One of the concerns that companies around the world strive to address is reducing their negative impact on the environment without sacrificing profit. Businesses generate a lot of waste in their day-to-day operations, from discarded paper, used water, and even the carbon they indirectly emit while going on business trips.
This is the reason why many companies have invested in their own water treatment plants, solar energy systems, and other sustainable measures to reduce their environmental footprints. How about you? Is your company doing everything it can to avoid wasting resources? How can you make your workplace environment-friendly? Here are some green initiatives that can help you reduce your negative impact on the environment.
Conduct an environmental impact research.
Do your research to find out just how much energy your business is using up, your waste disposal practices, how much paper you use in a month. You can also conduct a survey to find out how many of your employees drive to work alone, commute, carpool, walk, or cycle. By doing research, you get to determine the baselines from which you can measure the progress you make when you put greening measures in place. Energy consumption, water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, paper consumption, and waste management are considered the top five environmental key performance indicators with which you can measure your environmental impact. The results of your research can also help you pinpoint priorities when it comes to making your business eco-friendly.
Start with the three R’s
Take small steps and reuse, reduce, recycle. If printing is necessary but not important for presentations, use both sides of the paper and print in draft quality. You can segregate waste and place small recycling containers at each desk or workstation. When not in use, turn off lights, water dispensers, printers, photocopiers, coffee machines, and computers. Invest in energy-saving lighting systems and purchase eco-friendly devices and energy-efficient appliances such as those with the Energy Star rating. Lighting systems with sensors and dimming controls can significantly decrease your energy consumption—as much as 80 percent—and can save you thousands of dollars in energy costs.
If you think about it, some business trips are hardly ever necessary these days thanks to the wonders of the Internet and videoconferencing. If travel is a must, consider using the least carbon-intensive mode, such as taking the train or a bus instead of a private car. Encourage staff to carpool or take public transport instead of driving alone, and you can also initiate a bike share program for employees who would like to cycle their way to work.
Track your company’s progress.
Your employees will gladly participate in your greening efforts if they see results: from three reams of paper a day, you now only use up one; your electricity bill has gone down; and their carpooling has not only lessened the amount of carbon emitted in the air, but also provided them with new friends! Post your progress on a bulletin board near the pantry to motivate your staff further.
There are many things you can do to decrease your company’s environmental impact while maintaining, and even increasing, your efficiency. Make the most of what technology offers and make sure that everyone participates for the best and greenest results.