Climate change is real, and understanding its devastating effects can be challenging, but the truth is that we cannot keep denying it. Luckily, there is a growing number of conscious consumers and businesses, that care, are taking action, and demanding accountability.
Running a sustainable business, one that cares for our environment, can help you differentiate from the competition, attract customers who care about the environment, engage valuable employees, and even reduce costs. Going green helps the planet and your business, and managing waste, water, and energy are core components of sustainability. You can commit to doing business in a better way and see the positive impact you can make.
We have identified a series of initiatives you could implement right away with minimum to no additional cost. They are simple actions that you can enforce in your company that will generate immediate positive results with minimum effort.
Therefore, if you want to be proactive and start acting responsibly, try the following:
Switch to renewable energy: Call your energy supplier and switch to renewable energy. You will be surprised to note that in most cases, renewable energy is less expensive.
Install only energy-efficient light bulbs: Consider CFL, halogen, or LED bulbs. Typically they use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescents, saving you money.
Charge appliances overnight: The cost of the energy is less expensive at night, so you will immediately generate savings.
Be mindful of your energy waste: Avoid cooling or heating in unused areas, and keep windows and doors closed when running any HVAC. This is common sense, but you will be surprised by how many people don’t really pay attention to this little detail.
Adopt a zero-plastic policy: Aim to eliminate the plastics that your business doesn’t need. Encourage the use of personal water bottles, mugs, and single-use utensils; and make sure the plastics you continue using are reusable, recyclable, and compostable.
Aim to print less and use both sides of printed papers: Encourage printing only what is really necessary. Today, we barely need documents in print, even important documents can be signed electronically with apps like DocuSign. For printed papers, try using both sides. You can use blank sides as notepads.
Commit seriously to reuse and recycle: Encourage the reuse of any item that can have a “second life”. If you have a sophisticated operation with important trash, you can hire a waste professional to help you draft a plan on how to properly manage your waste responsibly.
Engage in composting: Food scraps are resources and not waste because they can turn into rich nutrients for our soil. Sadly, most people still throw food away with the regular trash. Food thrown in our landfills takes three times more time to decompose. Therefore, composting is the most practical and sustainable way to handle food scraps.
Enroll in paperless billings from utilities and suppliers: You will automatically save on filing time and costs of unnecessary office supplies.
Engage in online bill pays: You will save on office supplies and stamping costs.
Limit the time faucets are open to the absolute minimum: To avoid unnecessary consumption of water, educate your workforce on the importance of water caring behaviors.
Buy used furniture: Giving items a “second life” is one of the most eco-friendly practices your business can engage in. Consider buying used furniture at estate sales or commercial auctions as a way to save on costs and promote circularity.
Buy Carbon offsets: Carbon offsets represent credits that you buy in order to net your carbon emissions. These “credits” help fund projects aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the globe.
In addition to committing to some or all the practices above, to validate and promote your commitment to sustainability you could also seek certifications that endorse and ratify your actions. There are many certifications to choose from. Contact us and we can help you find the one that is right for your business.
Regardless of whether or not you seek certification, remember that the most important thing is that you commit to being more mindful of our natural resources and carbon footprint. Try to inspire a collaborative environment and focus on progress, not perfection.