You want your business to stand out in the crowd and to be as cost-efficient as possible. Consumers are becoming increasingly more educated and aware of the companies they choose, so make it stand out by going green. Not just a shade of green or a hint of it once in awhile; we’re talking completely green, throughout your entire business. It’s not just to be kind to the planet, although it’s certainly reason enough – an eco-friendly company saves money in every corner and grows stronger with time.
Incorporate these habits and see how it will change the way your business is operating – without costing you as much as you might think.
Green your company culture
If you want a streamlined eco-friendly thinking throughout your business, you need to incorporate your employees in the vision. Otherwise, you risk going green just for show – and consumers have a tendency to punish companies who are only in it for good advertisement. When your heart is in the right place, and you genuinely believe your company should be a part of making the world a better place, it will be easy to communicate this to the rest of the employees. Read more here for excellent tips on how to establish a culture that values sustainability.
Make it clear that you’re looking for input and ideas on how you can go green together – they’ll embrace it a lot quicker if they’re included from the start. The vision should be something you build as a team; the inputs you get on how this will benefit the consumers or your community is not just great advice, but also the cornerstone in maintaining this new, eco-friendly way of thinking. When you’ve included this vision in every part of your daily work, you’ll soon find that buddying up with other, like-minded businesses in your area has a lot of advantages to it. Find ways of making the world a bit greener together, host events, and help each other out with energy savings; and see how much the market will love you for it.
Energy savings: replace electronics
If you communicate this new vision to the public, you need to be able to demonstrate how you’re contributing. Some of these changes might be expensive, to begin with; give it a few months, and it will pay off in terms of lower energy bills. First of all, it’s necessary to replace outdated electronic appliances with new ones. Their greener counterparts will take less energy to run, and if you look for the yellow Energy Star tag to know you’re getting the friendliest deal for the environment as well as your economy.
Schedule an energy audit to seal leaks or cracks in the office; by taking care of these, you can save up to 20 % on your energy bills, according to the department of energy. A lot of these are done free of charge, too, so make sure you take advantage of this – it’s not just to save money, but every little helps, as they say.
If you have poor or frail windows in your office, they’ll contribute to a lot of heat sneaking out during the cold season, as well as cool inside air disappearing out during summer. Energy saving shutters is a good idea for this, but not always as suitable for an office environment as tinted windows. Read more about it here and consider which option works best for your business; tinted windows will also save you energy and you don’t need to install shutters in your office.
Going paperless: cloud storage and recycled paper
Those businesses who are just looking to advertise their intense shade of green and use it as a selling-point are often not quite able to incorporate this step. A paperless office means a lot of changes will have to be made and it could take some time getting used to – but again, the benefits are far too many to not jump on the wagon.
Get a cloud-based system so that all of your employees can communicate and share files easily. It will save your company travel costs, as well as printing hard copies of the documents. Everything will be preserved in the cloud, which means less electricity spent on maintaining costly server equipment. Plus, if disaster should strike in terms of a flood or fire, your valuable documents will be safely stored in the cloud. Use this detailed article on the best cloud storage solutions for small businesses, so that you can get started right away – why not, right?
When you need a hard copy of something, or if you’re not willing to go completely paperless straight away, make sure you’re using recycled paper to make it as eco-friendly as possible.
Water usage: plastic bottles and dripping taps
Start with installing a water filtration system. It will make your employees happier and eliminate those plastic bottles we keep hoarding up. Even though some of it is recycled, it’s better to limit yourself with purchasing plastic – if we all managed to do it, etc. To reduce the water usage in your company is especially important if you work in an area with drought, but you should try to cut down on it no matter where you are.
Although you can’t control how much water everyone is using in your company, you can communicate your greener vision and hope that it sinks in. Make a point out of fixing dripping taps and plumbing leaks – think about the sprinkler system too, if you have one. The more you incorporate these changes in the company culture, the quicker you’ll be able to harvest the benefits – and it’s a lot more likely that the new habits will be maintained.
It might be difficult in the beginning, but it will be even tougher to shake off once the habit is there. Many of these changes mean an entirely different mindset during your day of work, and you’ll find yourself focusing more on conserving what you have rather than continuing to contribute to the over-consumption.
When you’re able to offer the market a greener product or service, they’re often willing to pay more for it – and you can prosper in an eco-friendly environment.