With an eye on sustainability, more businesses than ever are taking steps to improve their processes, make their business more transparent, and look toward incorporating ethical sourcing and practices. Going green can be a boon for businesses in other ways, too, as it often results in lowered expenses, increased profit, and more customers than ever.
Loyal customers want to stay with businesses they have patronized for many years, and they are more likely to do so when the business takes steps to make their operations more transparent along the supply chain and adopt more ethical practices. As technology becomes more integral to business in all sectors, there are opportunities to use these technologies to help your business go green.
Find Renewable Energy Sources
The biggest consumers of energy in most offices are lights and other high-powered devices (think computers, printers, etc.). A move to renewable energy sources could help your business reduce its environmental impact. Consider switching to a renewable energy source for your business, such as solar power.
While many businesses are turned off from solar panels due to fears of extensive startup and installation expenses, the cost of installing solar panels is beginning to decrease, and many companies have found that the time to break even is not as long as imagined. For many companies, using solar panels (along with consistent maintenance) results in significant cost savings. Some data indicate that savings on electrical bills could reach as much as 80 percent after the installation of solar panels.
Reducing Emissions from Employees
Today, it is more common than ever for employees to work remotely, which can significantly reduce the environmental impact of numerous employees commuting to work in their vehicles. Businesses can encourage that trend by offering the proper support for making working from home successful.
With high-quality video chat tools available, it is easy to conduct face-to-face meetings without actually being in the same room (or even in the same country) as your coworkers or clients. These tools have come a long way in the past few years, allowing you to collaborate, share materials digitally, and get necessary work done with very few hiccups.
Take the time to utilize that software and allow flexible remote working opportunities for your employees. Even working as little as one or two days a week from home can make a significant difference in the emissions your business produces.
Eliminate Redundant Paper Use
Businesses tend to use up a lot of paper, particularly in an office setting. Take advantage of e-mail and document sharing technology to reduce or even eliminate your use of paper in the office.
Using paper in your office is expensive; the average office employee can use up to 10,000 pieces of paper in a year, the equivalent of about two cases of paper. Also, there is a considerable labor cost incurred by companies in the management of paper documents, which includes filing documents, searching for misfiled materials (and refiling them), purchasing paper, distributing paper documents, and reprinting corrected documents.
Additionally, storing printed documents can take up space in your office, with many businesses using as much as 50 percent or more of their available office space for storing and organizing documents. Those expenses can be reduced or even eliminated by switching to cloud document storage in your workplace. This allows for collaboration to happen on a completely digital level. Unlike paper, the cloud lets employees make changes to documents in real time, saving time and money. Further, good digital document management software typically offers document version control, which allows you to access previous versions of documents and manage the changes that have been made.
Switching to Cloud Services
You are not limited to using the cloud for document storage. Businesses can also source their servers from cloud-based computing, cutting down on the energy needed for keeping a server room cool and running the servers on site.
The facilities that host cloud servers are specially designed and contain highly efficient environmental management systems to help reduce the impact on the environment caused by heavy cooling systems. Using cloud-based computing systems also allows you to use only the computing power you need at a given time, offering cost reductions and increased flexibility.
Use What You Can
In the modern working world, there are more opportunities than ever to incorporate technology into your efforts to reduce the environmental impact of your business. Use the technologies that are available to you! You will help your business improve its sustainability credentials and save money at the same time.