With so many businesses out there, it has never been more important to stand out from the competition. When you green your business it is a great way to boost your brand identity.
Environment-friendly business initiatives are creating a significant buzz because they facilitate a healthier and more productive workplace. They are not only good for the planet but for your balance sheet as well. During the past years, the most significant group of tax credits and deductions for businesses were green incentives. Plus, your utility savings can quickly pay back your investment.
The following are simple and affordable steps you can make today to run an eco-friendly business.
Make green thinking an integral part of your company culture
Embrace your new goals and get your staff involved with your green efforts. Introduce smart methods of reusing & recycling materials and packaging as many office-based businesses spend too much on paper. For an instance, you can switch to post-consumer waste products, minimize faxing and printing (or swap to a “green” printer) and use the back side of paper as scratch before it is thrown in the recycling bin. And even better bet is to go paperless and shift to an electronic billing system for your customers, suppliers, and billers.
Moreover, you should come up with a plan to reduce waste and hazardous materials in your workplace. On average, commercial waste amounts to 35-45% of total municipal waste. Putting a recycling bin at your desk can go a long way. On the other hand, you can minimize exposure to harsh and toxic chemicals by using biodegradable cleaning products. We all love the smell of a nice, clean office so the next time you run out of soap and detergent, buy a greener option.
Conserve water and energy resources
Develop a water management plan in your facility and be on the lookout for leaky faucets. Likewise, no effort is too small to have a positive effect on the planet. We also urge business owners and employees to shut off lights in an unoccupied room and switch to LEDs, energy-efficient compact fluorescents (CFLs) and T8 or T5 linear fluorescents.
There are many ways you can conserve energy in the workplace. Use tech the right way such as telecommuting at least once a week, setting up online conference calls instead of meetings, and turning off the computer monitor when not in use. You can also replace outdated appliances and electronics with greener counterparts. Look for the yellow tags and while you find some appliances to be expensive up front, think of the long-term economic savings. Energy Star appliances are a great choice.
Go one step further and get an energy audit. In industrial energy audits, professional engineers can optimize your energy consumption without compromising the quality. The HVAC, lighting, and production equipment that use the most energy are top priorities. Once all systems are running efficiently, you can get paid for energy reduction. You can also consider using alternative energy source like solar panels.
Stand for something
Just as what Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group said, “Have fun, do good, and success will come.” Support green solutions and let people know what cause your company stands for. Host a fundraising event and have your own charity initiatives. These social and environmental initiatives engage both staff and customers, which can contribute to the growth of your business. Doing good for your company and your cause will ultimately become part of your core principles.
Also, do business with like-minded vendors. Start simple, like switching to a green web hosting solution for your company website. Green web hosts take part in using renewable energy, planting trees, and other activities to reduce environmental cost of running their servers. They usually cost the same or less compared to those who are running servers using fossil fuel.
By following these tips, you can make yourself attractive to eco-conscious customers and cut thousands of dollars off your bills.
Check out more sustainability and green business practices on our comprehensive business support tool.