Many companies have made the dramatic discovery that going green makes cents. While exacting environmentally friendly practices, businesses can save money. Companies that make it a priority to recycle, reduce, and reuse earn reputations as responsible businesses that are also likely to attract consumers and clients who care about the green movement. The following tips are ways that businesses can transform into a greener company.
Use recycled products whenever possible. Recycled paper for printing and copying needs can easily be purchased and tends to be less expensive. Recycled ink cartridges should also be purchased for cost savings. Eco-friendly office supplies are widely available and cover the spectrum of office needs; supply chains sell everything from recycled Post-it Notes to paper towels for the staff room and bathrooms.
Many companies simply throw away outdated electronic and computer equipment. Instead of sending these items to the dump, call a company that buys this outmoded gear. Such companies are popping up everywhere and will often come and haul it away. If there isn’t a company in your area that will pay for the items, consider donating them to a library, school, or some other organization. This will increase the business’s popularity in the community and may also be reported as a tax write-off.
Going paperless or at least substantially reducing the amount of paper printed or copied is an increasing trend among businesses that care about the environment. Encourage employees to correspond over email and take pains to monitor the amount of paper used. Whether the company is large or small, set paper-reduction goals; when staff meets the reduction goal, have some rewards on hand—buy lunch, award gift certificates, etc…Not only will you save money buying less paper, you will increase staff morale—which is a great way to increase profitability, too. Staff can also decrease paper use by printing double-sided whenever possible.
Your company can reduce energy use by turning off equipment when it isn’t being used. All equipment should be turned off at night and over weekends to capitalize on this energy savings. Naturally, decreased energy usage translates into lower monthly energy bills. Also, be sure to turn off lights in the evening and reduce heat and air conditioning at night, too.
Encourage employees to share office supplies and equipment. It’s easier than ever to network printers and copiers. Staff can also share small items like pencil sharpeners and staplers at specially created “share stations” around the office.
When it comes to the staff room or company kitchen, encourage employees to reduce the need to buy plastic ware and paper plates. Keep dishes and silverware on hand. Be sure to have a place for employees to keep their coffee mugs and water bottles.
Packaging supplies can often be reused to reduce the cost of buying new materials—which can be quite expensive. Padded envelopes can be re-labeled and bubble wrap can be saved. Whenever your company receives reusable items in the mail, encourage them to keep them in the supply room instead of throwing them away.
Your staff can collectively save the business money by reusing various office supplies like paper clips, clip boards, and file folders. Instead of buying new office furniture, refurbish the items you have. Apply fixes to broken items instead of ordering new ones. This attention to reuse can definitely increase a business’s profitability.
Request an employee to make routing slips or note stacks from office scrap paper. This often simply involves a paper cutter and a bin of used paper.
None of these green practices can be construed as overly difficult. They simply require encouragement and commitment. Going green in the office is an earth-friendly policy that will also translate into increased profitability for the business.
Other green ideas for a company to consider include:
- Purchasing green cleaning products
- Doing businesses with other environmentally friendly companies
- Encourage employees to car pool
- Create a “green” committee to investigate new ways to keep the business green
- Propose a green “Secret Santa” event for the holidays encouraging employees to give one another homemade items or used items from home.
- Decrease the company mailing list and increase its email list.
- Invite an environmentalist to speak at a staff meeting about more ways your company can go green.
About the Author: Guest post contributed by Kris Rayner, on behalf of GeneralWasteCollection.co.uk, specialists in the collection and disposal of general and recycling waste collection.