Can your Business ‘Go Green’?
We all know how important it is to be as environmentally friendly as possible in every aspect of our lives. This should include at work as well as at home, which some businesses might find challenging. There are many benefits to ‘going green’, which include protecting the environment and reducing emissions. You can also benefit by saving money and improving your reputation.
Going green doesn’t always need a massive overhaul in the business, or for you to do things completely differently. Sometimes small changes in behaviour and simply adopting easy-to-implement green initiatives in the short-term can make a real difference. Of course, if you can do this alongside planning long-term sustainability strategies, you can make an even bigger impact down the road.
Read on and ask yourself if your business can go green…
Check you’re using Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Products
One of the easiest ways businesses can incorporate sustainable practices into their work is by switching to more environmentally friendly office supplies. This covers anything from products essential for running your business to the coffee you buy for your employees. Do your research to make sure anything you use is made in a sustainable way. Make sure they don’t include any substances that are harmful to the environment. Also look out for packaging that isn’t too excessive and can be recycled. Check if they can be repaired or refilled rather than thrown away and replaced to reduce your landfill levels.
Green the Office Kitchen
Office kitchens are a hotspot for waste. But a few simple changes can be the first step in working towards a more environmentally friendly workplace. Look to reduce the amount of plastic in your office kitchen, and transition to materials like cork, wood, and wicker. Avoid single-use plastics and coffee pods – stock the kitchen with fair trade tea and coffee instead. Introduce plants too. Not only do they serve as lovely décor, they can also help purify the air and increase humidity. Introduce a recycling system and encourage employees to follow it. Read on below for more info.
Reduce Paper Usage and Switch to Cloud Computing
Obviously, lots of businesses are already paperless, which is a great and easy way to implement greener initiatives. If you haven’t – or can’t – take this step, then try and use as little paper as possible. Double-sided printing, buying recycled paper and making sure mailing lists are up to date will help you use less paper. Always remember to recycle the paper you do use – and this goes for loo rolls and paper towels too.
Cloud computing will allow your employees to share and access information from anywhere, which will reduce travel costs, carbon emissions and of course… printing costs. If your business adapts to this method, there’ll be no need to purchase and maintain expensive, power-intensive servers.
Okay, it might not be possible to recycle everything, but make sure you do as much as you can. All excess cardboard, plastic, paper bags, metal, food, and coffee cups should be recycled properly. Think about installing separate clearly marked recycling bins, one for normal waste, one for recycling and one for food waste. You’ll be able to get the council to pick all of these for you as part of their regular collection.
Switch to Green or Renewable Energy
This is one of the easiest things you can do. Using a simple online comparison site or carrying out your own research can tell you what renewable energy deals are available. Some companies now offer 100 renewable energy, so you should be able to find one to suit your needs. Look out for those that use smart meters as these can help you save energy too.
Always be energy conscious. Leaving lights and electronics on when no-one’s in the office or workplace is a real waste of energy, but lots of businesses still do it. Ask the last person leaving to switch the lights off or invest in light timers, so they switch off automatically. Using energy-efficient lightbulbs and office appliances, like microwaves and fridges can help save energy too.
Make sure all electronics have the sleep mode enabled, so they use less energy when they’re not in use. If you have the advantage of working in an office space with lots of natural light, take advantage of it. Open all blinds, so your employees don’t have to rely on overhead lighting.
Leave the Car at Home
Encourage your employees to leave their car at home and look for alternative ways they can travel to work. Whether this is on foot, cycle, using the train or even car sharing if you have no other way of travelling in. If your business has access to convenient bike lanes, bus stops and train lines, this is the perfect way to encourage sustainable commuting.
Get Everyone Involved
This is the secret to going green successfully. Everyone must be onboard for it to work. Encourage staff to bring their own cups and reusable water bottles in instead of supplying disposable ones. Offer them green benefits, including things like cycle to work schemes in benefit packages, bike racks and electric car changing points at your place of work, as well as setting up sustainability goals and targets everyone can work towards.
Why not try some of these simple tips for your business and let us know how you get on by commenting below?
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