Is Your Business Green? See More Green And Help The Environment
Business owners who run a “green” business do more than protect the environment. They save operating capital, prove their positive corporate “citizenship,” and create a brand that prospects immediately understand and respect: “This is a responsible business operated by responsible businesspeople.”
A green business runs lean, uses fewer resources, and complies with local, state and federal regulations and laws regarding the proper disposal of waste materials, and the clean and green operation of daily business activities.
How can your company shrink its corporate footprint while helping the local community stay green? There are a lot of things small business owners (SBOs) can do.
Use digital technology to green up the office and your environment. Instead of driving or flying half-way across the country to meet with a new client, use online conferencing to introduce yourself, spend less on travel, get more done in less time (boost productivity), and establish a virtual business relationship anywhere.
Instead of numerous office printers, purchase a wireless, network printer that can be used by all employees to make paper copies.
And speaking of copies, use less paper by using digital technology to collect payments at the point of sale, at the time services or products are delivered. Instead of sending out paper invoices, use a digital invoice and green up your company environment, increase cash flow by collecting payments faster, and using one sheet of paper for a receipt instead of multiple sheets, plus an envelope, a self-addressed envelope, and a statement. Less paper, more company green coming in faster.
Turn down the juice. Use compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) to light the office or factory floor. You’ll save on the electricity bill, you won’t spend as much on replacement lights, and your employees will enjoy a more natural environment within the workplace.
Call in the HVAC team. Use less energy to heat and cool your business’ space by conducting routine cleaning of all heating, ventilation, and air conditioning expenses.
Not only will these systems run more efficiently, you may see a downturn in absenteeism because employees breathe circulated, clean air instead of stale, stuffy air filled with viruses and other illness-spreading bugs. One employee, with a bad cold, can cost a business a lot of money as that cold spreads through the office through the HVAC systems.
Turn off the lights, computers, and other electricity users when not in use. If no one is in the office, why are the lights on? Your company pays for that electricity, even though the office or conference room is empty.
Purchase Energy Star office appliances. Save on electricity using an energy efficient refrigerator in the breakroom. In fact, all electrical appliances and tools should be considered from the perspective of energy use.
Recycle paper, glass, plastic and other recyclables. Place a recycling bin right next to the trash bin and recycle whenever possible to create a greener business – one that cares about the quality of the environment today and in the future.
Contact the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct an energy audit, and to discover additional means of going green on the job. The EPA offers online advice at www.epa.gov, and you can request an on-site analysis of your company’s energy use while picking up some valuable suggestions on compliance and cost-cutting.
You can also contact the EPA for a review of materials in the workplace – from asbestos to chemicals, the EPA can help run your business with greater efficiency and fewer toxins floating through the air.
Contact the Small Business Administration at www.sba.gov. The SBA is an excellent resource for accessing local and regional government agencies that can provide the information, and perhaps a loan guaranteed by the SBA, to upgrade your workplace to meet clean air and other safety standards.
Finally, advertise your company’s greenness. Prospects will understand the importance of taking extra steps to “keep it green,” and are more likely to support a business that supports our environment.
Make “green” part of your corporate statement, and train employees in best practices for the environment.
Your business uses energy, and produces waste products from manufacturing, or even sales. Use less energy, keep office systems clean and operating at peak efficiency, and tell the public that you support a healthier environment for your company, your employees, and your community.