Businesses are the primary drivers of the world’s economy. They generate products and services that people want or need. They provide employment to hundreds, thousands, and millions of people.
Because they affect individuals, other businesses, and society in general, businesses are major influencers. Each business can be a force of good. This is why it’s important for a company to have a corporate social responsibility program that shows how it positively impacts the communities on both local and global scale.
Among the most pressing issues of today is serious environmental degradation, the by-product of human development over the past few centuries. Each business has a major and important role in preserving and protecting Mother Nature. By dealing with environmental concerns through actions, policies, and events, a business and the community around it can work towards making a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable future.
Ways Businesses Can Save Nature
Even a small business can help save the environment, and it doesn’t need to have a giant leap or achievement. All it needs is to integrate some simple amendments into existing policies such as simple changes that will make a business an advocate of environmental health.
Recycling items is one of the best ways to achieve sustainability. There are so many office materials that can be recycled. For example, the unused sides of papers can be cut and bound as notepads. Cardboard boxes can be used to store files. Old furniture from the visitors area can be recycled into furniture in employee lounges.
Current recycling statistics show that more and more businesses all over the world are including recycling in their office policies. For instance, employees may be required to bring reusable containers. Recycling bins may be placed in conspicuous places in the office. Incorporating recycling policies into the office handbook sends a powerful message to the staff and visitors that the company takes environmental preservation seriously.
Reducing Paper Waste
A typical company produces a lot of paper waste, unneeded documents, memos, wrappers, boxes, and many more that go into the trash can. Just to give you a perspective, the average office worker in the US prints 31 documents each day. Manufacturing paper kills off thousands of trees every year, produces a lot of energy, and causes pollution.
As such, going paperless is an effective way to save the environment. Using emails, chat apps, and e-books are faster, more effective, and more sustainable. There are a lot of operational benefits as well because e-documents are sent in real-time and can be viewed conveniently on an electronic device. Furthermore, e-documents can be saved and archived indefinitely without losing quality.
An added bonus: a business can save storage space, reduce inventory, and increase savings if it goes paperless.
Decreasing Energy Consumption
A business can help diminish greenhouse emissions and conserve energy by reducing its energy consumption. This can be done in two ways. First is through engineering alterations such as changing incandescent lighting to CFL or LED bulbs, using inverter air conditioners, installing sensors that automatically shut down the lights when no one is around, or adding large windows so that daylight is utilized to the fullest. It’s also prudent to replace old, energy-guzzling equipment with newer and more energy-efficient counterparts.
Another thing you can do is implement simple office policies that center on energy savings. These include switching off workstation computers when not in use, turning off the lights and air conditioner in conference rooms when not in use, and many more.
Not only will the company lessen environmental stretch but these energy-saving activities also help it cut utility bills.
Remote work and telecommuting
Instituting more flexible work arrangements should be considered a viable option. Businesses should review which positions can be placed in a work-from-home arrangement. Allowing mobile work reduces the number of people working in the office at any given time. This translates to reduced energy consumption, less pollution, and less carbon footprint.
Without the need to commute or drive their cars to the office, employees in a remote work setup can help lessen pollution in a bigger community level.
Green vendors and suppliers
A company’s suppliers, vendors, and contractors should also be assessed to see if their products, services, policies, practices, and activities are in line with the business’s sustainability goals. It isn’t responsible for a business to transact with suppliers that have poor environmental records, have unfair labor practices, or has a lack of corporate social responsibility.
Many of the changes that make a business more eco-friendly doesn’t require earth-shattering decisions or alterations. Businesses of all levels can implement any or all of the simple protocols above with little or no trouble at all. Each small step a business does in addressing environmental concerns is a big leap towards a greener and more sustainable world.
Written by Lillian Connors
About the Author
Lillian Connors is a Senior Content Developer at ACT-ENVIRO, with years of experience in developing content. Throughout her career, she always looked for ways to contribute to the environment in recycling efforts, while providing valuable information with her written articles. She’s deeply into green practices, cherishing the notion that sustainability not only makes us far less dependent on others regarding how we live and do business but also contributes to our planet being a better place to live on. When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book and sip on an occasional appletini.
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