By Emily Miller
Making your business eco-friendly is one of the best decisions that any business owner could make, both from an ethical perspective as well as from a financial perspective. Green methods usually spend fewer resources, which means that they directly benefit your budget.
Additionally, there are likely government incentives or grants that you could qualify for if you were to go full-green. Finally, by going green, you get a huge reputation boost in the eyes of your audience. This also gives you some unique marketing opportunities. So, now that we have made ‘why’ abundantly clear, let’s focus on ‘how’ for a bit!
1. Near sourcing
Your logistical situation is one of the main culprits of your business’ carbon footprint. In order to lower it, you need to opt for near sourcing – primarily doing business with local companies. This means you may need to find local suppliers and outsource some in-house maintenance tasks to local agencies. For instance, if the cleaning crew needs to travel 2 miles to get to your headquarters, their carbon footprint will be significantly lower than if they had to travel 10 miles to get to you – a simple way to lower your business’ carbon footprint.
2. Invest in your fleet management
More efficient transportation systems spend less energy and cause less pollution. So, how do you make this better? First, you need a skilled fleet manager and decent fleet management software in order to optimize your routes and boost the fuel economy of your fleet. One of the biggest advantages of this method is that it also improves your logistical structure by quite a bit. Most importantly, it helps you save money on gas, which means that it’s an investment that pays off. A more efficient fleet system is the right call to make, both from fiscal and ethical perspectives.
3. Hire some help
Chances are that you don’t have the necessary insight in order to turn your business around by 180-degrees in terms of the environmentalism of your practices. In that case, the most effective course of action would probably be to hire an environmental consultant. This is a method that will help you reach your environmental targets with greater accuracy. It’s also a way for you to stay compliant with all sorts of government rules and regulations. If this qualifies you for a specific grant, then this is one of the eco-friendly investments with the greatest potential ROI (Return on Investment). This is definitely worth keeping in mind when doing your budget.
4. Paperless options are vital
In today’s digital world, it’s easy to email memos instead of printing and delivering them in person. On joint projects, sharing data in a digital world (via online collaboration tools or even instant messaging communication software) is also simpler and more convenient. Most importantly, it reduces the paper use of your office by quite a margin. You see, according to some surveys, an average office worker prints as many as 10,000 documents and discards around 4 million tons of paper every year. This figure alone is quite terrifying from an environmental perspective and by finding a way to avoid this misuse of resources, you would do both your budget and the planet a great service.
5. Go green wherever you can
Another key consideration is the importance of going green in your office equipment. Eco-friendly appliances will make a big difference in saving money on your power bill. Similarly, switching to LED lighting is more cost-effective than other lighting options. Other ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your day-to-day operations include implementing green hosting options – making sure your website content is hosted on greener servers which makes going paperless even more of an environmentally-friendly transition.
6. Encourage greener transportation
One final issue worth evaluating is how you can encourage more eco-friendly transportation patterns among employees. Be a low-carbon role model, from business operations to personal transportation! This is a great way to motivate staff to adopt lower-carbon commute options. When public transportation is an option, you can offer incentives for those who opt to leave their personal vehicles at home and instead take shared transit routes. You can also encourage your team to carpool. Finally, you can install bike racks at the office to promote cycling to work.
Ultimately, each of these changes can make a big difference in reducing the carbon impact of your business operations. And while individual efforts can make a difference, by transitioning your business to lower-carbon operations, you can benefit from the power of collective action through engaging and motivating your entire team.