Sustainability is a growing concern among the business community. Business Pundit recently published an article on 25 companies that are doing their part to go green.
A greener and more ecofriendly business is a better and more efficient business. Greener businesses are leaner, waste fewer resources and also have a better reputation. This is hardly surprising, since 88% of consumers want to prioritize working with sustainable companies.
But how do you go about creating a more sustainable company? Some sustainable business ideas are listed below.
Look At Telecommuting And Transport
You should consider offering employees the ability to work from home. This will not only benefit the employee, but it will also benefit your business. Employees will get the flexibility this offers and it is an attractive perk which incentivizes harder work. Employers will benefit from the increased productivity.
Homeworkers will also take fewer sick days compared to office-based staff and they will take fewer holiday days. There are also fewer distractions from colleagues and working from home offers a break from the confines of the office. This change is often as good as a rest.
You should also consider the average daily commute that your workers face, which affects their carbon footprint When they work from home, they will free up a lot of time while saving money on fuel or public transport. This will also cut overall carbon emissions which improves the quality of the air. When you offer permanent telecommuting, you will also open your talent pool and save money on large office spaces.
If your business requires employees to go to the office, you need to encourage sustainable modes of transport. This could be public transport, walking or cycling. To promote this you can implement a Cycle to Work scheme or set up something that helps employees carpool.
Flexible work times can also be used to encourage people to use public transport or cycle to work. By allowing users to come in when they want, they will be more inclined to use greener alternatives. By including a card based door system like one of these from Smarlox Locksmith Edinburgh, you provide them with the flexibility to come and go as they please.
Say No To Screensavers, Standby And High Thermostat Settings
Companies waste a lot of money on energy costs during non-operating hours every year. A study by the Royal Holloway University of London found that the average work computer is on for around 35 hours per week. Turning the computer off when you are in a meeting or on lunch can save up to 5 hours of energy in a week. This is an overall reduction in energy usage of 14%.
When you leave a standard halogen bulb on overnight, you will be using up a bucket of coal. You need to start using energy-saving light bulbs and connect them to motion sensors. This will reduce the energy they use. You should also maximize the daylight in your office by painting the walls a light color. This will reflect the light in the office and will improve the mental health of your staff.
You also need to consider the temperature in your office, which is a topic that starts a lot of debate. However, this is something that you need to figure out because getting the temperature right can boost productivity, collaboration, and overall job satisfaction. When you get the temperature wrong, your employees will be sicker, slower and unhappy. There are some studies which have found that warmer offices are better for creativity while cooler officers will keep alert when they complete monotonous tasks.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, recommends cool offices of 15°C while the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers states the ideal temperature is 20°C. You should start somewhere between these two temperatures and see how this goes. Drop the temperature and see how it goes. If your employees are happy with the temperature, you could see a boost in productivity and save on your energy bills.
Consider Your Paper Usage
The average office worker will print 1,584 sheets of paper a month and paper is the largest source of office waste. The use of modern technology means that we do not rely on paper as much. If you do need hard copies of something in your office, you need to stock post-consumer waste paper.
Fortunately, paper is one of the most widely recycled materials in the world. You should not have any problem finding a recycling company in your area. The bad news is that finding eco-friendly paper for the office can be a nightmare.
There are a lot of companies that have an eco-friendly paper which has a recycling symbol on it. Many of these companies do this with the best intentions, but there are no guarantees that the paper is sustainably sourced. You will need to check the green credentials of the paper supplier before you commit to a purchase. You can also look for an FS label.
You should also consider how you print paper. You should think about setting the printer to automatically print on both sides of the paper. Smaller fonts should also be used to reduce the amount of paper needed. This is a quick fix solution that will not only save your business money, but is good for the environment.
Look At Your Office Equipment
When it comes to office equipment, there are some questions you need to ask yourself:
- Can your office stationery and suppled be recycled?
- Are they made from recycled materials?
- Are your cleaning products eco-friendly or full of chemicals?
- Is your packaging recyclable?
- Do you use excessive amounts of packaging?
- If your office equipment available in bulk?
- When you upgrade an appliance, are you getting the greenest option on the market?
- Are there more efficient alternatives available such as those which higher green energy ratings?
- Are the companies you work with online eco-friendly?
- Are you #using a green web host for your website?
This might seem like the most obvious step to take, but almost 80% of businesses in the UK do not recycle. The landfill tax being charged in the UK is currently £88.90 per ton which means that it is not only harmful to not recycle, but expensive to send waste to the landfill. This tax is expected to rise in the coming years because of the 25-year environmental plan set out by the government. This is why recycling is at the top of the list of things that businesses should be doing.
There are studies which have found that employees are more likely to become involved when there are recycling stations and food bins in clearly marked and accessible areas. If you want to take this a bit further, you can look at the model that coffee shops use where they offer discounts for using your own cup. You can get some business-branded cups and cotton bags instead of plastic bags which help raise your brand awareness and reputation. You should also look at stocking organic and fair-trade products in your office and ban any single-use plastics.
Green Energy Suppliers
Changing to a green energy supplier is no longer a matter of conscience, but an increasingly wide financial decision. Many green energy tariffs will complete with conventional rates or undercut them according to experts recently at Josco’s energy conference. Of course, the energy is still coming from the national grid which is a mixture of renewable and non-renewable energy.
This means that claims of energy that is 100% green will not be completely true. In most cases, the money you spend on the tariff will go to further renewable energy projects. This will then increase the amount of green energy on the national grid.
Toilets are the biggest water wasters in an office followed by leaking taps. You need to fix any leaks as soon as they appear. You should also consider getting low-flow toilets and faucet aerators for the taps.
Make Sustainability a Major Business Objective
You need to take a lot of factors into consideration when running a business. Sustainability should be one of them. Consumers are more likely to work with green companies. You will also have peace of mind by knowing you are doing your part to protect the environment.