In today’s world, it’s important for businesses to play a positive role in looking out for our planet. After all, businesses are citizens too. Not only is it important for our world, but customers are noticing – and by standing for environmental responsibility and becoming a more eco-friendly business, you’ll attract customers who also value sustainability.
We’ve rounded up 8 basic tips to help your business become more eco-friendly.
Electronics & Appliances
Everyone uses computers, laptops, and tablets – we just need to choose the greener ones! Did you know you could get more environmentally sustainable
USB Cell rechargeable batteries!
You may also know you can get greener appliances for your home. These could be used in your workplace too! Check out this guide for eco-friendly appliances.
Recycle and Use Recycled Paper
Of course, the first tip when it comes to printing is to avoid it if possible. Do you really need to print that document, or can you make your edits or comments digitally? Must you print that brochure or could you read it online? Develop the habit of first asking whether you really need a hard copy, before printing.
100% post-consumer recycled paper is hard to find, but Planet Ark provides recommended products which include recycled paper. The Planet Ark paper is:
- FSC Certified
- Carbon Neutral
- 100% recycled paper
Buy local and close the recycling loop with this white copy paper or even better, don’t use any paper 🙂
Keep Ink & Toner Out of the Environment
Another problem with printing is the cartridges – Australia sends 34 printer cartridges to landfill every minute. Cartridges 4 Planet Ark is an innovative recycling program that provides Australians with a free and easy way to recycle.
On the RecyclingNearYou site Australians can find literally thousands of drop-off locations around the country to recycle their used printer cartridges and toner bottles.
You can drop off your used or empty laser and inkjet cartridges at all Officeworks stores and participating Australia Post, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, JB Hi-Fi, Office National and Office Products Depot outlets. Inkjet cartridges, toner cartridges and toner bottles are accepted. This includes cartridges used in printers, photocopiers and fax machines.
Switch to Eco-Friendly Cleaning Chemicals
Green cleaning products can help lessen both water and air pollution, and contribute to effectively fighting climate change and ozone depletion.
Purchase Energy Efficient Lights
Typically you can use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescents, saving you money. Energy efficient lights can last 3-25 times longer!
A couple of things to keep in mind:
- LED (light emitting diode) globes generally use the least amount of electricity
- Think lumens, not watts – they are the new measurement
- You don’t need high wattage to get a bright light
- If you have CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) light bulbs in a room that’s used frequently, change them to LEDs. Otherwise, wait for them to stop working then replace them with LEDs.
Get an Energy Audit for Your Business
An energy audit of a business is an analysis of the cost and efficiency of energy usage within a company. An energy audit looks for ways a business can minimise energy waste and make energy improvements.
In addition to savings on energy bills, lowering energy consumption can help reduce a business’s carbon footprint, making it a more environmentally responsible citizen in the industry and the community.
And for extra reading, here are 5 Things You Must Do Before You Invest In An Energy Audit
Use Eco-Friendly Transportation
We all know cars can be major polluters, particularly during peak traffic periods. Consider a few of these well-known ideas for your business:
- Walk for short trips
- Hold virtual/ online meetings instead of in-person catch-ups
- Cycle instead
- Use public transport
- Plan your journey
- Consider carpooling
- Think ahead and combine trips
- Have a local adventure (rather than venturing afar)
There are plenty of options to change the way you move. City-based businesses, especially, have some great options to choose from.
One Australian eco-transport company you have to check out is this Adelaide based company, ecocaddy. They offer an alternative mode of transport for businesses, and are able to go anywhere bikes can, so they’re an option instead of cars and taxis. You can also use them for business deliveries.
Save Time – Save Money – Spend Time Outside
In rural areas, rideshare or car-pooling provide great options for more eco-friendly travel.
Did you know that Uber offers car-pooling (currently Sydney only)? Since they work as a carpool service, they’re often a lot better for the environment.
And on another note – watch this video if you are interested in the future of eco-friendly transportation – HYPERLOOP, presented by Elon Musk, is a high-speed transport that uses train capsules transported by a vacuum tube set.
Embrace Eco-Friendly Marketing
‘Green marketing’ is typically practiced by companies that are committed to sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. While it’s important to ensure your claims are accurate and useful to consumers, communicating how your business is making a difference to the environment is a good way to differentiate from competitors. You might include environmentally-focused messaging about your products, services, or brand. Authentic content marketing is one of the ways we think inbound marketing will change in the near future.
More organisations are starting to make an effort to implement sustainable business practices as they recognise they can make their products more attractive to conscious consumers and also reduce expenses, including packaging, transportation, energy/water usage, etc. Businesses are increasingly discovering that demonstrating a high level of social responsibility can increase brand loyalty among socially conscious consumers.
An organisation that adjusts the way it does business in favour of the environment can increase its conscious consumers! But this should be seen as a positive by-product of – not the sole reason for – conducting business in a more environmentally sustainable way.