There are many ways to describe the steps taken to reduce the negative impacts on the environment. Sometimes it is called being eco-friendly or going green. Whatever you call it, taking such steps and making a commitment to reducing your business environmental footprint can be a good thing for everyone. If you are not sure what you can do to be an eco-friendlier business, then here are three main areas to focus on.
Eliminating waste of all kinds can have a big impact. Simple steps, such as recycling, can do a lot, but you can also try to implement systems that help reduce waste. Many large companies have started taking steps to lower the amount of paper being used in their business. This is made easier with the many technological options available. Much of what was once done on paper can now be done on computers, making it easier to save on paper waste. When paper is still needed, though, you can try other methods. For example, buy recycled paper products.
You can also encourage better habits within the company by encouraging employees to waste less. Provide them with company cups that are reusable for coffee, water or whatever they are drinking instead of having paper or foam cups. Set up recycling bins to make it simple to recycle. Dispose of electronics properly and consider recycling them whenever possible. Do what you can to encourage less waste and make it easier on employees to comply.
Use Renewable Energy
Depending on the size of your business and the industry you are in, you may be able to convert to different renewable energy sources. Some companies have installed solar panels to reduce their reliance on electricity. Wind turbines are also popular for reducing reliance on traditional energy. The Small Business Association offers links to various sources that provide great information about how you can invest in renewable energy and put it to work for your business.
If you are a high energy use business, you may be able to completely overhaul your operations to reduce your energy reliance. This not only helps to conserve energy resources but it will also save you a lot of money, so it is well worth taking the time to research your options.
Adopt New Business Practices
There is a range of ways you can go green by just changing policies and procedures within your business. You can begin with making sweeping changes in how you do business. Make sure you are compliant with all federal and state regulations. Many of these are aimed at being more environmentally friendly.
Also, look for ways to do things more efficiently. Consider changing operations so less energy and time is wasted. Eliminate wasteful and unnecessary processes. Just because something has always been done one way does not mean that it is the only way it can be done. Look for ways to change how you do things that would reduce waste and energy reliance. A good example would be meetings. If you have offices all over the country or the world, you likely need to have employees travel a lot to meet up in different locations to hold important meetings. Technology now allows you to meet without being in the same physical location. You can still hold the same meetings with everyone participating just without anyone having to travel.
Implement new policies for employees or start incentive programs to encourage them to be eco-friendly. For example, help set up an employee carpool. Also, provide workers with information about why it is important to go green. Letting them know why you are making changes will help them feel more comfortable with what is happening and encourage them to be open to the changes.
You should also set an example as a company. The Cadiz Water Project is a great example of how a business shows through its actions how to be eco-friendlier. This conservation, recovery and storage project is working to find a way to capture new water supplies in California where water is a precious commodity. You can do the same in your company. Find a cause or create your own project to support that helps the community and the world.
It can be tough in the beginning to make changes and move towards being a more environmentally friendly business. However, in the long run, it is beneficial in many ways. Not only are you doing your part to reduce your impact on the environment but you are setting a good example. People in the community and your own employees are going to be encouraged by your actions to change their own ways and start being more mindful of their own impact on the environment. Not to mention that many of the changes you will make will help your business to run more efficiently, reducing waste of time and money.