June 14, 2021
Most of us accept that human activity is leading to potentially catastrophic damage to the environment. Whilst the challenge of avoiding the extremes of climate change and preventing the collapse of entire ecosystems may seem insurmountable, small changes we all make today matter. Adopting a green ethos will help to ensure that your business is doing its bit to become more eco-friendly.
Of course, as a business you have to think of your bottom line. Luckily, there are several cost-efficient and practical ways to implement a more eco-centric approach which you can do right now. Read on to find out more.
Renewable energy has been a real growth industry in recent years. Wind and solar farms now dot the countryside and are competing with traditional fossil fuel sources in a big way. Changing your energy supplier from one which predominantly uses fossil fuel sources to one which sources energy from renewables is one of the most powerful ways your company can make a difference.
There are many green energy companies to choose from. As well as reducing your business's carbon footprint, using these suppliers is also a cost-effective option as many of them offer cheaper tariffs. If you have the ability, you can also generate your own power by installing solar panels on your business premises.
It's not just energy where you can make a difference. Green procurement is a powerful way your business can become more eco-friendly. Your money is your most powerful weapon when it comes to green procurement.
Review your procurement policies when looking for suppliers. Source goods which have been produced sustainably and do not contain excessive packaging, can be reused/recycled, and don't contain substances which are toxic to the environment. Speak to your suppliers about where the goods are coming from and don't be afraid to switch suppliers to those who source their products more sustainably.
Businesses throw away a huge number of pens, paper goods, and other office supplies every year. Consider stocking your office with reusable supplies, such as refillable pens. These not only reduce your environmental impact but can also work out cheaper in the long run.
Appointing an office manager or member of staff to oversee the stationery cupboard and keep track of supplies can also help you keep an eye on your environmental footprint. They can also help ensure that staff understand the importance of reducing office supply wastage and encourage them to take ownership of their individual environmental impact. For a more accurate picture, carry out a waste audit, and be aware of what you can recycle.
Servers have to run all the time, which can cause a huge environmental drain. Some web hosting companies use fossil fuel energy to run their data centres. Therefore, without realising it, you could be contributing to climate change just by having a website.
Switching your website's hosting to a company that provides green hosting will provide huge environmental benefits. Green hosting ensures that at least part of the energy used to power the hosting servers comes from a renewable source. Some green web hosts generate their own power, and as this is cheaper for them, they can pass on the savings to their customers, making it more affordable for you. Your customers will also think better of you if you decide to go with a green hosting service.
Computers and accessories wear out over time. This is a simple fact of business. Rather than throwing them out, it is worth checking if a vendor offers an asset recycling program where they take or buy back old equipment. Local office supply stores may also offer e-waste recycling programs. Tax breaks and other incentives also exist for companies which donate computers to organisations that refurbish them as long as they are in decent working condition.
Does your office really need new furniture? Upcycling or refurbishing old office furniture is not only more environmentally friendly, it can also be cheaper in the long run. Make sure you recycle furniture that cannot be refurbished in this manner - much office equipment contains materials that can be easily recycled, and some which are actively harmful to the environment.
Your company may produce a lot of paper for purposed such as mailshots to customers, bills, or communication. Going paperless will save paper waste and reduce your environmental footprint significantly. Allowing customers to choose paperless options and reducing your internal paper usage by making use of email will both contribute to this reduction.
If you absolutely have to use paper for some purposes, source recycled materials and more eco-friendly envelopes from responsible suppliers.
Whilst it may not be easy going green, implementing these simple steps and making greener business decisions will make your business more eco-friendly. A more sustainable future is achievable, but it is imperative that businesses step up and lead the way in reducing the impact of human activity upon the environment.