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6 Paths to Running a More Eco-Friendly Business

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There are many benefits of going green as a business. Fifty-four percent of companies have taken steps to do so.

Shifting your company to a greener and sustainable business model doesn’t have to be difficult or costly. In fact, it can begin small and you can scale your sustainability efforts as time progresses. Here are some ways you and your company can start today!

Transport

As a business, large or small, location is everything. Is your place of business easily accessible by public transit or bike lanes?

  • Encourage your employees to make their commute to work using a more sustainable option. Provide information on public transit or create a space where employees can safely store their bikes.
  • Consider offering transit passes as a freebie to your employees for extra encouragement. Besides being eco-friendly, using public transit is often more reliable than personal commuting and ensures your employees are showing up on time.
  • Start an employee carpool. Businesses that start carpools have been shown to increase work attendance and can save you space in your parking lot.

A lot of steps can be taken to make transportation more sustainable. This can do wonders for lowering the company’s carbon footprint. Make sure your employees understand the eco-friendliest transportation options.

Remote Work

If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that many jobs can be done online. And if in-person conversations are needed, we have software like Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams to make up for it. Few people need to spend hours in traffic, grumpy and clogging up our air with smog and idling wasting gas. Many enjoy the comfort and isolation of home to better focus on the job at hand.

  • Consider if your business can be operational from home in some, if not all aspects. Making this switch will offer you and your employees more free time and boost overall morale in the workplace. In turn, you’ll utilize fewer resources, burn fewer fossil fuels, and have a smaller environmental footprint.
  • Fewer people in the office means fewer expenses. This includes space to rent, electricity, water, heating/cooling, and all the other bills that come with a functioning office.

You can lower your carbon footprint quite a bit by shifting towards a work from home model. However, you have to make sure that your employees understand how to work from home responsibly. There is ample evidence that working from home doesn’t automatically lower the carbon footprint, but rather shifts it around. However, it can do so when instituted properly.

Reduce Your Office’s Carbon Footprint

The amount of energy usage of typical commercial offices accounts for 35 percent of the U.S carbon dioxide emissions. Let’s commit to lowering that number today by checking in with our company’s office space and see what can be changed. Here are a few examples.

  • Upgrade your building’s insulation. This lowers the cost for heating and cooling.
  • Switch your appliances to energy-efficient models. Most installation companies offer deals and rebates upon installation of such products.
  • Swap out old incandescent bulbs with LEDs or CFLs.
  • Configure settings on work computers to be more energy efficient. This can be as simple as having the monitor turn off after a few minutes of inactivity or placing the computer into sleep mode.
  • Purchase used office furniture when possible. A number of businesses sell slightly used chairs and desks from businesses that have gone out of business. This can save your company money and reduce unnecessary waste from clogging up a landfill.

Cut the Convenience Factor

Stop it already with the single-use products, it’s 2022, it’s time.

  • Bring and encourage reusable coffee cups in the office. Create and hand out branded mugs to your employees. They’ll appreciate the gift and reduce your office’s need for disposable cups.
  • Make coffee in larger coffee pots instead of single-use pods, we’re all going to be guzzling it together anyway, no need to be stingy and wasteful.
  • Use proper plates, utensils, cups, etc. in the office spaces to reduce the number of paper products being tossed every day. Add a chore chart to be sure those dishes are being done because your mom doesn’t live at the office.
  • Switch from paper towels to air-dryers or cloth rags for clean-up and commit to less paper waste.
  • When clean-ups are necessary, use products that are eco-friendly. They smell better, are usually natural and free of toxins, and work just as well as various non-eco-friendly options.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

We all know this mantra well, so let’s put it into practice and stop filling the landfills.

  • Offer bins throughout the office space marked trash, compost, and recycling.
  • Stop throwing out cardboard boxes and continue to use them for storage when needed.
  • Print on both sides of the paper. Also, buy printer paper that comes from post-recycled and composted products.
  • All those meal scraps and leftovers that come when cleaning out the office fridge, compost it.
  • Choose sustainable packing options when shipping out orders. Many products can be made to be compostable and cost the same.

Help the Environment and Communities in Need

It’s not just in-house changes that can be made. Think outside as well and how your company can help those in the community who are trying to make a healthier planet for all.

  • Consider donating to environmental charities that are connected to your business. For instance, promotional product company Custom Comet plants a tree with every order they receive. Since many of their products use paper, reforestation is a fantastic way for them to reduce their carbon footprint, combat climate change, and put back the resources they use back into the Earth.
  • Just because you’re upgrading office furniture, doesn’t mean you have to fill up the dumpster. Furniture can be donated to a number of charities. They’ll even come to pick it up for free.
  • Dumping electronics in a landfill is a big no-no. All computer equipment should at worst, be recycled through the proper channels (most towns and some businesses offer places to drop off equipment). Better yet, see if a local school or charity could use those old computers for something.

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