How to Make Your Business More Environmentally-Friendly in 2020
According to a Nielsen survey, 81% of those that replied strongly believed that companies around the world need to do their part in helping the environment and becoming sustainable green companies.
This is no surprise, as both growing health and environmental concerns continue to plague all countries.
Customers are becoming more involved with the green movement and expect businesses to have the same interests. Here we introduce a collection of ways that your business can be environmentally-friendly fulfilling those expectations.
Consumers and Environmentally-Friendly Business
An important metric to look into for your business is the ESG Rating, or the Environmental, Social, and Governance measure. This is will give a clear picture of operations to both internal interest and external investment interest.
Looking at the results of this rating will give a good idea of where to start to make the best modifications to becoming a more environmentally-friendly business.
An easy place to start is at the beginning of the production line. This means understanding where you source your materials from and seeing how they produce and supply their products.
These details would include:
- Reduced amount of packaging material
- Created via sustainable means
- Not single-use items (when applicable)
- Either produced using recycled material or made of recycled material
Solar Energy Investment
Solar energy production will lower the dependence on fossil fuel and hydroelectric production. Especially helpful in areas that are heavily concerned with water levels in particular times of the year or particular weather conditions.
Implementation of solar panels in the west and southwest of the United States, for example, could have a large impact on the surrounding community during drought seasons. Keeping water from being utilized for power.
Once established this is among one the easiest sustainability ideas for a business going green.
As an added benefit many organizations are incentivizing the reduction of natural resources used by businesses and the installation of technology used for this practice. One of the largest being solar panels.
With allowing remote work, there is a collection of benefits that the business will be creating for the environment:
- Lower gasoline reliance
- Fewer Greenhouse Gas emissions
- Air pollution
- Less paper and plastic waste
- Lower energy consumption
To put the benefits in perspective, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that the average worker travels approximately 7,839 miles per year and emits 7055 pounds of Carbon Dioxide each year.
This is an average but considers taking just a handful of drivers and making them remote workers and the change is already seen.
That is just air pollution alone; energy usage is lowered by fewer workers in the office, paper, and office products are lower, gasoline purchases and fossil fuels are lower because of lower usage in the businesses
ScienceDirect shows remote workers are more motivated to conserve and make an environmental impact.
Re-Use and Donate
In all possible cases keep items away from the landfills. The majority of the times an item is being “thrown-away” it is in perfectly good condition for second-hand use or recycling.
There is an added benefit aside from the recycle and reuse of the items, most donations to non-profits and similar organizations are eligible for charitable tax write-off donations.
Keep an Eye on Electronics And Technology
A growing trend has been with cloud-based technology. This remote storage will serve business two-fold. By eliminating expensive high powered server systems the power usage in the office space will be reduced highly.
The electric consumption of these servers is incredibly high when compared to other computer systems.
Cloud-based systems will allow for remote collaboration and the reduction of print copy when sharing amongst the various departments. This serves as a reduction to the paper products.
Observe small details, as simple as lightbulb usage in the office setting. Change out standard incandescent bulbs to LED. LED bulbs are shown to last up to 20 times as long and use up considerably less energy.
On the topic of resource usage, lesser thought of items in many offices is water consumption. The smallest of details can add up over time quite quickly. Water concerns continue to grow in the United States.
It is shown that in the past decade annual losses related to water-related financial losses amount to nine billion dollars annually. This is a concern that needs to be taken very seriously.
Environmentally-friendly businesses can help fix these problems with efforts such as:
- Working with specialized irrigation and rain sensors
- High-efficiency water systems, especially for cleaning jobs
- Using low-flow toilets and aerator equipment
- Addressing leaking equipment (it adds up quickly)
It is estimated that E-Waste is one of the fasted growing waste sectors in the world at this point with approximately 48.5 tons per year being produced per year. Cutting as much out of that as possible should be part of your sustainability ideas.
Schools and non-profits are amongst the first looking for second-hand computer systems. If the office is replacing printers, systems, monitors, check the schools in the area before the dump.
Most major retailers also offer credit-based trade-in and recycle programs when upgrading the equipment in your office.
An important practice to be assured of is that your IT department does remove all secure information before processing the devices.
A Clean Business Is a Strong Business
With benefits on all sides, it is clear as to why working as environmentally-friendly as possible is worth the investment for any business, big or small, in this day and age. As the world community grows, our impact on each other and the planet does, too.
If you are having concerns with your ESG evaluations and are looking to improve them, look come read our guide on the key details that affect and aid those ratings.