Going Green: Simple steps with big rewards
The media buzz around lowering your carbon footprint is so ubiquitous that many of us quickly get bored and tune out. With virtually every big company keen to cosy up to customers by showcasing its green credentials, sometimes it can be hard to separate the positive reasons to go green from the PR spin which accompanies it.
However, all companies - whatever their size – can benefit from exploring how they can minimise the impact their business has on the environment. Crucially – as businesses typically aren’t governed by altruism alone – one of the main plus points of improving the way a business operates environmentally is the effect it has on the bottom line; reducing carbon goes hand in hand with reducing costs, as lowering energy and water consumption means lower bills.
Here are a few simple things companies can do if they want to take the first steps towards going green...
If you’re still doing the bulk of your communication by post, stop. Conversing by email and sending invoices, newsletters and other communications electronically is not only much quicker and easier, it will also mean your business is no longer affected by the ever escalating cost of postage. Additionally, it reduces annual expenditure on paper and reduces the amount of precious time staff spend stuffing envelopes.
Switch it off
If nobody is in your office at night, why is all your office equipment still switched on? Make it company policy that all computers, printers and scanners are switched off at the wall every evening and stick to it. During the day, computer monitors can even be set so they go into ‘hibernate’ after a few moments of inactivity.
Think about transport
If your business provides company cars for employees, consider switching to electric or hybrid vehicles, which will dramatically reduce fuel consumption. Supporting employees in organising a car sharing scheme, encouraging employees to travel to work in a low carbon way by providing a secure place for bicycles to be locked, and even allowing working from home when attendance in the office isn’t strictly necessary can also all help businesses reduce the impact its travel habits have on the environment.
Properly recycling waste isn’t hard as long as you have the right systems in place. Paper recycling bins should be placed anywhere activity is likely to generate waste paper (such as the printer or fax) and other plastic, metal or glass recycling bins can also be placed in other strategic places such as the break room or kitchen.