With environmental concerns creeping into the minds of people around the world more and more each day, the climate is calling on active leaders to guide a serious push toward sustainability. On a planet with a population of approximately seven billion, it’s impossible to make any legitimate progress without bold leadership. The green movement has begun to trickle down through American business models, as brave people across the nation have latched on to the cause in an effort to please Mother Nature.
Like seemingly everything else in 2013, the options are limitless when it comes to how companies are implementing green thinking in actual operations. Creativity is also proving to be rampant, as business decision makers are finding ways to go green while also benefiting their enterprise in other ways. Below I list key ideas that can help a company initiate sustainable action in the modern economy.
1. Utilize technology
There are so many technologically sound alternatives to traditional practices in our society right now that business leaders should have no trouble executing this transition. Energy efficiency is becoming a staple of design, whether it involves a battery operated car or a more practical furnace. There are many ways that an executive can think green, including but not limited to the following:
- If there are company cars, go hybrid. They are even looking more stylish nowadays.
- Install energy efficient light bulbs. The impact only grows with the size of physical workspace, and this lighting will pay itself off in long term energy costs.
- Take advantage of web conferences rather than flying or driving to meetings. Not only will this save substantial amounts of capital, it cuts down on unnecessary travel.
With all of the struggles environmentally, our society still continues to make progress on the technology front. If you are a decision maker in a business, it’s imperative to consider ways that technology can help you advance your presence in the green movement, while potentially saving money at the same time. Many of these investments have high substantial cost, but an even higher return on investment.
2. Present green thinking through employees
Within any business, particularly a large one, employees are a major contributor to the operation’s environmental footprint. Each thrown away coffee cup, to-go container or plastic fork is multiplied by the number of people using the item. With a little imagination it’s easy to see what impact a single large business could have environmentally. A couple ways to initiate sustainable change in a business through employees are:
- Launch a strict recycling program. Employees will work amongst it, and it will make a profound impact overall. Not to mention, the crusade could potentially extend into the employees’ homes in other ways if they really get on the bandwagon. Landfills are filling up at rapid rates, and it’s safe to say that with the number of businesses in this country we can do more to help the cause.
- Make your promotional items reusable. This is a big opportunity in 2013, because companies are always giving away promotional gifts to employees. Even if your traditional options are still part of your plan, consider something reusable like personalized cooler bags. Hundreds or even thousands of employees coming to work with paper or plastic lunch sacks is not tolerable in modern society. There is simply too much at stake when physical waste is concerned, and reusable items don’t lack practicality. Additionally, your brand will get more visibility and impressions when your employees are carrying their imprinted cooler bags outside of the office. There’s nothing like environmental thinking when it comes with additional perks.
Businesses have an opportunity to seize the moment right now. The selling point is that leadership can get a return on investment for actively implementing green thinking in their business. Part of the struggle over the last years with regards to sustainable business has been that it wasn’t financially viable. There are more options now than ever before to help businesses act upon ideas for a brighter future, both environmentally and economically.