5 Ways Your Business Can Help the Environment
1. Use only energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs)
Just as at home, it’s important for offices to use highly efficient lights like CFLs wherever and whenever possible. The design of a lighting system can also make a big difference. Systems that sense when offices are empty and turn the lights off or take advantage of sunny days and dim interior lights accordingly can reduce energy consumption and spending on energy.
2. Use Energy-Efficient Equipment
Whether it is computers and copy machines or industrial equipment and tools, using the most energy-efficient equipment makes sense for both companies and the climate. Using less energy means that companies have more money to invest in staff, equipment, and other uses. Visit the Energy Star website for more information.
3. Build Green Buildings
Upgrading old buildings and making sure new ones are designed with efficiency in mind can make a big difference in energy consumption. Efficient windows and other construction materials, coupled with innovative climate control and power generation systems, can reap benefits that ensure low energy costs for the life of the building and a healthier climate for everyone.
4. Encourage Smart Transport
Companies have two ways to help lower the carbon footprint of work-related transportation. First, they can make sure that they purchase hybrids or other efficient vehicles for their corporate fleets. Second, they can help their employees get to work in a more climate-friendly way by encouraging carpooling and offering vouchers for those who choose to take public transportation.
5. Go Carbon Neutral
Companies can become leaders in the fight against global warming by going the extra mile and pledging to make their operations carbon neutral. Many major multinationals have already taken this step, and more are pledging to do so each day. Get your company to go carbon neutral today!
10 Practical Green Ideas for Businesses
- Make two-sided printing and copying standard practice in your office. (Set your printer properties or copier to duplex printing.)
- Use the back sides of printed sheets and outdated letterhead for notes and drafts; use in the fax and/or the printer.
- Send office memos and messages via voice or e-mail, or post one copy at a central bulletin board.
- Select products with the least amount of packaging and/or with easily recyclable packaging.
- Purchase reusable rather than disposable office items, such as refillable pens, erasable white boards and wall calendars.
- Eliminate disposables by using permanent wares in lunch and break rooms and using refillable containers of sugar, salt and pepper to avoid individual condiment packets.
- Reuse everything you can — such as packaging (e.g. bubble wrap, cardboard boxes and Styrofoam blocks) or find someone who can.
- Use cloth towels or an air hand dryer in bathrooms.
- Donate or exchange unwanted but usable items to schools, churches, hospitals, libraries, museums, nonprofit organizations and teacher resource organizations rather than disposing of them.
- Purchase products made from recycled materials. Office paper, folders, envelopes, pencils, pens, tissues, boxes, bags, furniture, carpet and recycling containers are just a few products that can be sourced from entirely recycled materials.