There are big changes you can make to move your business toward a more sustainable style, but there are also small, simple changes you can make that can have a great impact over time.
In this post, I’ll be highlighting some of the most manageable ways that you can make your business more sustainable, without having to invest in new technologies or software. These six tips are accessible toany business owner, and some of them will make your employees love your company more than ever.
1. Cut down on plastic
It’s simple. Plastic is filling our landfills, and it’s toxic to our environment. Obviously, it would be great if we could cut down on plastic. But how?
First, buy your supplies in bulk. Less packaging means less plastic in your trash can.
Second, use refillable supplies (pens, pencils, stamps, etc.) when possible. Again, they produce less waste.
Third, encourage your employees to do away with plastic water bottles by getting a good water filter in a common area. You can take this a step further by buying each employee a tumbler (with a lid and straw) with your company’s logo on it. Now your employees can drink filtered water all day without having to buy and dispose of plastic water bottles.
2. Use better light bulbs
You may have already made the switch to LED bulbs in your home. Now it’s time to do it at your business. LED light bulbs may cost a little bit more, but they’re more energy efficient, and they last much longer than traditional light bulbs.
Again, this is a small, relatively inexpensive change that can make a big difference in the long run.
I’ve talked about this before, and I’m sure that I will mention it again. You probably already have a recycle bin at your office, but are your employees using it? Make sure that all of your recycling bins are clearly labeled and that they are in convenient locations. For can/bottle recycling, place the bins in breakrooms and common areas. For paper recycling, place bins near copiers and printers.
4. Printer/copier settings
Have you even gone to make a single copy and ended up with 50? Why did this happen? Because the person before you made 50 copies, and no one cleared the settings!
But did you know that you have control over when those settings will clear themselves automatically? Talk to your provider about changing the copier/printer settings so that they clear within 5 seconds after each use. This could end up saving you money (and reducing frustration) in the long run.
5. Digital memos and agendas
Long gone are the days of printed memos! In the ‘70s and ‘80s, any time there was an announcement to be made, we each received a printed memo, which went on our desk, on top of a giant stack of printed memos. Today, we have email distribution lists. Use them!
This also applies to meetings. Prior to a meeting, send out the agenda digitally rather than printing it for all attendees. And encourage employees to take meeting notes digitally rather than on paper.
6. Work-from-home programs
Allowing your employees to work from home can save you money on resources and will also cut down on fuel emissions.
Employees can be just as productive from home, sometimes even more-so. Try easing your employees into a work-from-home program where they are allowed to work from home one day per month. If it works out well, increase the number of days they can work from home.