Making your business more eco-friendly does not only preserve the planet. It is also crucial to achieving your company’s bottom line. Going green helps you save money and attract more customers. Thanks to the compounding environmental crisis and increased knowledge of climate change and its impact, customers are now using their wallets to vote green. If you are wondering how to make your small business more eco-friendly, here are seven strategies to help you get started.
Practice mindful procurement
An effective way to reduce your carbon footprint as a small business is by implementing green procurement. This entails sourcing goods and services produced, packaged, and supplied in the most eco-conscious manner possible.
Be sure to set up your company’s procurement policy that advocates your business’ ideals, including conserving water and energy, reducing greenhouse carbon emissions, investing in renewable energy sources, and minimizing waste. You should then search for local suppliers who abide by your procurement policies. Prioritize supplies that:
- Have been sourced or manufactured sustainably
- Can be reused or repaired
- Do not have additional packaging
- Are biodegradable or can be recycled
- Have multiple eco-friendly substitutes
- Products that do not contain toxic compounds, such as powder coatings. A powder coating helps you add a finish to your office’s surfaces. Since a powder coating resin uses an electric charge to adhere to parts, it eliminates the need for solvents, which often contain VOCs, a toxic chemical to the environment.
Reduce energy expenses
Businesses in the United States spend over $60 billion on electricity expenses. This means investing in energy-efficient strategies to lower your utility bills and minimize your business’ carbon footprint is crucial. Here are a few ways your business can reduce its energy consumption:
Clean and change your air filters regularly
Your business’ air conditioning system is fitted with air filters that trap dirt and dust, improving indoor air quality. Over time, the dirt and dust accumulate in the filters, blocking them. This makes the air conditioner strain to maintain ideal temperatures, leading to more energy consumption and carbon emissions, so you should clean and change the filters regularly.
Replace incandescent and fluorescent bulbs with LEDs
Ensuring natural light floods your office through windows and doors is an excellent way to cut your business’s energy consumption. However, if natural light is not a viable option for your company, you should swap the incandescent bulbs with LEDs. LEDs last longer and consume 25% to 30% less energy than fluorescent or incandescent light bulbs.
Unplug appliances when not in use
Even when you have powered off your office’s electricity at night, the appliances keep drawing power. This is because the electronics go into standby mode and continue pulling energy. This could result in an additional 10% of your energy expenses, so you should ascertain that all appliances are unplugged when not in use.
Activate power management systems
Save up to $15 annually for every computer by activating the power management system on your office’s computers and laptops. The power management system keeps your devices on a minimized-power mode after a specific period of inactivity, minimizing emissions and energy costs. To deactivate the power management system, you simply touch the device’s key to wake it.
Reducing water usage is an excellent way to safeguard natural resources and save money in the long run. You could start by identifying and fixing faucets and plumbing leaks to conserve water. Water leaks can waste over 10,000 gallons of water annually. You could also invest in push taps and dual toilets for your office bathrooms to minimize water wastage. Installing water butts can also help you harvest rainwater for office use. Be sure to consult a plumbing expert if you are unsure of the changes you could make to your company to lower your water footprint.
Set up a remote work environment
Thanks to advancements in technology, there is less need for your employees to be in a traditional office to complete tasks. More people are venturing into remote work, providing flexible work-life while reducing commutes. This enables your business to conserve the environment because fewer cars will be on the road, resulting in reduced carbon monoxide emissions into the atmosphere. Creating a work-from-home climate also leads to more cost savings as the company will rent less office space and reduce heating, lighting, and stocking expenses.
Encourage cycling or walking to work
If working from home is not an ideal option due to the nature of your business, you could encourage your staff to opt for environment-friendly transport options such as walking, running, or cycling to work. This will reduce reliance on vehicles, enabling you to lower carbon emissions. Alternatively, you could offer your employees public transport commuter benefits. Using vanpools, trains, and buses, instead of private cars can help reduce greenhouse carbon emissions and preserve the environment.
Recycling is one of the most significant ways to make your business more environmentally friendly. Whether you run a warehouse or work in a traditional office, among other workspace types, you often produce a lot of waste, so you should consider creating a recycling program to eliminate waste instead of directing the unwanted products to a landfill.
To create an effective recycling program, start by identifying the type of waste you often generate. Recycle drink bottles, paper products, and cardboard packaging, to mention a few. You could also donate old company equipment, computers, and accessories to charitable organizations for refurbishing.
With offices in the United States using more than 12.1 trillion sheets every year, going paperless is an excellent way to protect the trees while saving costs. You could consider switching to paperless or online billing to reduce paper waste. Online billing can also increase your physical storage. Be sure to swap printing and paper with fillable PDF forms, virtual ordering, and online sign-offs to make your business more eco-friendly.
Incorporating eco-friendly practices into your business is crucial to combating the current climate crisis. It also helps you stand out from the competition and appeal to an increasingly eco-conscious customer base. Be sure to lower your energy expenses, practice mindful procurement, conserve water, encourage remote working and cycling to the office, go paperless, and prioritize recycling to make your business more eco-friendly.