Changing business practices to make them more environmentally sound is the big trend of the moment. Embracing sustainable, renewable energy sources is crucial in helping our planet fight against climate change and global warming – but as well as that, more and more businesses are finding that going green is a great way to save money. Not only do businesses have a duty to reduce carbon footprints, but by adopting some fresh, green policies they could be saving themselves thousands per year. Here are some great ideas to turn a profit while you turn your business green!
Reducing the amount of paper we use is not a new concept – but more and more offices have gone fully paperless. In a modern world of email communication, digital presentations and electronic invoicing, the need to print out every last piece of information has been effectively eliminated. The cost of supplying even a modestly sized office with enough printer or copier paper, ink or toner per year can run into the thousands, whilst the environmental impact is colossal – not only does the paper industry contribute to deforestation, but it also requires enormous amounts of water to produce even a single sheet of A4. Even if you don’t go fully paper-free, there are myriad ways to reduce the amount of paper that gets needlessly used on a day to day basis, helping sustain our forests and water supplies for generations of the future. So think before you print!
A major priority in the efforts to turn the tide against climate change is the search for alternative energy sources that don’t deplete non-renewable materials or burn polluting fossil fuels. These methods and technologies are becoming more widespread, with solar panels appearing on the roofs of our houses, and wind farms becoming a regular feature of the modern landscape. As well as solar and wind power, more and more businesses are investing in the future by harnessing tidal energy, hydropower electricity (using falling or flowing water to generate electricity), and geothermal energy, which utilizes fluids sourced underground to power steam turbines and generate electricity. As mentioned above, these are investments for the future – so installing a safe and energy-specific system is a must – for example, specific control valves must be used appropriately for different energy sources. But as the world heads towards reliance on sustainable, green power for our homes and businesses, it’s an investment that is sure to pay dividends.
All great changes come from small individual actions. Greener business practice is no different, so employee education and access to information are both crucial steps to making your office more environmentally friendly, as well as saving money on those electricity bills. Nothing is too simple or small – even reminders to switch off lights and fully shut down computers, rather than leaving them on standby all make a difference, and will make a difference to your energy usage (and yearly outgoings). Too hot in the summer? Eschew expensive and power-thirsty air conditioning and open the windows. Too cold in the winter? Try to use the heating more sparingly (if your business is in a really cold climate then this probably isn’t an option) – but remind your employees that donning a sweater or jumper isn’t just a way for the business to save money, but a way for them to do their bit for the environment.
Reduce utility costs
This is especially appropriate if your business is housed one of those large, purpose-built commercial buildings, which are usually built without green ideas in mind. Changing light fittings to low energy bulbs is a perfect example of a very small change that can save huge amounts of money over time. Think outside the box when it comes to utilities throughout your workspace – the smallest change can still have a big impact, both on cost and carbon footprint.
Seek help from the professionals! Whilst you can make many adjustments to your business, an audit to check just how green (and cost-effective) you’ve become will give you fresh ideas and procedures to keep costs down and find further areas in which to make reductions.
Business leads the way in all kinds of ways, such as technology, communications, and even city planning. It’s now taking a leading role in the essential maintenance of our most precious resources – and don’t be surprised to see the costs of green solutions plummet in years to come!