With these five strategies, you can reduce your company’s carbon footprint in a big way.
The task of making a business more eco-friendly can seem daunting and tedious, but when you consider that many of the things that benefit the planet are also good for your bottom line, it makes the pill a bit easier to swallow. Here are five of the easiest ways to reduce your business’s carbon footprint.
Use less paper and go digital when you can
Even though it’s one of the easiest materials to recycle, paper comprises roughly 35% of our waste. By simply printing less and going digital with your documents, you can reduce the level that your company contributes to this. Here are some easy strategies to cut back on paper waste:
Instead of printing every important email, organize your inbox with labels to make them easier to locate.
Set up an external hard drive as a backup for your important documents instead of heavy boxes of paper files taking up physical space.
Digitize your documents and forms. Not only does this save paper, but using electronic signatures ensures that contracts and other documents needing signatures get back to you much more quickly.
Use a service like PayPal to send invoices; it also enables you to accept credit cards and receive payment instantly.
When printing is necessary, print double-sided and use sustainable paper.
Turn it off and pull the plug
Make it a habit to go around the office before you leave each night and turn off everything you can. Computers, printers, copiers, external hard drives, coffeemakers, microwaves, etc. Most of the time, electronics actually continue to draw power when they’re in standby mode, so don’t stop at switching it off – unplug it from the wall. And glowing monitors are a bigger power drain than most people realize, so set all the computers to “energy saver” mode during the day, which requires a shorter amount of inactivity to put them to sleep. Not only do these habits reduce your energy consumption, but also your power bill.
Enlist the help of a third-party expert
Take advantage of Environmental, Health, and Safety EHS management software to obtain the qualifications, rights, or entitlements to privileges necessary for going more eco-friendly. Consulting, training, and auditing services are often included to help enforce effective managing systems. This software can also help you spot and correct deficiencies, errors, and other weak spots and make sure that you are in compliance with OSHA, PSM, EPA, and RPM.
Start a recycling initiative
Recycling isn’t a pain when it’s just as easy as throwing something in the trash. Employees will be more likely to participate in the initiative if it’s convenient, so place recycling bins all over the office, especially in areas where recyclables commonly reside, like the break room or next to the copier. Ideally, there should be a recycling bin wherever there’s a trash can. If there’s a cafeteria or kitchen, think about adding a compost bin for food waste. You can find compost bins these days that produce very little odor and are quite compact, and employees or neighbors who enjoy gardening would appreciate the free plant food.
Freecycle is an online community where people can post things they want to get rid of, and the only rule is that everything must be free. So if you’re in need of some shelves or a desk for your office, browse through your local Freecycle before setting foot in a store. Or if it’s feasible with the size of your company, you could hold a company-wide item swap, where people bring in things they don’t want or need anymore and trade with their coworkers for things they might use. Instead of tossing it in a dumpster, donate or sell your old office equipment if it’s still usable.
Who knew being eco-friendly was so simple? With these five strategies, you can reduce your company’s carbon footprint in a big way.
Rachel Libby, the author of this article, is a PR specialist and freelance writer.
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