Improving your corporate sustainability is a great business resolution to make this year. It’s easy, too: A few small changes can contribute in a big way to helping your company be more eco-friendly.
Here are three starting steps you should take:
1. Go Paperless
Reducing paper use can not only make your business more eco-friendly, but it can also increase profits and productivity. You’ll just need to invest some time and money now to reap the long-term benefits. Take it one step at a time so you don’t overwhelm your employees with a lot of changes all at once, Entrepreneur suggests.
First, get rid of the fax machine. Anything you need to fax can be scanned and emailed or faxed electronically with a digital signature. Next, scan your documents and store them digitally, making sure to have backups both on and off the cloud. (If you have a lot of documents, you can send them out to be scanned.) Finally, move time-consuming paperwork, such as employee handbooks, instruction manuals and contracts for new hires, to the digital world.
2. Focus on Your Energy Output
There are many ways for your business to “go green” as far as energy use is concerned. If you’re located in a state where electricity is deregulated, sign up for an electricity provider that has green-energy options. This won’t cost you anything, but it could save you money over time.
If that’s not an option, look into implementing a few practices that decrease your overall energy use, Environmental Leader suggests. For example, buy smart thermostats that will make sure your air conditioning and heat aren’t used when no one’s in the office. Also, verify that your insulation is in good shape, and consider installing solar panels if financially possible.
3. Cut Down on Commuting
With just a little creativity, you can turn your employees’ commute into an opportunity to be more eco-friendly. Do you have some people who live near one another? Consider incentivizing a car pool or even covering the cost of a cab ride or Uber from time to time. If your business has gone paperless, you might think about implementing a telecommute-from-home policy; this will save on fuel consumption caused by long commutes and cut down on energy use at the office. Finally, if you send employees on a lot of long-distance trips, consider teleconferences instead.
Transitioning to a more eco-friendly, sustainable business won’t just help the environment — it will help your company, too. You’ll save on electricity and printing costs over time, and many eco-friendly options, such as switching to digital paperwork, are more efficient and prone to fewer mistakes. In addition, being eco-friendly can mean great PR for your business. Once you’ve made some positive steps in terms of corporate sustainability, consider writing a press release about your goals to share ways other businesses can easily follow in your footsteps.
Stephanie Dwilson has extensive experience providing expertise on topics including health, law and marketing. She’s a science journalist published by Fox News, a marketing expert and an attorney with expertise in personal injury law. She’s also a small business expert featured by Businessweek and Millionaire Blueprints magazine and has worked as a marketing consultant for ministries and as a PR lead for one of the largest churches in America.