Many people believe that running a sustainable operation inevitably means being ineffective with your finances, however this isn’t the case. Not only does being environmentally responsible benefit the environment, it also helps to promote a positive reputation which can mean a lot more than you think. A recent global study found that nearly 53% of customers prefer to purchase products and services from companies that implement green methods and sustainable practices. We’ve put together a list of cost effective tips that’ll help your business become more environmentally friendly regardless of whether you in in the city or country. Take a look below.
Recycling is key to running a sustainable operation, some ensuring everyone is clued up about how and what to recycle is a great starting point. You can run a recycling scheme in which SMART objectives are put in place such as ‘increase recycling by 20% by next year’ to spur on your workers to lead an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Removing bins sounds like a crazy method to promote sustainable environmental practices, however it does make sense. If everyone has a personal bin they are more than likely going to through whatever rubbish they have in there rather than walking to the nearest recycling bin. Taking personal bins away and providing a hub of suitable recycling bins will reduce the amount of waste that goes to a landfill and increase how much your recycle.
Roughly around 240 million plastic disposable pens are sold in the UK alone each year, with each one containing toxic substances. You can eliminate this waste and hazard by switching over to reusable ink cartridge pens and save yourself some money whilst you’re at it. If you shop smart, this can actually be a very cost effective switch to make, with some brands offering refill cartridges for as little as 80p.
Approximately 12.5 million tonnes of paper/cardboard and 275,000 tonnes of plastic are used in the UK annually, and although these are recyclable materials, plastic can take up to five hundred years to fully decompose and only 25% of the 41% waste cardboard actually accumulates is recycled. If your business sends or receives a lot of parcels, mail, products etc. then it could be wise to make the switch to reusable packaging. Not only does this save your money by slashing your packaging costs, you’re also playing your part by ensuring all materials are used to their full potential before they are recycled or sent to land fill.
The office printer is the biggest culprit when it comes to waste in the workplace, with sentences leaking onto another page, typos and misplaced images creating piles of waste paper every day. However, there is a solution. GreenPrint provide software that identifies areas of waste before you actual print the document, alerting you to space that’s wasted or could otherwise be utilised. GreenPrint claim to save a huge 17% of printing materials with its software which can be purchased for £69 a year.
Printer & Photocopier Settings
As we’ve already mentioned, the printer is the number 1 enemy when it comes to waste. Trying to implement double sided printing or encouraging co-workers to scan an email document will cut down on waste, ink and paper, saving you a tonne as you go.
Change Your Paper
Although most of our work is done on computers nowadays, we do occasionally need to print something out. Chlorine bleaching has long been a method of getting your paper white, with some manufacturers till using the harmful process to this day. Opting to use chlorine-free paper products will help to slow the use of these methods and hopefully impact the environment in a positive way.
We’ve all done it, finished our work day and couldn’t bear to wait for the computer to shut down before we quickly head off. Although this is convenient and time saving it’s horrible for energy usage. Standby power from computers can increase your carbon footprint by up to 15%, purchasing auto shut down devices or even just ensuring everyone has completely switch off before they leave will most definitely reduce your electricity bill.
Remove Screen Savers
Getting shot of screen savers is a great way to cut down both your energy consumption and your energy bills. A recent study showed that an organisation with 5,000 PC’s that run twenty hours per week generate 750,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, 5,858 pounds of sulphur oxide and 1,544 pounds of nitrogen oxide in the time spent on screensaver alone.
Finally, most offices are open during day time hours, giving you the perfect opportunity to exploit the natural daylight. An office space with more windows generates a brighter, friendlier environment as well as reducing the risk to workers eyes and also cutting down your reliance on artificial light.