When it comes to environmental issues, the green matter grew up to be more than a marketing slogan: it’s a must. And despite the hard work and education, going green makes things easier and profitable for everyone: the producer, the customers and – what’s most important, the environment.
It might still be a work in progress and the path to gaining credibility as eco-friendly might be long, but at the end of the day the green business is good business. So we gathered some of the most important guidelines you need to follow when planning to refresh and rethink your business according to the new green guidelines.
1. Go Paperless
This is the first and easiest step of all. There are a million reasons we can think of when it comes to the uselessness of printed paper. It’s time to move to digital documents and start making your office documents easy to store and find whenever you want by taking advantage of data recall features and network features, making for a simple and useful way to access them, saving lots of storage space and human hours. So try printing only when necessary, and when you do so, try using energy saving features, printer eco-mode (if it has one) and resources saving software (such as GreenPrint or EcoPrint2).
Stepping into the digital trend also offers better and safer payment methods to customers, billers and suppliers, offering a greater feeling of security to both sides, consolidating this way stronger relationships with your clients.
Planning company events and everyone is invited? Then why not send e-vites? Since nowadays everyone is using smartphones, they will all receive them in an instant… no more lost invitations and poor excuses. It’s fashionable, simple and it’s also green.
2. Recycle the Materials You Use
It’s impossible to avoid all paper use. But when you have to use it, the wisest thing to do is to recycle it: so place small bins in every office or, if you lack the space, in strategic places (the copy room, meeting offices) to encourage your employees to recycle. And it also applies to other materials such as plastic, glass or metals. As important is supporting the re-usage of the binders, envelopes and refillable pens – basically most of the office supplies we usually waste during the day.
What’s also encouraging in this matter is that most of the technological equipment already have recycling programs where they keep a living circuit for their products, ensuring this way that the loses are small and the negative environmental impact of the unused or out of date products is minimum.
3. Turn the Lights Off
Saving energy doesn’t mean working in the dark, it means using it responsibly. So start redecorating your interior workspace to give it a boost of light through simple things like bright colored paint and desk position, using as much as possible the free and healthy natural lightning.
Turn off the lights when you leave the room and when you don’t need them, and replace them with CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs to save energy and protect the environment. And shut down your electronics when you’re gone… it saves a lot of energy and it only takes a few seconds to turn them on and off, and as you know, the world isn’t shutting down with your computer.
4. Optimize Your Energy Use
Since digital documents are taking over, it’s time to ditch your fax machine and consider using fax-modems that allow your documents to be sent directly from the computer, without requiring a printed copy. It’s easier to fax everything you want to your computer and back, saving energy, supplies and the costs for maintaining a fax machine.
It’s also important to know that flat screen displays consume only about one-third the energy of CRT monitors, so consider replacing your media equipments with newer ones, especially since you can turn them in for special deals at many of the specialized stores. It might look like a huge investment, but in time you’ll save energy and money.
5. Choose a Green Supplier
When going green, the small things are as important as the bigger ones. In order to make a statement as a committed green business, find out who the local area’s green suppliers are and start purchasing eco-friendly cleaning and maintaining alternatives, investigate your options and give the green business more wight. This way, not only you will stay in touch with other companies with same interests, but you will also be kept posted with the various updates in the green matter.
And don’t be afraid to use recycled supplies (as the recycled paper) or reconditioned office equipment. They are definitely as good as the new ones and they usually come with the advantage of having way more attractive prices and offers. So you will not only help reintegrating the used equipment but also you will bring this to your benefit and save some money.
6. The Advantage of Green Marketing
And letting people know about your green business is easier than ever with today’s media possibilities: from e-mail marketing campaigns to imaginative online advertising and frequent posts on social media websites, everyone will see your business flourishing from day one.
So forget about piles of printed flyers, useless mail advertising and all the wasted resources and money. Go green on marketing and you will see the results of your environmental efforts by gaining your clients’ trust and consideration as a green company.
7. Educate for the Future
When you decide to get serious about going green, hiring a sustainability director for handling and coordinating your company’s green efforts might turn out to be a smart idea, tracking the green projects you’re interested in and establishing the connections in the most worthy green groups to develop and sustain your business.
What’s also important is educating your employees in the green spirit: encourage them to bring plants at the office, to provide a more pure and oxygenated air at the workplace, ask them to use mugs and glass dishes to avoid the waste of disposable dishes – and indirectly, waste of money.
And of course, don’t forget to establish a recycling system that speaks on everyone’s language: place recycle bins in each office and in strategic places, to encourage your employees to practice what you preach.
In the end…
And at the end of the day what is really important about going green is that the decisions you make will be the starting point for a cleaner and safer environment and the future projects on the green issue will make your business’s small steps matter.
So after reading this article, if you have more ideas or you already successfully greened your business, please feel free to share them with us in our comments section below.