Businesses that are "going green" are
becoming more and more commonplace. Regardless of your
political beliefs or opinions regarding the "global
warming" concept, few can argue that being environmentally
aware will leave the world a better place. Whether a
company is simply jumping on the green bandwagon, or
are honestly sensitive about environmental issues is
really irrelevant. Consumers like green businesses,
and shaping your business to promote being "eco-friendly"
makes sense from a public relations standpoint.
Not surprisingly, many businesses that
have taken the steps to "go green" are also discovering
that going green often saves them another kind of green
(as in the "money" kind of green). For example, consider
hotels that are allowed by long-term guests to only
launder sheets and towels every other day rather than
every single day. The hotel is presenting an environmentally-friendly
face, while at the same time saving money on their bottom
line. They save in both staff time and cleaning materials
by laundering less frequently, and all while presenting
an environmentally-concerned image for their company.
There are a number of steps that almost
any business can take to become more environmentally-friendly.
Here are just a few...
Power Management & Conservation
Encourage energy conservation throughout
the company. Be sure that offices are equipped with
energy-efficient light bulbs, and purchase equipment
and supplies that conserve power. Encourage staff to
turn off lights and equipment in offices and conference
rooms when they are not in use.
Cut travel costs by using virtual conferencing
tools. When feasible, allow employees to telecommute
(work from home) on certain days or a number of days
per week. Statistics show that employees who telecommute
are actually more productive, and work longer hours
than those who commute to an office each day. Telecommuting
can also reduce a company's "carbon footprint". A carbon
footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide and
other greenhouse gasses your choices create.
Printing & Recycling
Encourage your staff to recycle. Provide
recycling bins for soda and drink containers. Encourage
staff to use the back side of old printed materials
for notes and scratch paper. Use double-sided printing
for reports, and use a digital infrastructure that allows
documents to be transferred digitally to reduce printing
Corporate motives can be questioned, but
it really doesn't matter whether a company truly cares
about the planet, or if they are "going green" simply
for a cost savings.... because no matter what the motives,
at the end of the day green businesses will help leave
the planet a healthier place for future generations.
When you go camping, the rule is to always
leave the campsite in better shape than you found it.
The same could be said for the environment, and what
a legacy for a generation to leave. Rarely does a business
go green as a result of social consciousness, but that
does not diminish the fact that being green can also
generate green (money). Take tangible steps to make
your company more environmentally-friendly.