How to Reduce Your Company’s Environmental Impact
June 30, 2018 by Susan Brooks
Saving the environment – this is an increasingly important issue for companies and their customers. To address these concerns, many businesses are taking a second look at their practices to find ways to become more environmentally friendly. There are a number of reasons for that. Some business leaders are concerned about their company’s global impact and want to find ways to make it a positive impact. Other companies look to environmental issues as a way to reduce their costs or attract new customers. Regardless of the reasons you are looking to make your company more environmentally-friendly, there are many ways to make that happen.
We all rely on electricity to keep our computer systems running and other electronics working. At the same time, electricity is a huge issue with regards to the environment. Years ago, many places switched to cleaner ways to generate electricity in order to reduce the environmental impact. It is important to realise, however, that even cleaner sources of energy have their own environmental costs. The best bet is to try to reduce your company’s energy consumption so that less electricity is used overall.
Energy-efficient light bulbs are a great way to start reducing your company’s use of electricity. Adding timers to lights can keep them from being left on when areas aren’t in use and it avoids having to rely on employees remembering to turn lights off manually. Motion sensors can be used to turn lights on in areas where added security is important. Make sure copiers and other major electronics go into an energy-saving sleep mode at night or are turned off.
Look to see if your company could add solar panels to generate electricity. If your business relies on hot water during the day, switching to a solar-powered water heating system can provide a considerable energy reduction. If washing linens or towels is necessary, use washers and dryers that are more energy-efficient and use less water per load.
Heating and transportation can have a huge impact on the environment. Use delivery services to consolidate the shipment of supplies and products to and from your business. If small deliveries are key to your business, consider if you can switch from a large delivery van to a smaller enclosed vehicle or even a motorcycle, depending on the type of items that need to be transported.
Make sure your business has an energy-efficient heating system. Look at adding fans or other ventilation to move warm or cool air around the building. This can reduce the use of air conditioning and heating systems. Ceiling fans can make rooms comfortable without turning up the air conditioning. Ensure that windows are energy-efficient and there is adequate insulation and sealing throughout your building.
Encourage employees to recycle paper by providing convenient recycling bins and shredders. Build a corporate culture that avoids unnecessary use of paper. Meeting materials can be emailed to participants rather than printed and handed out at the meeting. Provide printers than can easily print on both sides of the paper to reduce paper use.
Donate & Reuse
Realise that many materials can be put to other use. Donate unused prepared food to charities that distribute food to those in need. Broken or otherwise unwanted pallets can be donated for use in building and craft projects. Reuse packing materials for the next shipment and work with your supplier and customers to reduce the need for disposable packing materials. Shipping on pallet, for example, can dramatically reduce shipping costs while eliminating the need for large amounts of wasteful packing materials.
Keep in mind that each of these steps may sound minor but the collected impact can be significant for both your bottom line and for the planet.