Chances are, you and your family are already doing your bit to help the environment. No doubt you separate your rubbish into the right boxes, and maybe you have even decided to take the plunge and buy an electric or hybrid car.
But what happens when you leave the family home in the morning and arrive at the office? For large companies in the public spotlight, carbon footprint reduction and sustainability programmes are all the rage. But just like recycling at home isn’t just for large families, so sustainable processes and policies are not just for big business.
In making yours a greener business, you reduce your impact on the environment, as well as your operating costs, while at the same time, enhancing your brand image in the eyes of customers and other stakeholders. There really is no downside to going green.
Have a green vision
To do anything effectively in business, you need to have a clear strategy in place. This should cover every aspect of the business, wherever either energy or materials are used. Get the plan in place, and it will form the underlying basis of everything that follows. It also provides clarity to the workforce, so don’t be secretive about it. Allow everyone to contribute, and ensure the strategy is made available to every employee. You can also share it with clients – a growing number of businesses require their suppliers to have a sustainability strategy in place, so the very act of creating the plan can have a positive impact on sales.
Use less energy
It sounds simple if you say it quickly enough, and using less energy is core to reducing your carbon footprint. Go through every process in your operation, consider the energy it uses and assess ways to reduce it. In manufacturing, this might mean upgrading equipment, while in an office setting, look to upgrade your lighting – LED hut provides some compelling options when it comes to LEDs, which last longer and use far less energy than old-fashioned lights.
Whatever sort of business you operate, you will be producing a certain amount of waste. Make it everyone’s responsibility to reduce what goes into landfill, and be ambitious with your targets. From waste paper and drinks cans to printer cartridges and dead batteries, you will be amazed at the amount of waste that can be recycled if you only make a little effort, just like you do at home.
Two wheels good, four wheels bad
A great way to really make your company’s green credentials stand out is by pushing the boundaries of your strategy beyond the four walls of the office. Offer incentives for staff members to go green in their commuting habits. This might be by setting up a carpooling scheme, which will also save them money, or offering bicycle purchase loans. Getting people onto two wheels will also improve fitness within the workforce, which can only ever be a good thing for both the staff members and the business itself.