In a world where pollution and climate change have become common discussion topics it’s natural to focus on finding new and effective ways to tackle these issues and protect the planet. There’s no action that’s too small or insignificant when it comes to caring for the environment. Every effort counts and we should all play our part in striving to create a greener more sustainable future.
While individual efforts are more than welcome, institutions and organizations are the ones that can make a much bigger difference in this endeavor. They have the possibility and the power to act at a larger scale and achieve greater results in time.
Businesses today should direct their attention towards taking the eco-friendly route and adopting sustainable practices. This will not only benefit the environment, but it’s also a great way to enhance a business’ reputation, leading to a higher revenue. You can call it a win-win situation.
But what can a business do to become more sustainable? Some organizations fear that it will involve bigger investments than they can handle and that can have a negative impact on their financial situation. Other businesses are simply stuck in their old ways and making the switch to more sustainable operations can seem like a daunting prospect. However, all businesses can start by making small changes to become more responsible and improve their environmental impact. Here are some simple steps to consider.
We all know that cars are major pollution contributors and most people drive their car to work daily. As a business owner, you can help reduce the CO2 emissions by encouraging your employees to carpool. It will also help them save money and it can even be considered as a form of teambuilding on the way to work. Using public transportation, biking or simply walking is even better, for those who have this option.
Alternatively, if the nature of the job allows it, some employees can even work from home and thus the necessity to commute will be completely eliminated. Other benefits such as reducing energy usage or cutting expenses for office supplies are not to be ignored either.
Reuse and repurpose
Recycling as much as possible is a must for every organization, but you can take things further and get a bit more creative with it. Have a look around your company’s premises and see how you can reduce waste by repurposing and reusing items. Just because something is broken it doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed. You don’t necessarily have to replace old pieces of furniture with new ones. Instead, use your imagination and try to repurpose and reuse the items and equipment you already have. Also, if you really have to buy something, consider purchasing second-hand furniture. You’ll save some money and care for the environment in the same time.
Improve waste management
While aiming to produce zero waste is the ideal scenario, you must be realistic about your possibilities, since in most cases producing waste can’t be avoided. However, you can learn how to manage waste smartly so your impact on the environment is significantly reduced.
Having recycling bins throughout the company is a good place to start. You must educate your employees on the importance of environmentally friendly practices and create a company culture that revolves around sustainability. Your business can also use balers and compactors to manage waste more efficiently. These are great tools that will help you recycle more, reduce costs and create a cleaner environment. Here are some examples that are popular in Denmark.
Although we are more technologized than ever, office work still relies heavily on printing. Even if there are greener alternatives, using paper every day has become some sort of habit that most companies can’t seem to let go of. Going completely paperless might not be an option just yet, but you can reduce the amount of paper your business uses by resorting to digital tools. Scanning, storing and sharing documents digitally will allow employees to access information fast and easy, without the need to use tons of paper in the process. And when you can’t do that, make it a priority to recycle waste paper.
Businesses also produce an impressive amount of electronic waste. Devices such as computers, monitors, keyboards, tablets, smartphones or printers are replaced with new ones quite often and most companies don’t dispose of them in a safe and responsible manner. Many of these items end up in landfills and are extremely harmful for the environment.
Donating the devices that still work towards charities is much better than simply throwing them away. Used electronics that are no longer functional can be sent to recycling. Many computer manufacturers have recycling programs and you can even earn money if you decide to trade in old equipment.
Use renewable energy
Energy usage is a big concern for all companies. Businesses are great energy consumers and obviously this translates into high energy bills and a negative impact on the environment. One way to tackle this issue is by closely monitoring your business’ energy consumption to reduce energy waste and use energy efficient appliances and materials for your premises.
However, the better option would be to use clean energy sources. Constant advancements in the field have made solar, wind, hydroelectric or geothermal energy much more available than it was before, so depending on your business’ budget and location, you can consider switching to green energy sources.
Focus on sustainable sourcing
If you want to become more sustainable as a business, you shouldn’t limit yourself to monitoring internal activity. What’s going on beyond the walls of your company also affects you. So, you should also pay great attention to where you source your goods and services from and make sure you only work with businesses that also embrace sustainability. It’s also a good idea to look for suppliers in your area rather than partnering up with companies that are located further away.