As the environmental impact of unchecked human activity becomes harder to deny, green initiatives are becoming more commonplace (and critical). Reducing your business’ carbon footprint can help save money and the environment, all while improving employee morale and cultivating a socially responsible company culture.
Here are 9 ways your business can make a difference.
New to green? Try these quick and easy wins.
1) Unplug Your Chargers
Look, we get it – it’s convenient to leave your phone and laptop chargers plugged in. However, these devices consume phantom/standby power even when they’re not in use, and it really adds up over time. A step further would mean unplugging everything at the end of each day (monitors too!).
HACK: Not on board with rounding up all of your devices every single day? Optimize by using a power bar instead. One switch to rule them all!
2) Go Paperless
Another easy change is to give up paper in as many scenarios as possible (ease into it by switching to double-sided printing first). Opt for digital files and documents and check out cloud-based storage as a reliable, low-cost, and secure alternative.
Do you have an actual storefront? Give your customers the option to receive their receipts via email. This will help you save on costs, be greatly appreciated by your eco-conscious customers, and (most importantly) reduce your carbon footprint.
3) Watch Those Temperatures
It’s not uncommon to see office workers wearing sweaters on the hottest days of the year and short sleeves in the middle of a Canadian winter. Cranking the thermostat in either direction is definitely not the best way to combat climate change. Instead, aim to keep your office temperature comfortable. If your workplace is game, try going up (or down) another degree or two. The more moderate your thermostat use, the more energy and money you save.
Put your enviro smarts to work.
4) Buy Local
All of the energy that is used to transport products via planes, trains, trucks, and ships contributes to global warming and unhealthy air quality. Buying local helps create more economic opportunities for small businesses while also reducing environmental impact. Whether it’s food or office supplies, the less your deliveries have to travel the better.
5) Recycle Your Electronics
Throwing away old computers, phones and fax machines (remember those?) actually does a great deal of damage to the planet. Luckily, there are several better options for older electronics than sending them to the landfill.
TIP: Remove all sensitive information from your devices before recycling them.
6) Use Recycled and Recyclable Materials
If you really want to reduce your business’ impact, implement a recycling system to help you dispose of materials like paper and printer cartridges responsibly. While you’re at it, take it a step further by only repurchasing supplies that are already made from recycled materials. Choose sustainable items like bamboo pens, cardboard notebooks, and reusable water bottles or coffee mugs. Companies like Rawoffice are a great resource for eco-friendly office supplies.
You’re ready to bring the fight to climate change!
7) Try Meat-Free Mondays
Eating less meat is one way people can come together to reduce carbon emissions. But there’s also some team building benefits to an office activity like this. It not only educates on being more eco-friendly, but it’s also a way to build a positive company culture and have some fun. Staff can share meal ideas, go for veggie lunches, and laugh (or cry in supportive groups) over their meat cravings. Teamwork makes the dream work!
8) Reduce Commute Times
It’s likely that most of your employees drive or take public transportation to work nearly every day. Many businesses have set up company carpools, and offer financial incentives per mile. Others allow employees to work from home a few times a month. You can also introduce a cycle-to-work program and encourage employees with incentives for cycling a certain number of kilometers per month. The less time your employees spend in traffic, the less they will contribute to emissions, and the more productive they will be.
9) Reduce Business Travel
If you frequently travel for business, avoiding or limiting air travel whenever possible is a great way to become a greener company. Of course, sometimes flying to a destination is a necessary evil, but if it’s possible to take a bus or train for shorter trips (like Toronto-Montreal), you will find that it’s a cheaper alternative that also lets you save the environment!
If you want to go a step further, question the absolute necessity of travel. Do you really need to travel hundreds or thousands of miles for a meeting? Using virtual meeting solutions, can save your business significant amounts of time and money.
There are many ways your company can reduce its carbon footprint, and a lot of them are quite simple. Some of the options listed above may seem insignificant, but they have a cumulative effect of boosting employee morale and encouraging other businesses to follow your lead. Communicating your climate-friendly initiatives can also help you attract like-minded clientele. It’s a win for everyone – especially the planet!
Want to learn more? Check out these resources:
Did you know that REMITR also helps you save money and shrink your footprint? Say goodbye to travelling to your bank or wasting paper by filling out forms and checks. We let you make easy, FAST, stress-free payments for one very low fee. #humblebrag