Whether you have a small cafe or head up a large corporate office, being eco-friendly is a long-term strategy that will end up benefiting your business. The reason for this is simply down to the cost savings as well as your reputation with your customers.
In fact, a staggering 90% of consumers stated that they were willing to switch brands for the more eco-friendly option. Granted, individual efforts to recycle and be more energy-efficient can certainly make an impact on the environment. But, the fact is that it will take contributions from a variety of corporates to actually make an impact.
With this in mind, we thought we would look at how you can make your business more eco-friendly.
Reduce Single-Use Items
There are thousands of items around an office that are made for single use that you can swap out for eco-friendly alternatives.
Look at your corporate gifts, for example. Low-impact, eco friendly corporate gifts are a great way to maintain good relationships with clients and employees while being conscious of the environment. Look for items that are:
- Sustainably sourced and produced;
- High quality.
Consider things such as an eco journal, succulent boxes, an organic hemp yoga mat, and a reusable portable eco-friendly grill, or look for a variety of other alternatives.
Reduce Your Water Usage
There are a number of ways that you can reduce wastewater in the workplace. It really comes down to taking a step back and understanding where the biggest users are and installing a water-conscious mindset among employees.
Have a look at these problem spots:
- Install automatic meter reading (AMR) devices. They monitor consumption volumes and patterns and in the long run, enable quick detection of abnormal usage;
- Look for the “obvious contributors” to high demand. These could be irrigation systems, cooling towers, hot water cylinders, leaks, and toilets;
- Ensure that automated irrigation systems are not over-irrigating. Use smart technology to monitor weather patterns and change the schedule accordingly;
- Reduce the running time of cooling and ventilation systems. They are more helpful when the buildings are actually occupied;
- Install high-efficiency toilets;
- Raise awareness in workplaces and promote sustainable water usage.
If COVID-19 showed us anything, it was that most companies can allow their employees to work remotely. This has indicated an increase in employee engagement and has proven to be more sustainable for companies.
Not only does this reduce overhead costs and the costs that come with running offices, but it also reduces the commute to work.
Research has shown that the average commuting time in the UK is 1 hour and 38 minutes. Most of this is actually spent in a car or bus. The average petrol car in the UK produces around 180g of CO2 per kilometer, so this all adds up, especially with millions of employees coming to work. In the US, the situation is even worse. Not only are the commutes longer, but there are larger vehicles and fewer public transport options in most regions. This equals an average of 404g of CO2 produced per mile.
Implement Recycling and Composting Measures
It is a good idea to place recycling bins and composting bins throughout your company. Incentivize your employees and customers to participate in your company’s eco-friendly practices.
Having clearly marked recycling bins for plastics, glass, cupboards, and paper is a great way to keep your company highly sustainable.
Compostables are items that break down into compost, which can then be used to improve the health of the soil. So, encourage your employees to discard food in this way.
You can recycle old electronics, as well as empty toner and ink cartridges. Just remember though, that these products don’t go into the recycling bin with other plastics. Instead, they can be returned back to the manufacturer for proper disposal.
Lower Your Overall Energy Costs
There are a number of ways your business can reduce its energy usage should you need to be at your place of work. These include:
- Investing in energy-efficient appliances;
- Replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs;
- Installing timers on lights;
- Regularly cleaning and replacing air filters;
- Unplugging electronics at night.
By taking these small steps, you can become more energy efficient. Your business can also save money and reduce your carbon footprint in the process.
The Bottom Line
Take a step back and re-examine all of your processes and operations. Ascertain what are the biggest energy wasters and start investing in eco-technology. Although it may seem expensive to start changing things up, you will see that in the long run, it is worth it and the ROI is incredibly high.