Whether you believe the environment is experiencing severe damage or you stand more on the side of the Earth having cycles, we all want to do our parts to keep the world clean for future generations. If you’ve been thinking 2021 would be a great time for your company to go green, you’re probably right.
Toluna completed a survey of 1,000 American consumers to figure out how important sustainability is to the average U.S. citizen. It found 37% of respondents were willing to pay as much as 5% more for eco-friendly products.
How to make your company green looks different for various industries. Here are some of the things you can do, no matter how tight your budget, that allows you to embrace an environmentally friendly model.
1. Recycle Everything
Look at all the waste you produce as a business and find ways to recycle. Many local communities now have recycling bins. Talk to your town trustees to see if you can work with any systems they already have in place. If that isn’t available, call your trash collection company and see if it offers any recycling services and what the process is.
Reducing your waste is one of the easiest places to start when going green. Stop printing paper for every little thing and go digital. When you must print something, recycle it or reuse it for another purpose, such as shredding and using it for packing materials.
2. Create a Green Fleet
Between 1990 and 2017, trucking industry emissions rose 89.5% and created about 436.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. Going green with your fleet reduces your company’s carbon footprint.
Start with simple changes, such as asking drivers to turn their trucks off rather than letting them idle. You can also plan more efficient routes, which saves on fuel use and makes your entire fleet more efficient. Be sure to check tire inflation regularly and keep the oil clean.
As your brand can afford, add elements such as telematics to track trucks via GPS and utilize diagnostics to fix minor issues as they occur.
3. Conduct an Energy Audit
Many local power companies offer free or inexpensive energy audits. Contact your local provider and see what’s available. It will go through all your appliances and energy usage and offer suggestions for reducing your pull on the system.
Ask for both short-term and long-term solutions. For example, installing lights that shut off in the bathrooms and only turn on when they sense motion saves energy consumption. You can also set your thermostats to adjust when people leave the building and before they arrive for optimal comfort.
Look into ways to use renewable energy sources, such as adding solar landscape lights or panels.
4. Embrace the Local Environment
Do you have land around your office building? Designate an area as a natural habitat and create a small pond with plants to attract local wildlife. You could also start a small community garden for your employees to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Growing food yourself also cuts down on carbon emissions because items aren’t being shipped in from other areas.
5. Protect Precious Resources
When people think about going green, they sometimes overlook the importance of water conservation. Water is a limited resource, with some areas of the country in drought. Fortunately, there are many ways you can be more conscious of how you use it.
Invest in automatic sensors in the bathroom to avoid water being left on for too long. Set out rain barrels and use what you collect in your community garden and landscaping.
Companies such as Procter & Gamble offer a good example of how to positively influence the environment. For example, it takes water from HVAC systems in Saudi Arabia and reuses it for irrigation and to top off water tanks.
6. Encourage Creative Solutions
Involve your employees in the effort to create a more eco-conscious company. Ask them to share their ideas for preserving energy, and let them take the wheel on actions such as ride-sharing.
Some other things you can do that help your workers reduce their carbon footprints are letting them work remotely at least part of the time and encouraging job-sharing efforts. Rather than jetting across the country for a meeting, reward them for creative gatherings via Zoom and other digital sources.
Your employees have their own skills and passions. If one person loves nature, let them organize a small bird sanctuary. If another cares about ensuring roadside trash is picked up, let a team of workers spend part of their day beautifying the local community.
Others may want to educate school-age children about conservation or start a rooftop retreat. Give them the power to run with their ideas, and your company culture will become one that’s focused on green efforts.
Is Going Green Good for Business?
About one-third of consumers pay more for green-friendly products. Other people look for companies sharing their philosophy of leaving the world a little better than you found it. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to create an environmentally-focused business.
All it takes is a little concerted effort and small changes to make your company eco-friendly. Showing others you care about the planet will positively impact other businesses in the area and make yours stand out as a leader.
About the Guest Author
Lexie is a digital nomad and web designer. She enjoys hiking with her goldendoodle and baking chocolate chip cookies. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.