If you haven't kept to your New Year's resolutions so far this year, why not make a new promise to make your business greener in 2016. Being green doesn’t necessarily mean overhauling your entire set up, as even small changes can have a huge impact over time – and even save you money in operating costs!
Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Reduce printing
The amount of paper used by offices can be staggering. Encourage your staff to only print out necessary documents and if possible, use double-sided printing to halve the amount of paper used. In meetings instead of hand-outs use a monitor and discourage printing in colour unless essential.
If you want to go a step further, you can switch to using recycled paper made from post-consumer waste (PWC) and ensure your printer inks are biodegradable.
It seems straightforward, but so much of day-to-day waste which can be recycled ends up in the bin. Contact a local recycling company to set up collection of as many recyclable materials as possible from your office (such as paper, cardboard, plastic, drink and food cans and ink cartridges, to name a few). They will provide you with the appropriate boxes or bags and collect them regularly.
3. Save energy
Do your computers need to stay on overnight? If not, make it a company policy to switch off (not just onto standby mode) when staff finish for the day.
Next time you have the light bulbs changed swap them for LED ones – they’ll last longer and use less energy, saving you money in the long run. You can also purchase energy saving extension leads and buy eco-friendly equipment when renewing electrical items.
4. Encourage greener commuting
Driving significantly increases the carbon footprint of your staff. Encourage carpooling or the use of public transport, or even cycling and walking to work if possible. Investigate cycle and travel to work schemes as potential staff benefits to further encourage uptake, or set up “challenge weeks” where staff are encouraged to use other means of transport rather than drive in.
5. Make it part of your company ethos
If you really want to make a commitment, research greener approaches or alternatives in the way you operate your services or produce your products. Investigate the suppliers you use and ensure you only work with companies that are green themselves. A fully green approach can become a selling point of your business!