Adopting sustainability in your business doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. You can actually save your business money while reducing its impact on the environment. All it takes is a few simple changes. Whether you’re a business owner or an eager employee, you can take the first steps toward business sustainability today.
From using less paper and ink, to shutting your devices down at the end of a workday, the five practices listed below can soon (with a little effort) become the norm in your office.
Use Less Paper and Ink
While reducing print costs is likely the most obvious way to green an office and save money, few businesses follow suit. Attaching documents via email or your choice of messaging apps makes it convenient to send any file type to a coworker or customer. Printing can and should be used sparingly.
Remember the days of fax messages and sending nearly everything through the mail? For any business looking to be more sustainable, those days should be long gone. Get digital with your documents and you’ll almost immediately notice the decrease in print and ink costs.
Reduce Paper and Ink Usage
Convenience might be the biggest factor in achieving sustainability in business. Employees will put recyclables in their proper containers if they’re made easily available to them. Placing recycling bins in convenient locations (hint: the lunch room) will dramatically decrease the amount of paper and plastic that gets thrown away.
The EPA estimates about three out of every four pieces of trash could be recycled. Despite that, the recycling rate hovers around 30%. With a large portion of the population working a full work week, we can assume a good portion of unnecessary trash accumulates from the business sector. This trend can be reversed with the use of recycling bins and by setting office goals.
Pull the Plug After Work
Anyone who pays the energy bills for an entire office knows just how high electricity costs can rise. Making small changes, such as plugging all your devices into one power strip, can help slash those costs. It’ll allow you to easily shut off everything at the end of the day, making the process more convenient while conserving energy overnight.
More so, computers and just about any electronic device lasts longer when it has time to rest. We all need sleep, right? This reduces the need to buy new electronics on a regular basis, increasing the lifespan of your office’s devices and creating less e-waste at the same time.
Choose Reusable Products
What’s your morning coffee routine like? Do you bring your mug and make a pot or do you grab a cup and throw in a pod? You can probably guess which route leans towards a sustainable business practice. Promoting reusable products in your office will reduce trash and the need to buy supplies. Eliminating the use of plastic bottles and cups is a good first step.
While recycling in office environments is critical, there’s less of a need for it if plastic and paper products are being used less frequently. And no matter what industry you’re in, there’s opportunities to integrate reusable products.
Rely on Like-Minded Companies
If you’re seeking to become a sustainable business, why not work with companies that are trying to do the same? Few, if any, businesses can operate without relying on others to provide services or products to support them. In the process of acquiring and ultimately working with other companies, ask about how products are made or what kind of sustainability efforts are in place.
You can also check for a list of green vendors in your area. Just about every aspect of your business can be done in a sustainable and efficient fashion. Pinpoint your weak areas and work to make necessary changes. You’ll come out on the other end with a sustainable business.
Business Sustainability Made Easy
As a recap, building a more sustainable business doesn’t have to be hard, time-consuming or prohibitively expensive. All it takes is a little effort and an emphasis on breaking old habits. Take the five practices below and improve sustainability in your business:
- Become less reliant on printers.
- Place recycling bins in the office.
- Shut down electronic devices.
- Purchase reusable products.
- Work with similar businesses.
Learn more about creating a zero waste office by clicking the image below: