You want your business to go green. But what, exactly, does that mean?
We all want our homes and office spaces to be greener, that is, more environmentally friendly. However, it can be confusing to know how to do this. We all know we should be recycling, but what more should we do?
If you’re looking for sustainability ideas for your business, great choice! Green offices can improve staff morale and health, are appealing to your customers, and have positive benefits for the planet.
Read more to learn some of the best ways your business can make some easy changes that will make your office space much kinder to the environment.
Consider going paperless in your office. Paper creates so much unnecessary waste and often ends up in the trash, instead of recycling. Encourage staff to avoid printing except when needed and bring in paperless alternatives into your office.
For example, scan and save all archived documents, so they aren’t taking up storage space and use tablets and laptops for note-taking in meetings. You can also move to a cloud-based storage system, so staff can access documents from anywhere, without needing to print to read.
Work With Green Suppliers
If your business works with a lot of external suppliers, speak with your dollars by choosing to work with green suppliers.
This is a great way to support sustainable businesses and sets a strong example for staff to let them know their employer values the environment.
If you need to produce t-shirts for an event, look for a manufacturer using organic, ethically sourced materials by staff who are paid a fair wage. At events, avoid single-use plastics and use materials that can be recycled or reused.
Your workplace is probably already recycling in the kitchen and recycling paper, but you can actually recycle electronics as well.
E-waste often contains precious metals, mined from the earth, that can be reused to prevent additional mining. They can also often contain dangerous substances, like mercury. These can harm the earth if not disposed of properly.
Old computers, laptops, phones, and hard drives can all be taken to an approved e-waste recycling center, ensuring they are disposed of in a safe way.
In addition to e-waste, office furniture can also be recycled. Or, consider furnishing your office with second-hand furniture, which can both help save money and can also cut down on furniture going to landfills.
Encourage Remote Work
Commuters contribute huge amounts of emissions fumes into the atmosphere, fill their cars with fossil fuels, and pollute the environment.
If you are able, encourage your staff to work remotely. Even just one day per week of working from home can make a massive difference in cutting down on traffic. Less staff in the office can also lead to lower office costs and can improve employee retention. This is because staff enjoy the flexibility and convenience of working from home.
Managing remote teams is an effective way for staff to work collaboratively, no matter where they are. With the advantages of technology, such as video conferencing, remote working platforms, and email at our fingertips, it’s easier than ever to stay connected.
Use Green Cleaning Supplies
The products you use to clean your office kitchen, bathrooms, and workspaces every day may actually be loaded with chemicals. When buying office supplies, look for green products that are made from natural products. While these can sometimes be more expensive, the benefits to both your health and the environment make it an easy switch.
Try to purchase products that contain natural ingredients, like vinegar, essential oils, and rubbing alcohol. If you have the time, you can even make your own natural cleaning products simply.
Install Energy Efficient Lighting
Office lighting is a sustainability business idea that you may not have thought of. Lightbulbs and lights that are LED or CFL, rather than halogen, use much less energy than traditional light bulbs.
They also last much longer than traditional bulbs, so they won’t need to be changed as frequently, plus they will save on your company electricity bills since they are more energy-efficient.
You can also help by turning off lights on rooms not being used, such as boardrooms and restrooms, and also use natural light as much as possible to cut down on lighting costs.
Set Up Company Carpooling
Offices may want to set up a company carpooling system, and even offer incentives to employees who buy into the program. Carpooling cuts down on emissions, with fewer cars on the road, and can be a fun way for staff to get to know each other better. It can also help staff save time since cars with multiple occupants can often drive in the HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes.
Another way to help cut down on commuting is to encourage staff to take public transportation to work, provide secure bicycle and scooter parking, and have on-site showers for staff who walk or bike to work.
Power Your Office With Alternative Energy Sources
Alternative energy is renewable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. Traditional power often depends on fossil fuels, coal, and oil. The greenhouse gases created emitted by this power source are harming the planet.
If your office space is able, renewable power sources such as solar, hydropower, and wind can be great alternatives for providing electricity. Even better, many states offer tax benefits to businesses that use alternative energy, such as installing solar panels on your roof.
Inspired by These Sustainability Ideas?
There are so many sustainability ideas that can easily be done by small or large businesses, so nothing is stopping you from going green. Try to bring in some of the above ideas to help get your business heading in the right direction. As individuals and as businesses, we all have a responsibility to look after our planet.
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