Eco-friendly. It’s such a buzz word in the world of business these days. But the truth is, many people talk the talk but don’t really walk the walk – simply because they’re don’t know how to get started.
If this sounds like you, take a minute to read this post. With the help of sponsor CityDocs, I’ve pulled together 10 simple ways your enterprise can become a more eco-friendly company.
1) Switch to a Paper Free Office
Just think for a second about the amount of work that goes into making one single piece of paper. The pollution caused by logging. The fumes from factories. The toll that transportation takes on the atmosphere. So, why not do your bit to help reduce the reliance on paper, by switching to a paper-free office? There are many computer programs and systems that can help, plus the Cloud now provides invaluable backup for vital documents.
2) Outsource Your Printing
Even if you go paperless, you may still need some office printing done for annual reports, event planning, and other special documents. Why not outsource the process to an external company that has the machines capable of getting the job done with minimum waste? Working with a professional printer could also potentially save energy, depending on the size of the job. Remember to print on both sides of a sheet of paper; print on recycled paper; avoid wasting extra sheets of paper within the job; and printing only the copies you need.
3) Encourage Cycling, Mass Transit, Carpooling, and Telework
Shrink your company’s carbon footprint by encouraging employees to get to work someway other than by their own individual vehicles. Can employees car pool? Use the bus or subway system? Why not encourage staff members to pick up a bike instead? You could even introduce a company scheme whereby you help staff members purchase their bikes, or set up some company accounts so employees can take advantage of local bike-sharing solutions. Of course, letting employees work from home a couple of days a week will also significantly cut down on the amount of oil and gas they need for transportation.
4) Install Recycling Bins
Every business, even the most eco-conscious, will have piles of rubbish to dispose of every day. Most of this rubbish will simply go into a bin, and then get taken away in one swirled mess, including food, paper, cans and plastic. If you install specific recycling bins for separate trash items, though, you’ll be amazed by how many staff members use them. At the very least separate office paper from other trash. If possible, arrange for food waste to be picked up and composted by a community composting program.
5) Create a Company Green Purchasing Club
Especially during the summer growing season, many farmers offer buying clubs to employers to encourage employees to buy locally grown organic food. The farmers will take orders in advance and then deliver the food in bags and boxes to the office so employees can easily take them home.
6) Change Those Lightbulbs!
The trouble with traditional lightbulbs is that they consume a lot of energy and don’t last very long, so you have to keep replacing them. Replace them with high-performance compact fluorescents or even better LEDs. They’ll save significantly more energy and money, and it will be years before you have to replace them.
7) Green Web Hosting
Web hosting is an area you probably don’t associate with environmental damage, however the amount of energy used by hosting companies is astronomical! Green web hosting companies use renewable energy and carbon offsets to minimize energy use, while still being competitively priced.
8) Share Office Space or Run a Virtual Office
Do you need your own physical office space and all the resources required to maintain it? Or can you share space with a like-minded company? Perhaps you don’t need office space at all, but can run a virtual operation.
9) Use Environmentally Friendly Cleansers
What do you use to keep your office clean and tidy? Most commercial cleansers rely on some combination of chemicals that can actually make people quite sick – from headaches and dizziness to nausea and worse. Replace conventional products with those that are fragrance-free and non-toxic. Most surfaces can be cleaned with warm water and simple, biodegradable, fragrance-free liquid soap.
10) Educate Others
While your business might be environmentally friendly, the homes of many staff members probably aren’t. Try to spread your enthusiasm by educating staff members about the small things they can do. This won’t impact your business directly, but it will certainly help the world as a whole!
Do you have any tips yourself to be a more ethical company? Let us know in the comments.