.
9. Buy Green Supplies
You should also consider environmental impact every time you buy supplies for the office. Look for paper, for example, that’s recyclable and ideally made from recycled materials. Products are typically also greener if they have less packaging.
Look for products that have certifications for sustainability and companies that make environmental awareness a core part of their operations.
10. Create Incentives
A great way to get employees involved is to create incentive programs that encourage them to go green. Give them rewards, which could be anything from a simple shoutout at the next company meeting to an extra day off, for things like recycling, turning off their computers at night and biking to work. You could also offer rewards to employees who come up with new ideas that help your business go green.
There are endless ways your company can become more environmentally aware. These 10 will just get you started! Follow these tips and don’t forget to let your customers know about your green initiatives. Then, watch your environmental impact drop off and the savings roll in.