Just because you own a small business and you are operating on a limited budget does not mean that you can’t go green.
Going green can benefit your business, reduce your carbon footprint, and also attract a new target market. If you are looking for ways to reduce your consumption, or simply looking for ways to save money in the long run, here are 4 ways that your small business can start to go green.
How to Make Your Small Business Greener
#1: Identify Waste and Attack It
When you think of waste, you should see money washing down the drain.
While you might not think that you are wasteful, chances are that you are paying for things that you are not consuming all of the time. Leaving lights on during lunch, ordering more inventory than you need, or taking several trips to an office that could have been reduced to one are all wasteful actions.
Identify the waste and find ways to stop the inefficiency so that you are using fewer resources and spending less money. Look for waste in your kitchen, reporting and paper usage, and use of electronics and energy.
Additional ways to reduce waste include:
- Reducing packaging such as single-use containers
- Reducing or eliminating bottled water in favor of glasses and other reusable containers
- Collect e-waste for recycling
#2: Greener or Zero Commutes for Work and Meetings
Did you know that one of your biggest areas of consumption is more than likely your commute to work?
When you commute, you are consuming fuel, which is a very scarce resource. Save money and reduce your carbon footprint by encouraging people in the office to bike, take the bus, or even carpool.
You will also spend quite a bit of money driving to meet with clients. If you are meeting with clients to gauge satisfaction, consider greener alternatives. Meet online whenever you can or make a phone call to reduce your impact on the environment.
Indeed, because of the COVID19 pandemic, virtual meetings have not only become mainstream, but they also protect you, staff, and clients from exposure.
You can also encourage greener commutes by providing bike racks, showers, and changing rooms for employees who choose to bike or walk to work. In fact, this option has an even bigger payoff because physically fit employees are a productive lot.
#3: Become a Part of the Cloud
Cloud technologies have completely reshaped how we conduct business. Nowadays, you can run your entire small business online, from anywhere in the world.
For instance, cloud technologies have simplified the process of storing and retrieving files.
Today, a cloud marketing tool can help to simplify business needs. If you use cloud-based technologies rather than using software backup programs, you can reduce the time you spend backing up your files and also reduce your energy consumption costs.
You can also reduce the amount of paper and printing you use by using cloud services. Keep all of your reporting, analysis, and customer feedback surveys online and in the cloud, and you’ll be helping the environment while saving money.
When you are looking for a cloud-based software system, find a system that works for you. Make sure to cover all your angles, analysis, storage, and customer satisfaction.
#4: Turn Off Your Equipment
When you leave your office, you do not need your monitors and copiers to stay on. More than 10% of your energy bill consists of powering your equipment even when it is on standby. Power your equipment down, including your PCs and copiers, to reduce your energy costs.
Turn all lights off and keep unused appliances off and unplugged when not in use.
You need to make efficiency and reduced consumption a priority when you are going green.
#5: Keep it Simple
The simpler your going-green strategy, the better in the long run in terms of adherence.
Going green is easy on paper: Turn off the lights, unplug appliances, recycle, and opt for energy-efficient devices. However, the devil is in the details. Unless you have an execution plan, your intention to go green might fizzle out soon.
Take a look around your work area. What consumables do you have and what goes to waste? Where are the recycle bins placed? It is a convenient and easily accessible place?
Sometimes, changing habits around the workplace require slight changes in the physical environment. So, audit your workplace and identify any bottlenecks to your plan to go green. You can also offer incentives to your staff to promote a more sustainable business.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for freshness and consistency.