Green Practices That Might Make Financial Sense For Your Business
If you’re thinking of implementing green practices at your small business, it’s natural to want to make sure they’re cost effective. After all, the point of running your own business is to make money. Fortunately, you may not have to choose between going green and saving some green as there are many changes you can make to accomplish both. Follow these tips to help you navigate cost-effective ways to go green at your business.
The average employee uses about 10,000 pieces of paper each year, according to Business.com. Consider going paperless at your small business by saving documents digitally instead of in a file cabinet, or asking employees to send documents (like invoices or contracts) electronically. Going paperless not only helps the environment, but can help you save money on office supplies, too.
Use Environmentally-Friendly Light Bulbs
BioFriendlyPlanet.com states that lighting may be a major factor when it comes to wasted energy at businesses — and incandescent light bulbs are a big contributor. Although light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs have been around for some time, many business owners do not understand the potential cost savings when it comes to making the switch. LED bulbs use up to 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs (which can help you save on energy bills), and can last up to 25 times longer, says Energy.gov. Making the switch to LED bulbs can be a great green investment at your business, and you’ll spend less money replacing light bulbs over time.
Replace Old Equipment
By purchasing and using highly-rated pieces of office equipment, you can help save on your business’s energy bills, says Ecolonomics.org. Audit your computers and printers and, if necessary, create a plan to update these pieces. If replacing all of your old equipment at once seems like a financial burden, Ecolonomics.org suggests replacing them one at a time.
Invest in a Filtered Drinking Water System
Do you ditch the office tap water and provide bottled water to employees at your small business? That can create a lot of plastic waste that can be bad for the environment. Instead, save on bottled water costs and think about investing in a reverse-osmosis water system for your business. BioFriendlyPlanet.com states that these systems can effectively filter tap water to make it safe for consumption. Plus, you could consider gifting your employees with reusable water bottles, which are more sustainable than disposable plastic bottles.
Engage Employees in Green Practices
ENERGY STAR states that there are many ways employees can engage in green practices — so don’t overlook the opportunity to get them involved in your efforts. Ask your employees to switch their computer settings to power-saving mode when not in use, and unplug laptops or cell phones when they are fully charged. Other small ways to go green as a group include asking employees to ensure they’re not blocking vents with office supplies and requesting that the last employee in the office each day turns off the lights when they leave.
Let Customers Know About Your Green Efforts
Keep in mind that green business practices may help your company build a positive public image and potentially bring in more customers, says Business.com. Don’t overlook promoting environmentally-friendly practices on your website or social media accounts, so your customers are aware of your commitments.
You don’t have to chose between helping the environment and saving money when it comes to going green at your business. By following these tips, you can prioritize green practices that make the most sense for your business and may save some money in the long run.
Originally published on June 17, 2015.