With more and more emphasis being placed on the consequences our actions are having on the planet and with the introduction of electric cars along with other environmentally considerate technologies the phrase “going green” has become commonplace. It’s no different in the corporate world where companies are looking to do their part for the environment and try and keep some change in the pocket in the process.
There are a number of good ideas that can be implemented that are good for business, good for the environment and that won’t put a strain on the bank balance:
Consider swapping out those old incandescent light bulbs for newer more efficient LED bulbs. LED bulbs are up to 10x more efficient than the bulbs of the past, this means you get the same level of light for a tenth of the cost. Although they are more expensive at the outset they can last 40 to 50 years before they need replacing due to the lack of any kind of filament and the money you’re saving in energy consumption means they will pay for themselves before too long.
If there is a budget for a ‘go green’ initiative then more efficient electronics can be purchased that require less power to run, again saving money on electricity whilst reducing the amount of hazardous electronics waste that is disposed of every year which currently stands around a value of £34bn globally with a lot of those materials being recyclable but just being thrown into land fills.
Switch it Off
Although this one is obvious it can be surprising how much energy and money is wasted by leaving things on overnight. This can be overcome by introducing a ‘green jar’ if an employee leaves anything switched on at the mains overnight they must put some money in the ‘green jar’ which at the end of the month or quarter gets donated to an environmentally focused charity.
This is an easy and free way to reduce office costs and help the planet in the process.
Avoid Single-Use Plastics
300 million tonnes of plastic is produced each year and much of this plastic ends up in the ocean, damaging the environment and ocean ecosystems and sealife as a direct result. The primary culprit? Single-use plastics such as water bottles, coffee cups and food packaging. To avoid the detrimental impact of single-use plastics on ocean ecosystems and wildlife, employees should be encouraged to bring in their own reusable water bottles but also reusable coffee cups such as the market leading KeepCup. Alternativley, employers could provide ceramic cups for the consumption of hot and cold drinks within the office.
There are a few options when it comes to recycling around the office, one of the easier ones is to begin using recycled paper. It is easily attainable, there is no real difference in quality and not a great difference in price either and its good for the conscience as it helps to save water, trees and space in landfills. Keeping hold of scrap paper and reusing it is another way to get the most out of the paper supply.
The second option is to use recycled printer cartridges. If there are a decent number of printers in the office and a lot of printing going on purchasing ink/toner cartridges can become expensive. There are a large amount of rebate and incentive programs offered by printer manufacturers and office retailers that means decent savings can be made.
This is the big one that can be quite a daunting undertaking and one that can take a long time to phase in as it often involves rethinking the company's workflow. Small changes can be made relatively easily such as reviewing files/documents on screen rather than resorting to printing, requesting digital invoices from suppliers and storing digital files instead of paper files wherever possible ensuring there is an adequate backup solution in place in the event of hardware failure. Paper is responsible for a vast amount of office waste each year with nearly 70% of the paper used in UK offices going to waste. If every company could make a small effort to reduce this number, the benefit to cost-saving at the environment would be quite considerable when the average employee is estimated to use at least 10,000 sheets of paper in a year.
'Going green' doesn't have to be costly and it doesn't require a ton of effort. Simple steps can be taken that will benefit both businesses and the planet on which they operate. Everyone's a winner.
By Andrew Mairs – Marketing Executive