Businesses have a significant impact on the environment. In 2018, the global production of paper was over 400 metric tons of paper. Statistics like this have made organizations rethink their operations and innovate greener workplace practices.
Green businesses aim to reduce their carbon footprint and create an eco-friendlier office for their workers.
Many firms are hesitant to implement eco-friendly practices because they think it is costly. However, going green will actually save you money in the long-term.
For example, you will enjoy reduced electricity bills when installing renewable energy and making maximum use of natural light. You can use the resources discussed below to make your company eco-friendlier:
1. Recycling Program
One of the easiest green practices to implement in your business is a recycling program. Offices produce a lot of paper and other recyclables like soda cans and cardboard boxes.
Other companies such as restaurants and retail stores also generate waste that can be reused or recycled. If you are unsure about where to start in creating a recycling program, you can follow the steps below:
Create a Recycling Team
Larger organizations will need a recycling team headed by a recycling coordinator. Choose someone excellent at communication and enthusiastic about recycling.
The recycling team should have members from different departments to ensure the entire company is represented. In addition, senior managers should also endorse the team to set a good example. The team members will be responsible for setting green goals for the company, educating staff, and tracking progress.
Survey the Workplace
Perform a workplace waste audit to identify the recyclable materials. To start, you can collect waste in clear bags for several days. A simple visual inspection will help you determine what is going in the trash. Subsequently, you can record the percentage of paper, cans, coffee cups, or waste in a spreadsheet.
You can then identify the items to be recycled and set targets for each material’s quantities to be recycled. Additionally, you should call your municipal waste company and ask about the materials they recycle.
Your colleagues will either make or break the recycling program. Therefore, you should start small to avoid overwhelming them. Paper products are a simple place to start, as most employees go through many of them in one day.
You can then advance to more items like ink cartridges, electronic devices, and plastic bottles as employee awareness increases.
Place Recycling Bins Around the Workplace
As with any other work project, you need to make it easy for everyone to participate. You can place a small recycling bin close to each employee’s desk as an incentive. Similarly, arrange recycling bins in common rooms as incentives to take part in the program.
Place the bins in break rooms and hallways and near vending machines, copiers, and printers. The bins should be clearly labeled to eliminate confusion.
Have the recycling team report on success and progress at company meetings. You can also create a recycling information board with all the information employees need to make the program successful. To boost morale, you can include success recycling stories in your company’s regular newsletter.
2. Digital Signage
The digital age has brought infinite opportunities to help businesses achieve environmental sustainability. One such solution is digital signage, which promises to boost your sales, reduce paper waste, and lessen perceived wait times.
This can be used in the waiting room of your business that displays wait-time signs, showcases an overview of products, or shows general information. Digital waiting room displays are beneficial in delivering a message to your clients or customers.
Digital signage is particularly suited for companies that print a lot of paper for communication. If the bulletin boards across your company are littered with posters and flyers, it may be time to transition to digital documents. Digital signage can help you make your business more sustainable thanks to benefits like:
Use Existing Hardware
You can reuse existing computer monitors and TVs when implementing digital signage. In fact, any recent TV with an HDMI port can display digital signage content.
If you are looking into digital signage to enhance internal communication, you may not need to buy new devices. Instead, you can send messages directly to employees through their PC or smartphones.
Reduce Paper Usage
Digital signage will reduce the paper use in your company and save you printing costs. Unlike traditional signage, digital signs use zero paper.
Additionally, the paper used in print marketing typically ends up in the trash and then the landfill. On the other hand, you will use the same digital screen to display various messages, including videos, images, and ads.
The paper production chain is also detrimental to the environment. Trees are cut, plastic cartridges with harmful ink are used, and discarded paper releases methane and other toxic gases. Digital signage will reduce this environmental impact and improve your social responsibility to the planet.
Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances
A common argument on digital signage is that it needs power, and many companies are rightfully concerned about their energy bills. However, most digital displays are now incredibly energy-efficient, and they will not result in bloated power bills.
When investing in digital signage screens, opt for LED screens as they use less energy than LCD alternatives. Some LED signs can adjust brightness levels to conserve energy during the day. It is also easy to recycle displays, as they have reusable materials like aluminum, gold, and copper.
3. Go Solar
One of the greatest ways to reduce your company’s energy consumption is to invest in renewable energy. In recent years, the market for solar systems has significantly matured, and you can get affordable solutions for your budget.
Additionally, solar energy promises great financial returns over a reasonably short time. Solar solutions will give you benefits that include:
Reduced Energy Costs
You can save energy costs by as much as 80% by installing a solar panel system. If you own a business, you acknowledge how hard it is to cut overhead costs. You want to give your venture everything it needs to be successful, including a consistent energy supply.
However, electricity bills can be expensive, so solar panels have become more popular for cost savings.
Tax benefits are among the best reasons for going solar. Federal and state governments support the transition towards greener energy, and they provide tax benefits for eco-friendly companies.
For example, the federal government will give a 26% rebate on your solar system’s total cost. These benefits seem to change each year and tax filing for those that are self-employed can be fairly complicated.
Do yourself a favor and consider using a tax professional or CPA unless you plan on doing extensive research on the topic.
Another exciting tax benefit is the Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery (MACRS). Under this program, you will get accelerated depreciation on the solar equipment to write it off in the first year.
Access Consistent Energy
Solar panels will provide your business with clean and consistent energy. Unlike limited natural resources like natural gas and coal, the sun is abundant and free. Solar power is also not unfavorable to the environment, and it can help your company reduce its carbon emissions.
Enhance Your Brand
The modern customer is environmentally-conscious, and they are more likely to shop from sustainable brands. Similarly, suppliers and potential employees will be more receptive when dealing with an eco-conscious brand. Solar power is also an excellent way to stand out and show your commitment to environmental sustainability.
As conversations around climate change and environmental sustainability become more mainstream, businesses are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Many companies are investing in eco-friendly office initiatives, from simple actions like taking the bike to work to larger practices like installing solar panels.
If your company does plenty of printing, you can reduce paper usage by using digital signage solutions.