Environmental campaigners were once on the fringes of everyday society and culture, but now green issues have made the mainstream, and are very much a concern of everyone in both domestic and business spheres. How sustainable and eco-friendly your business is can influence consumers’ decisions as to whether they do business with you, and so it is a topic that should be addressed – not just for environmental reasons but for financial reasons too. Here are 3 ways to make your company more environmentally friendly.
The first step is to undertake a green audit. You need to review your procurement policy and understand how green your suppliers are. It requires you to commit some time to research who and how you buy your office supplies – this is not only for the products that you may sell but includes everything from paper for the photocopier machine, to the pens that you have in the stationery cupboard, the chemicals that are used to clean your business, and the coffee that you have to fuel your employees.
Choose more local suppliers who commit to carbon neutral delivery methods, have reduced packaging and use less toxic and harmful substances in their products.
- Take Advantage of Technology
Most businesses rely on computers and technology to deliver the products or services that they offer to consumers, so make sure that you yours to its full potential. It feels counterintuitive to use energy zapping technology to be greener, but by being savvy, you can be more environmentally friendly.
If you have not yet migrated to the cloud to provide your business’s software solutions, you should start to think about it seriously. Cloud-based solutions provide a flexible way of working and collaborating, reducing the requirement for multiple copies – either hard or digital – from being needed. You are being more efficient from the outset. You can also use a cloud access security broker to control the level of data access that people have so that rather than having multiple networks, just one is needed which also increases your ability to keep your data secure.
The cloud allows for colleagues to work remotely so that their commute is no longer a necessity, but also use video conferencing to diminish the need for traveling to business meetings. Technology also leads you to the very real possibility of being a paperless office, and this should be something that you aim for.
- Address the Convenience Culture
The problem with running a business to be more efficient in terms of productivity is that it encourages the need for convenience goods. To help the environment the convenience culture needs to be addressed – coffee on the go, take out lunches, etc. You need to change the office culture from the top down. Encourage employees to bring their own lunch from home by providing a pleasant space for them to relax in. Rather than having multiple packets of condiments in the office kitchen, provide a larger communal option, and replace the coffee machine that uses non-recyclable single-serving pods with a large tin.
Once you have taken steps to become a more environmentally friendly organization, don’t forget to publicize the fact! Your green credentials will appeal to customers and employees alike, and can influence your workplace culture positively.