There is a fine line between maintaining an environmentally friendly business and turning a profit. But, if done correctly, you can do your part to reduce your carbon footprint and boost your business.
The measures you take to make your business green will depend on your budget and how many resources you want to dedicate to the cause. If you’re not sure how to get started, check out the four tips below.
Cut back on the amount of paper used in the office, whether it’s printing fewer documents or making fewer copies. This will save money because you’ll use less paper, printer ink and postage. Let your customers know you’ll be sending more electronic messages as an effort to reduce your use of paper, so they can make sure your messages don’t end up in their junk folders. They’ll appreciate your efforts to help the environment.
In addition to saving money, going paperless can help you streamline your operations by using a secure digital filing system everyone in your business can access from their desks. This will also help your employees become more efficient, as documents will be easier to find and use.
Work with others who share your values
When it comes to finding vendors and other partners for your business, work with people who have the same environmental views as you. Do your research to find out what steps they take to reduce their carbon footprints.
Vendors such as Company Folders use ink made from natural vegetables and stocks made from recycled content. This way, you can have your business cards, presentation folders and other marketing goods made from eco-friendly materials. Look for the same qualities when selecting other vendors, whether they provide office supplies, furniture or lawn care services.
Use alternative energy
Go through your business spaces to make sure you are using energy-efficient lighting, plumbing, heating and cooling. Use LED light bulbs throughout the building, water-saving toilets and urinals, and a programmable thermostat. It might have a high initial cost, but will pay for itself over time in savings.
Research the ways to power the office with alternative energy sources. For example, if your office is in a sunny location, you can put solar panels on the building. Or, if you have a lot of land, you can work with energy providers to get a wind turbine on your site. If these are not feasible options, you can invest in a company that provides these types of energies to help mainstream alternative forms of energy. You can dedicate a page of your website to these causes to let your customers know how you are helping and how they can help, too.
Share vision with employees
Make sure your employees know how much it means to you to do your part for the planet. This way they will make an effort to do their part, too. Supply dishes and silverware for employees to use to reduce the use of paper and plastic products. Or, provide coffee using reusable coffee filters to lessen the number of plastic K-cups that end up in landfills. Use all natural cleaners, and set up a recycling program. You can also set up a rideshare program to and from work, or allow employees to work from home to reduce emissions into the atmosphere.
Provide reusable water bottles and coffee mugs. Talk to your employees about what environmental causes are important to them to see if there is a way the business can support them. This could be something as small as participating in a park cleanup or planting some trees.
It’s easy to feel like you’re not doing anything when you hear about various environmental problems such as the plastic waste killing millions of marine life annually, the growing hole in the ozone and trash piling up in landfills, but every little bit does help. Plus, using your business can boost awareness and your profits, as customers are more likely to buy their goods and services from an Earth-friendly business.
Don’t let the bad news get you down. Instead, celebrate the victories—big and small. Hopefully, these tips can help. Do you have any other ideas? Share them in the comments below.
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