The terms “eco-friendly” and “going green” are probably already familiar to you; you hear them in advertising, on product packaging, and in conversation.
The act of going green essentially describes the effort to reduce environmental impacts caused by certain actions. Common eco-friendly actions can include recycling, reducing air pollution, protecting water sources, and more. It’s important that eco-friendly efforts are made so people and animals can live healthfully and our planet can thrive and remain sustainable.
While it’s essential that we each make independent efforts to go green, it’s also important that businesses make a concerted effort to do so. Below, we’ll take a look at why eco-friendly practices should be intertwined into business, how they can benefit companies and eight easy ways companies can go green.
Why Eco-Friendly Is an Important Concept for Businesses
Businesses have the unique and critical opportunity to make concerted and impactful efforts to reduce negative environmental impacts. While businesses going green is fantastic for the environment, the act also has great benefits for the business itself.
- Cost savings resulting from energy and less material usage
- Boosted employee morale from working for a company that cares
- Improved social image due to economic improvement efforts
- A more competitive edge with consumers seeking values-driven companies to do business with
- Better preparedness for changing environmental regulations
8 Tips to Build an Eco-Friendly Business
So, how do businesses effectively become more eco-friendly? There are numerous ways to make efforts to go green, but it’s important that the right methods are incorporated for the most impact. Here are eight tips for building an eco-friendly business that is proven helpful for both companies and the environment. Take a look:
Use Energy Efficient Lighting:
Switching to LED or CFL bulbs can help reduce energy usage by 50-90% and also save an average of $3700 per every 25 light bulbs used by businesses.
Recycle everything. Don’t stop with just paper, toner, and water bottles; recycle or upcycle old computers, printers, office furniture, and more. Some office supply companies, like Office Depot, even offer a tech trade-in program where businesses can get money back for old electronics.
Not only is it easier to store, manage, and share digital documents, but going paperless can also save businesses big bucks. According to ADP and MultiBrief, businesses spend $80 per employee just on paper annually – and this figure doesn’t include printer, toner, and mailing costs.
Use Electronic Signatures:
It’s no secret that electronic signatures boost productivity, security, and compliance efforts for businesses. But in 2015, Corp Magazine reported that “U.S. businesses waste $8 billion annually just managing paper,” meaning businesses can stand to save a lot of money by switching to electronic signatures and skipping paper documents.
Switch to Green Cleaning Products:
Companies using more environmentally friendly and natural cleaning products are not only healthier for employees and good for Mother Earth, but they also generally smell better and have reduced toxic fumes.
When companies go solar for their electricity needs, it can significantly reduce their environmental footprint and save money. Solar efforts will reduce electric bills for businesses and can result in big tax breaks.
Literally Go Green:
Introducing plants and flowers into and around the office looks great and helps to naturally filter the air for employees and customers.
Encourage Eco-Friendly Transportation:
When company vehicles are used, switching to electricity helps reduce emission output and can reduce gas costs. Some companies have also introduced ridesharing programs encouraging employees to carpool by offering incentives like bonuses and time off.