OTHER • October 19, 2016
1 minute Read
Going green can be beneficial to your small business, raising its profile among clients, customers and even potential employees. In a 2015 Nielson survey, 66 percent of respondents said they’re willing to pay more to companies that are committed to having a positive environmental impact. On top of that, energy savings can boost your profits. While you don’t have to pursue LEED Certified facilities to raise your credibility, you can take plenty of small steps to help make a difference.
Eco-friendly paper practices: Look for opportunities to reduce paper use and set computer defaults to double-sided printing while encouraging employees to keep printing to a minimum. Look for office paper products that are made with post-consumer waste. If participation in office recycling is lackluster, perhaps additional bins would help. Place them in strategic areas to make sorting and recycling easy and convenient.
Composting: Keeping coffee grounds and food waste out of the trash stream is easier than ever, even in an office setting. While some cities offer a full array of pickup services, a small business could certainly go the DIY route, provided they have ample space, a bin and a destination. Look to community or non-profit gardens as potential recipients.
Energy audit: Some utility companies offer this service for commercial customers, while others may refer you to a company. A good auditor will help you identify areas where energy is being wasted, and what can be done to reduce your usage. While many think this process often leads to expensive upgrades, it may also uncover some surprisingly cheap and no-cost ways to conserve.
Eliminate disposables: Stop providing bottled water and coffee cups, and offer a water cooler along with an ample supply of glasses and coffee mugs.
Offer green perks: Sponsor a park or a roadside clean-up day, or give employees paid time off to volunteer for an environmental cause of their choice. Also, you can remove a few cars from the morning commute with a few solutions. If your location has access to public transportation routes or bike paths, be flexible with employee arrival and departure times so they can easily make use of these options. Encourage carpooling by paying mileage to drivers, or consider allowing employees to work one day a week from home.
Finally, each business is different. Each byproduct may contain a new opportunity to reuse and recycle. With a bit of resourcefulness, you may find an opportunity to innovate in your field and your community.
Photo credit: Oakview Studios/shutterstock.com
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