More companies are beginning to market themselves as green. As long as these businesses follow through with their environmentally friendly promises, they’ll reduce their carbon footprint. These changes will also likely positively affect their bottom line. Today’s customers are increasingly willing to pay more for products from companies that are socially and environmentally responsible.
Once you calculate your environmental footprint, you’ll know which areas you most need to work on, and can use the following tips to help you reduce your company’s environmental impact.
The technology we have available to us today makes it easier for business to cut down on their environmental impact by going virtual.
As opposed to printing out materials, companies can easily share documents virtually and even use a cloud service to make those documents widely available. Instead of traveling for meetings, you can hold conference calls or video meetings. This will eliminate the emissions associated with travel as well as save your company time and money.
Use Less Energy
Operating your workspace more efficiently can make a huge difference in your environmental impact and energy bills. Steps that reduce energy use can range from little changes in habits to large-scale projects.
Small changes like turning off lights when not in use or unplugging and shutting down equipment at night can have a surprisingly large impact. Instituting policies and making these actions into something fun, like a companywide energy-efficiency competition, can help make these habits stick.
If your business can afford it, an energy-efficient renovation can reduce your impact on the planet even further. You can use renewable materials in your building, design your building so that it heats and cools efficiently or even install solar panels on your building’s roof.
Encourage Greener Transportation
Commuting can have a big influence on your company’s environmental impact. To reduce this, encourage employees to travel in greener ways such as carpooling, public transportation, biking and walking.
As an incentive to encourage people to participate, you could offer special perks to those who travel more sustainably. You could provide premium spots for carpoolers, bicycle gear for employees who bike to work or discounted bus passes to encourage the use of public transportation.
We created over 41.8 million tons of e-waste, discarded electronic equipment, in 2014. This waste can be toxic, and much of it ends up sitting in landfills.
Instead of throwing away your old electronics, recycle or reuse them, and try to buy used goods whenever you can. Check if there are any recycling centers, charities or businesses in your area that accept used electronics.
When it comes time to replace old equipment, consider options besides buying brand-new tech. Try buying used or refurbished products. You could also lease, rent or trade in your old gear for something newer. This doesn’t just help the environment, it saves businesses money too.
Take a Look at Your Supply Chain
Much of your company’s environmental impact may not come directly from you, but rather from the companies you buy products, services and materials from.
Everything you purchase has an environmental impact linked with manufacture, shipping, usage and disposal. Improving the sustainability of your supply chain requires looking at the companies you purchase goods from and evaluating their environmental practices. Choosing to buy from eco-friendly businesses can reduce your carbon footprint significantly.
Do Some Good
Another way to lessen the environmental impact of your businesses is to get involved with an environmental charity, cause or event.
You could create a program that allows your employees to give to or volunteer with an environmental group through your business. Other ideas include donating part of your profits or sponsoring an event such as a charity 5K or educational presentation. Both your employees and customers will appreciate the effort you make to be environmentally conscious.
Spread the Word
Let the world know about your commitment to the environment and the actions you take to help protect it. This will help by educating people about environmental issues, and also act as positive press for your company.
Make sure to prominently display your stance on the environment on your website, and make it easy for customers to find information about the sustainability of your business. You could also share information about the environment on your social media and blog.
If your products and businesses model are green, make sure you explain that on your packaging and marketing materials. This will likely increase your sales and improve your business’ reputation. Check if your products could be eligible for green certifications to give your customers more assurance that your business is environmentally friendly.
Lots of people want to live sustainable lives. It’s difficult enough for an individual to do it, but since businesses are more complex, it can be even more difficult for them. By identifying areas in which your business could become greener, coming up with ideas to become more eco-friendly in those areas and then acting on them, you can reduce your carbon footprint as well as help your company be successful.