Modern businesses have a duty to manage their environmental impact. In fact, the Millennial generation— the world’s leading consumer group— expects it. Many countries have introduced legislation surrounding sustainable practices and proper waste management.
Taking a sustainable approach to business also helps protect valuable resources and cut costs. Here are six ways businesses can make the world a little greener.
Conduct an Energy Audit
One of the best ways to highlight potential improvement points is to conduct an energy audit. There are various non-profits and government programs that will conduct an energy audit free of charge. If a free audit isn’t an option, the potential for savings is well worth the investment.
Energy audits highlight areas of improvement, showcasing what processes are taking up the most energy, where heat is escaping through drafts, and valuable opportunities for eco-friendly swaps. Companies can use this audit to set improvement goals and measure the results over time.
Use Online Tools
If 2020 has taught the world anything, it’s that many companies do fine without paper. Implementing online tools will dramatically reduce paper and ink consumption, as well as the power used to print and transmit. If you can send a fax online and use a cloud storage filing system, you can keep your team connected from anywhere.
Using online tools also helps streamline practices and communications. In addition to protecting the environment, this shift can help cut costs by improving productivity.
Streamline the Supply Chain
There’s always room for improvement when considering how products get from point A to point B. Like the other areas for improvement, streamlining the supply chain also offers tremendous financial benefits for companies, cutting costs while reducing the carbon footprint.
The main goal of streamlining the supply chain is to minimize the total miles traveled. This lofty goal can be accomplished by bulk shipping or ordering to maximize the space used during a shipment.
Consumers have become increasingly aware of packaging waste and the implications for the environment. Amazon has faced plenty of backlash over recent years for its inefficient packaging practices. While it’s important to maintain your product’s integrity during shipping, it’s also essential to mitigate the impact on the environment.
Consider how sustainable your packaging truly is, both in regards to shipping material and product wrapping. Opt for recycled materials whenever possible, and use packaging that fits the product. Materials that can be repurposed or recycled are also helpful when trying to protect the environment.
Create Flexible Scheduling
Another lesson learned from the chaos of 2020 is that companies don’t need a big office with all employees working from 9-5. There are numerous benefits to implementing flexible scheduling.
First and foremost, it reduces the need for high-consumption overhead costs. Secondly, it reduces transmissions during commutes, particularly during rush hour periods when cars idle in traffic. Finally, it boosts employee engagement and reduces turnover.
Implement Smart Technology
Finally, embrace the use of smart technology in your business. Using timed lighting, programmable thermostats, low-flow toilets and faucets, and Energy Star appliances will do wonders for your overall consumption.
It’s also important to consider phantom energy consumption in an office setting. Computers and coffee machines sitting in idle mode still use electricity, even when they aren’t in use. Implementing smart energy control can help reduce phantom consumption, ensuring your business is only using electricity when needed.
With these six adjustments, you can do your part to protect the environment and give back to the world you call home.