Sustainability is key for the future of our planet, and businesses need to do their part to keep our earth healthy. Here are six tips to help make your business more sustainable.
1. Use Less Paper
When you print out a document, be sure to only print the number of copies needed. Avoid printing on both sides of the paper and try to use a printer that has a double-sided printing option. If your office is already using double-sided printing, consider going a step further by using recycled paper which can be made from 100% recycled material or post-consumer waste. A great option to include is biodegradable packaging for any documents or items that are mailed, especially for products if your company does production. Also, don’t print emails and other messages unless necessary. Instead, save them in a file for future reference.
2. Use Products with Eco-Friendly Packaging
When possible, look for products with minimal packaging as these tend to have an easier impact on the environment compared to those with excessive wrappings and boxes. Instead of buying water in plastic bottles, purchase it in bulk from a drinking fountain – this way you’ll save on plastic as well as money. Plastic water bottles and cups can be found in most workspaces, but it’s important to reduce your consumption of them as much as possible. To avoid using plastic water bottles throughout the day, purchase a reusable metal or glass container for yourself and encourage your coworkers to do the same. Not only will you make a positive impact on the environment by reducing plastic waste, but drinking from reusable containers also reduces your carbon footprint!
3. Install Solar Panels on Your Building
If you’re fortunate enough to have access to a green roof, solar panels can be used to harness the energy of the sun and use it as energy for your building. Also, consider geothermal heating/cooling or wind turbines if they are viable options in your area. Installing solar panels on your building is an effective way to become more sustainable because you’re taking advantage of renewable energy and decreasing your energy costs – it makes business sense! If you’re looking for ways to incorporate green technology into your business, this is a great place to start.
4. Recycle Your Waste
If you own or work at an office, chances are you have a lot of waste that can easily be recycled – paper waste, plastic bottles, cans, cardboard boxes, etc. Make recycling more of a priority by placing bins throughout your workspace so it’s easily accessible for employees and on-site customers and clients. Having separate containers for different types of recyclables will make the process go more smoothly as well as help to ensure that nothing is thrown in with the wrong material (and thus becomes non-recyclable). You can also do this by purchasing recycled products whenever possible. Not only is this beneficial for your carbon footprint, but it also has the potential to earn you some extra income if you decide to sell your recyclables!
5. Use Energy-Efficient Technology
Many great technological devices can help make your office more sustainable. For example, using electronic calendars will save paper by not printing out monthly calendars for employees – this is especially useful if part or all of your office uses shift work schedules where individual shifts frequently change every week. Other technologies that would be ideal include smartphone apps that give access to conference calls so no physical telephones are needed, electronic document sharing software to avoid printing documents, and encouraging the use of electronic signatures in place of printed signatures for legal purposes.
6. Encourage Alternative Transportation in Your Workplace
Instead of driving or taking a taxi to work, encourage your employees and coworkers to cycle, walk, carpool, etc – you can even offer financial incentives if they do so. Not only will this save on gas/transportation costs for employees who go green by choice, but it’ll also help decrease traffic congestion and pollution from vehicles. As a bonus, walking or cycling offers health benefits by increasing exercise which leads to improved mental health as well. If your employees are enthusiastic about riding bicycles to work, you can set up a bicycle storage facility or repair room so they have a safe, easily accessible place to store their bikes.
As you can see, there are many ways to incorporate sustainable practices into your business by introducing green technology and encouraging environmentally-friendly habits among your employees/coworkers. By making small but significant changes at work, you can reduce overall energy usage which will lead to long-term cost savings for businesses while also helping the environment!