How big is your environmental footprint? Have you given this question some serious thought? More than any other time, we are collectively turning ourselves to questions of sustainability and environmental impact. So perhaps now is the right time for business owners to set aside a moment to consider just how ‘green’ their business operation really is.
Carrying out a little self-audit today will not only benefit the environment but will also potentially trim down your business’s operating costs.
Not only will you do the planet a favor, but you’ll likely make significant cost savings with this initiative alone! So how energy-wise is your present business operation?
Consider things like turning off unnecessary lights during the day and after hours. Old habits die hard, and simply rewiring your thought processes and that of your employees by encouraging a shutdown of unnecessary lighting and power source at the end of the day will make a significant difference.
When buying new or replacement office equipment, consider the energy efficiency ratings for the product. These days an increasing number of electrical products have an energy/efficiency rating decal – generally, the more stars, the more power efficient the product is. Switching the lightbulbs for low-energy LED bulbs is also one simple but cost-effective initiative.
When leaving the office or business workplace, cast a glance over the room. How many red lights do you see? Many electrical devices are set to go into a standby or sleep mode rather than a complete shutdown when switched off. As such, they are still bleeding power. Consider switching these electrical devices off at the PowerPoint rather than leaving them in standby mode.
These days the majority of local councils provide residences and businesses with multiple waste bins to permit the sorting and disposal of trash and recyclable product. It is a good idea to do a routine check to ensure all employees are familiar with the requirements and regulations.
In larger offices and business premises, investing in a set of extra bins and receptacles to ensure accessibility for all staff members can encourage better recycling habits. Ensure all recycling bins and receptacles are well marked for easy identification.
For other waste, you might need other resources to help. For instance, you may need baling wire to properly compact your cardboard waste. Baling wire dates back to the 1800s. Also referred to as “haywire,” baling wire was originally conceived as an agricultural product for the baling of hay. With the increasing emphasis on sustainability and recycling, this age-old product finds new applications in the modern commercial world. Consider baling up your business’s cardboard, paper, and plastics waste. Longer-term savings in ongoing waste disposal costs are a potential side benefit here. A good supplier like balingwiredirect.com can provide you with the necessary wire for the baling of operating waste, so take a look today.
In addition to your recycling program, consider composting of food and green waste. A wide range of self-contained composting bins are available in sizes to suit a range of applications and can be acquired at a minimal cost.
The paperless office
With the advent of the computer, we have progressively moved away from hard copy’ technology towards a more environmentally friendly paperless regimen. Notwithstanding this, there are likely to be several further ‘tweaks’ open to the business owner to further reduce unnecessary paper use.
Are your routine utility bills still being sent to you in paper format? Electricity and gas bills, banking, and supplier invoicing – can these services be switched to electronic (‘soft copy’) format? These days most utility providers off customers the option of switching to soft copy only.
Using cloud technology for your business operations further permits a reduction in hard copy, with saving on your stationery bill in terms of paper and ink. A move to online storage technology also permits the use of web-based inter-office communication and collaboration services. Once again, the bottom line is a potential for ongoing cost saving as well as environmental benefit.
Minimizing business travel
The global COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to re-think the way in which they go about their day-to-day operations. In a vast number of cases, employees have moved to a regimen of working from home and conducting meetings and discussions via web-based platforms like Skype and Zoom conferencing.
Perhaps post-COVID, your business can operate viably with personnel operating remotely?
For those involved in sales and customer service industries, the pandemic has seen large restrictions on travel and general mobility. Similarly, businesses have compensated by utilizing the medium of web-based conferencing as opposed to traditional face-to-face negotiations.
It raises the pertinent question – how much of your business’s custom can be achieved by online conferencing? Once again, the benefits of reducing travel are twofold – we become far more environmentally friendly, and at the same time, we have the potential to significantly reduce operating costs and overheads.
As well as a program of reducing business travel, give consideration to the promotion of alternative ‘eco-friendly’ for your staff members. Can workers travel to the office by bicycle as opposed to traditional means – cars, trains or buses?
Allowing your staff this option also has additional benefits for your business. A healthy workforce invariably means a fitter workforce, with the potential for reduction of lost days due to sickness and ill-health.
For larger workplaces, or for those work environments requiring staff to travel short distances between buildings or locations, perhaps the provision of a fleet of company bicycles could be an option?
Self-audit your business regularly
Making changes to the way you go about business are relatively painless. Once established, the environmental benefits and the potential for reduction of business operating costs are significant.
Most businesses are already operating under a system calling for routine audits – health and safety, supplier and client audits, financial audits. Consider including a regular ‘green audit,’ and your business, as well as the planet, will reap the rewards.