Green Practices are Good for Nature and for Business
Business owners who operate "green" offices do more than protect the environment -- they save money on electricity, supplies, and operations in general. And they avoid running afoul of environmental protection laws. Violation of clean air laws, pollution control laws, wastewater quality laws, and other regulations can lead to stiff penalties.
Here are a few simple measures to reduce your carbon footprint and help your bottom line.
- Go digital. Invest in printers with built-in wireless networking so several workers can access a single machine. Consider digital invoicing to save paper. Scan files for electronic storage.
- Use recycled paper for your printers and copiers. Some vendors offer recycled options for stationery, envelopes, and business cards.
- Use videoconferencing. Reduce your carbon footprint and save on travel expenses by meeting digitally instead of driving across town or flying across the country.
- Install Energy-Efficient Lighting. Use CFL or LED bulbs because they save energy, and open blinds to take advantage of natural lighting. Switch off lights you aren't using and consider investing in energy-efficient fixtures.
- Heating, air conditioning, and utilities. Lowering the thermostat by one degree produces an annual savings of 5 to 10 percent. Make sure heating and cooling equipment is properly serviced and ask your utility providers about services that cut costs. If you need to replace your HVAC unit, investigate energy-efficient options.
- Equipment and computers. Switch off office equipment when leaving at the end of the day. Consider using laptops instead of desktop towers and monitors for a dramatic energy savings. Buy Energy Star appliances whenever possible.
- Place bins in offices and workstations, near printers and copiers and in the break area to make recycling convenient for everyone. Take office equipment that you no longer use to a recycling center for proper disposal.
- Conduct an energy audit. If you own your building, you can hire a professional to conduct an energy audit and identify places where you’re losing energy without knowing it. Prime targets include gaps around doors and windows, poorly insulated walls and attics, and aging light fixtures and appliances.
Making your business “green” takes effort, so make sure you get credit for it. Mention your environmental efforts and certifications in your marketing materials and on your website.
Join our e-newsletter
Sign up for our e-newsletter to get new content each month.