Our generation can consider itself very fortunate for living in the time where technology develops so fast that the world we are going to wake up in tomorrow may be nothing like the world we inhabit today. However, all these achievements are producing an environmental impact so high that, if we don’t learn how to rein in our consumption, we won’t leave anything for the generations to come. Businesses that are the engine that drives the society have the responsibility to spearhead these positive changes. So let’s see what you can do to make your business more eco-friendly.
Reduce paper consumption
The paper is slowly going out of business in the modern office environment. There is no reason why we shouldn’t do our best to speed up this process. Essentially, technologies like OneDrive and Google Docs already have a strong office presence by making collaboration and the exchange of documents streamlined and effortless. Your job will be to turn them from good practice to business-wide requirement. If you want to go a step further, you can donate your used printers to charity.
Use the natural light
People are beings driven by their circadian rhythm. When they are in dark, they feel tired and drowsy. On the other hand, allowing more light into your premises will have a very positive effect on your workers’ mood, alertness, energy and productivity, and, essentially, it will help them achieve more with less. And since work shifts are designed around the circadian rhythm, more sunlight will drastically cut the need for artificial lighting during the standard 9 to 5 timeslot.
Rationalize electric consumption
The ways to do this are numerous. First, initiate the strict rule of unplugging electronics at the end of the workday. The energy your devices consume while they’re on standby can account for up to 20% of your business’s monthly bill. Another way to rationalize the consumption is to install motion-activated lights. They can prove to be extremely useful in less frequently used spaces such as conference rooms where energy leaks may go on for hours before being noticed.
Introduce renewable energy
Up until recently, green energy sources like the sun were sorely underexploited due to the high cost of the required equipment. The tides are turning though and, for example, solar systems from manufacturers like Skylight Energy can provide significant savings to your company budget and increase the value of your commercial property. But even more importantly, by introducing renewable energy, you will reduce your business’s reliance on fossil fuels, make your brand more attractive and protect the business from future energy price spikes.
Encourage green commuting
One way to do this is to install bike racks and incentivize this kind of transport. Your employees will get an opportunity to be more active and reduce the impact they create while driving to work every morning. Another option is to encourage the use of public transport with monthly passes. Finally, you can always establish a commuting service within the company and hire a vehicle to pick up your workers each morning.
Introduce sustainable culture to all levels of the company
Sustainability can be achieved in numerous ways. You have to set an example your employees can follow in as many areas as possible. So, buy perishable products in bulks and large packages to reduce waste, label different trash cans for different types of garbage, replace plastic items with reusable glasses, mugs and silverware, donate obsolete electronics… The options are endless. You can even form an employee committee to suggest new ways in which the sustainability of the company can be improved.
Support other green businesses
The fight for sustainability is a fight where every contribution, no matter how small it may be, counts. Therefore, you shouldn’t stop at making changes within the company premises, but also do your best to encourage this behavior past the gates. One of the best ways to do this is to support other businesses trying to push the green agenda. Encourage employees to order food from local organic suppliers, order business cards from eco-friendly printers and use every opportunity to elevate those who share your values.
These seven ways to make your business more eco-friendly are only a starting point. How far you will eventually go depends entirely on you. Keep this in mind, though. Probably for the first time since the Middle Ages, our children are in danger of inheriting a world worse than the one their parents had. Let’s do our best to preserve it for the future generations.