With green initiatives becoming increasingly popular, many businesses are adapting to becoming more environmentally friendly. This won’t happen overnight, but helping to reduce your carbon footprint will be beneficial in the long run.
Over 50% of surveyed employees reported that the technology in their offices is outdated. Specifically, computers (83.1%) and software (70.5%) being the most common devices. When devices are old and get thrown out, they release materials like lead, cadmium, and mercury into the environment. These materials are harsh to our environment when not taken care of correctly.
Here are eight ways to make your business greener this year:
#1 Reduce Physical Waste
Office spaces are comprised of lots of physical waste—ask yourself what is essential and what is not. Doing this will provide insight into what you can recycle, throw out, or donate. Could you reduce packaging? Shred unwanted papers? Donate unused items? Look for creative ways to reduce future waste.
Using recycling bins will help paper products not end up in landfills. Placing recycling bins around the office will encourage employees to use them over throwing items in the garbage.
#2 Replace Outdated Equipment
Replacing outdated equipment with newer, energy-efficient technology will be worth it for the environment in the long run. In 2021, there were 340 million PCs recorded in the world. Older technology has a larger impact on our environment from the negative materials they release. The change in updating equipment can happen over time. It does not have to be all at once, but taking small steps to reach these goals should be made a priority.
#3 Install Energy Efficient Lights
Changing your lightbulbs to energy efficient ones will use less energy and have a longer shelf life over a regular lightbulb. Cutting down on electricity is crucial in helping the environment. Installing better quality lights would cut down energy use by 60-70%, which would save billions of dollars and reduce carbon emissions. Investing in light timers so lights automatically shut off if no one’s in the room can help with light usage.
Whether you work from home or in the office, using natural light will help conserve energy so lights are not on all day. Natural light is a great way to be greener and will cut down on how much electricity is used daily.
#4 Move to Paperless & Only Print Essentials
Moving to paperless and storing documents in a server or cloud system will reduces the physical space needed to file documents. Files can be scanned and stored digitally, making it easier to retrieve and search for items at any moment.
If you must print documents, print double-sided whenever possible to help save paper. It can be beneficial to unplug printers overnight as well, so they are not using energy when not in use.
#5 Get Your Team Involved
As a company, you should get your teams involved and talk about green initiatives. Having smaller groups get together and brainstorm ideas will allow your company to take the steps needed to accomplish those goals.
Collaboration from team members is a great approach to helping them feel like they’re part of the process. Not every business will have the same green initiatives as other businesses. Therefore, it is important to include your team in this process so you can get inside feedback on how your business can make appropriate changes.
#6 Turn Off Electronics After Hours
Whenever you are not using your computers at work or home, make sure they are turned off and/or unplugged. Turning devices into sleep mode can also help reduce the energy they are giving off when not in use.
#7 Research What Other Companies Are Doing
Research companies with green initiatives and look at their plans for helping the environment. This could be going paperless, going digital, a hybrid work schedule, or a conscious use of natural light. Learning about these initiatives gets the ball rolling and can inspire changes in your organization.
#8 Adjust Thermostats
Throughout the year, adjust your thermostat to be a couple degrees warmer/colder to help save energy when no one is in the office. This will conserve energy and regulate room temperatures as the seasons change. It may be beneficial to invest in smart thermostats that can adjust to the office habits, saving you time and energy overall.
Creating good habits now with green initiatives will better our future and the overall wellness of our environment. Take steps in your company to help reduce your carbon footprint. Every little bit will help. Use these methods to start making a difference today.