Businesses are among the worst polluters on the planet. The industrial sector accounts for nearly 50 percent of all the air pollution in the world, and that doesn’t count the damage done to the ecosystem through polluted streams and landfills.
Non-sustainable companies also struggle with inefficiency in their businesses because they use excess energy and resources, which drives up operating costs. Another survey showed that 55 percent of consumers are willing to pay more when they know the goods were produced with sustainable practices, and 71 percent of Americans think about the environment when they shop.
As these numbers suggest, going green makes excellent business sense nowadays. Most firms can find at least a few ways to make their practices more sustainable. Here are some ideas.
1. Go Paperless
Almost all your business processes may be handled online, from email billing to online sales. So go ahead and recycle your filing cabinets because you can substantially improve the efficiency and eco-friendliness of your business without killing trees.
2. Rely on Software
The solution for going paperless is to rely on software. For example, use QuickBooks for all your accounting functions, which is efficient and requires no paper statements. If there are ever any errors or problems with the software, online support can easily solve them.
3. Do Business with Sustainable Vendors
Making changes within your business isn’t enough. Your vendors should apply greener practices as well. You’ll be associated with your vendors, and going green without regard to their environmental impact could all but erase your efforts to go green and garner respect for doing so.
4. Implement a Reuse-and-Recycle System
Teach employees that the blue trash can is for recycling and other colors are for garbage. Explain how to recycle and reuse items whenever possible so your employees and firm can avoid filling landfills with more junk.
5. Use Biodegradable Cleaners
Toxins are still too often released into the air through the use of common cleaning supplies, which contributes to air pollution. Reduce your pollutants indoors by buying green cleaners.
6. Change Your Light Bulbs
CFL and LED bulbs are much more efficient, last longer, and don’t waste energy the way incandescent bulbs do. You can reduce your power bill significantly and decrease wasted energy.
7. Replace Outdated Equipment
Look for the EnergyStar rating on new print and copy machines, phones, computers, and other devices to replace old appliances that are sucking the life out of your energy bills.
8. Use Programmable Tech
Install motion-sense lighting that shuts off when there’s no movement in a room after a certain amount of time. You can also set the lights on a timer as a fail-safe to make sure no one leaves a light on after hours.
Programmable thermostats can be highly useful for your company. You can set the heat and air conditioning on a timer so that the system turns on during business hours and shuts down afterward. You’ll be amazed by the difference in your utility spending once these features are in place.
9. Try Green Web Hosting
Though it may seem as if online interactions are completely eco-friendly, that’s not necessarily the case. Green web-hosting companies participate in initiatives to reduce their energy consumption and encourage renewable energy initiatives. By supporting these hosting services, you also support the environment.
10. Get Rid of Plastic Bottles
An average of 32 million tons of plastic waste are generated in the United States every year. Instead of offering water bottles and paper cups in the office, give every employee a reusable water bottle that can be used for water while at the office, and then at home. To learn more about what plastic does to the environment, check out this infographic by Kwik Sweep.