Every day we are being flooded with news on the effects of global warming, the increased rates of natural disasters and concerns regarding the deterioration of the environment. The harsh reality is that we only have one planet and we’re quickly walking on a dangerous path to self-destruction. It’s not hard to imagine the catastrophic consequences that we’ll have to face in the future if we don’t take action now. Luckily, we’re still at a point where we can do something about it. So it’s important to understand that everybody has the responsibility to do their part, no matter how small or big, and that includes businesses.
As an entrepreneur you surely have a lot on your plate. You’re trying to tackle a million things at once: taking care of your staff, carrying out daily tasks, growing your company and running a profitable activity. It’s easy to see how environmental concerns can fall at the bottom of your priority lists or can drop out of sight completely. But embracing an eco-friendly approach to your business can really be a game changer. You shouldn’t see it as an obligation at all. It’s in fact, besides a proof of being responsible and conscious, a way to improve the efficiency and bottom line of your business. Implementing methods that will make your company thrive and care for the environment in the same time is what one might call a win-win situation.
There’s a lot a business can do to reduce the negative impact on the environment. Some changes will require more effort than others, but in the long run everyone will benefit from them: employers, employees and the planet. Here are some measures you can take right now to green your business:
Daily commute is a real-life nightmare not just for most employees, but also for the environment. The amount of toxins released into atmosphere by cars is staggering. Companies can do something to reduce these emissions by encouraging employees to turn to greener transportation methods. You can offer public transportation benefits or organize company carpools for your staff that will not only be good for the environment, but also improve employee interaction and morale.
A bigger concern is related to industrial transportation that has a way worse impact on the environment. If your business involves utilizing industrial transport services, what you can do to is try to work with companies that have a greener approach to their operations.
How about taking things a little bit further and forget about the commute altogether? No, we don’t imply quitting what you do and moving to a deserted island, but about choosing a remote work approach. You can set up a home office and your employees can work from remote locations as well, whether it’s their homes or other places they feel comfortable working from. Needless to say, giving up the traditional office setting is going to save you a lot of money. It’s also been shown that remote work usually increases job satisfaction and therefore remote workers are more productive than office-based staff. But if it’s too scary to ditch the comfort-zone of the office environment, you can start by introducing work-from-home days and see how that goes.
Regardless of their size, all businesses produce a big amount of waste. It really doesn’t matter that you’re not running a big corporation. All companies should make efforts to reduce waste, not only the big players. Start by being more conscious about using disposable items in your company such as disposable kitchenware and replace them with reusable items. Using recycled and reusable materials is a great way to move towards creating an eco-friendlier business. You can apply this strategy at all levels, from using items made out of biodegradable materials to purchasing recycled furniture.
Another great method for cleaning your company is to use compactors to make waste disposal more efficient and reduce pollution. You can search for waste management services that offer compactors for all small businesses to help entrepreneurs tackle the issue.
Recycling should be an integral part of a company’s culture. You should make it a priority to teach and encourage employees to recycle and strive to save as many items as possible from ending up in landfills. A good idea is to set up recycling points in as many locations possible and educate people on how to use them properly.
You should also pay extra attention to e-waste. Since electronic devices that end up in landfills are extremely toxic and have become a growing source of pollution, it’s worth considering researching for recycling centres nearby that deal with this type of waste.
Green energy sources
There’ve been many advances in using alternative energy sources in the last years and there’s no reason why your business shouldn’t take advantage of the benefits provided by new technologies and developments. Obviously, the biggest advantage of choosing to use alternative energy sources is represented by cost reduction. So if you have the means and resources, you can turn to greener energy such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal or biomass energy. The costs of implementing this type of improvements are not to be overlooked, but you can always search for state programs that offer funding for businesses that are willing to take the eco-friendly route.
Being an energy efficient company starts with educate your staff on how to use energy in an effective manner. It doesn’t take much to learn how to save on energy bills. Things as simple as turning off devices and appliances when they’re not being used can make a big difference in time.
You can also switch to power saving appliances such as LED lighting. Although it’s a bit more expensive, it will save you money in the long run as they have a longer lifespan and consume less power.
In the end, you simply have to get involved. Start small and remember that every little step counts. In time you’ll definitely reap the benefits of your eco-friendly efforts.