Going green not only helps protect the environment, but has side-benefits as well. It can save your business a lot of money, and it can also improve your reputation with today's ecologically-conscious consumer. Here are five ways you can be more eco-friendly at work, and profit at the same time.
Business premises - whether an office, a store, or another building - need a lot of lighting to ensure their employees aren't shuffling around in dimly-lit workspaces. Switching to an eco-friendly option is easy: contact your supplier and ask for compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light-emitting diode (LED) lights.
Modern CFLs aren't much more expensive than their traditional incandescent counterparts, but they last a lot longer and use significantly less electricity to produce the same amount of light. LEDs are often a more expensive option, but are ideally suited to situations where spotlights work well.
Go for greener devices
You may love your reliable old printer, photocopier, and other office equipment, but there's a good chance it's burning money. Modern electronic devices of all types consume a lot less energy than older models, which really helps cut your power bills. The initial investment might hurt, but you'll save in the long run.
Whenever you replace devices, keep your eyes open for the Energy Star label. These products have been tested and clearly rated, so that you can pick the most efficient ones for your needs. If you're unfamiliar with the Energy Star program, drop in on their website.
The dream of the paperless office hasn't quite become a reality, but it gets closer every year! Cutting down on paper use is a triple-hitter in ecological terms: you reduce the number of trees hacked down to make the paper, the amount of paper waste your business produces, and all the peripheral costs as well, such as the chemicals used in bleaching, the materials used in packaging, and even the fuel used by delivery trucks!
Technologies such as email, fax and the Internet are much faster and more efficient than using paper. Instead of sending invoices by post, send your customers PDF invoices by email. This reduces paper use, increases efficiency, and reduces costs. If there are still processes that require paper, consider switching to a recycled source.
If your business has a website, consider switching to green hosting. Green hosting companies use renewable energy sources to power their servers, and thus allow you to contribute to the protection of the environment. Some of them even get involved in reforestation programs, or buying carbon credit. Check hosting companies' websites to get more information on how your money will be used to protect the environment. The good news is that the price of green web hosting is similar to traditional hosting.
If you want to take this process one step further, you could investigate all your business partners, and only work with those who are conscientious about their environmental impact. This not only helps the planet, but can be an extremely productive marketing tool.
This one's tougher for a lot of business owners, because they like to have their staff where they can be seen! Telecommuting is the act of working from home, and reduces your business's environmental impact enormously: your staff don't burn fossil fuels getting to work, you don't burn energy in lighting and heating a huge office, and they use their own electricity to power their computers. You even save money on office supplies!
For the more reticent manager, bear in mind that research has shown employees to be much more productive when they work from home. You may need to release your control and rethink your managerial approach a little, though. It's a big step, but it can pay off big-time!
Going green brings many benefits to both the environment and your business. You can reduce the waste your company produces, save energy, and cut your costs at the same time. On top of all that, being eco-friendly is a great way to improve your reputation. So what are you waiting for? Go green!Tweet