Sustainability is more than just a trend. It’s necessary to safeguard the global environmental and economic future. Many business owners balk at the idea of “going green” due to cost concerns. Those entrepreneurs are surprised to learn that sustainability can be good for business. Here are six simple hacks that any business owner can use to make their company more sustainable.
- Go Paperless
Paper waste constitutes a massive problem for the environment and ledgers. Digital technology can alleviate much of this problem. Cumbersome paper records can be largely replaced by USB drives and encrypted discs. Project management tools can allow virtual file-sharing and meetings. Cloud-based technologies like DCIM software and trained algorithms can indeed be energy-intensive. Still, virtualizing some office infrastructure will cut down on supply costs and serve to minimize waste.
- Incorporate Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is getting simpler and cheaper as time goes on. This truth applies especially to photovoltaic technology. The cost of solar installation has dropped to an average of $15,000 and $25,000 for a typical residential project. Additionally, there is a raft of federal, state, and local incentives available to both individuals and businesses to help offset installation costs. Your adoption of solar power doesn’t even have to be this comprehensive. Many devices come with integrated solar panels. Renewable energy is a long-term investment, but it’s one that’s all but guaranteed to pay for itself.
- Purchase Efficient Infrastructure
Infrastructure is another long-term investment. Make the most of that investment by choosing appliances and interior design schemes that optimize sustainability. The government’s EnergyStar program acts as a clearinghouse for energy-efficient equipment. Another good option is to incorporate biophilic design principles into your office spaces. Biophilia is the incorporation of nature into human structures. An example of this is daylighting. Using natural light in offices boosts productivity and slashes energy costs. Have an energy audit performed to find out exactly where energy loss is occurring. The savings can be enormous.
- Drive Green
It’s not uncommon for companies to amass sizable vehicle fleets. With gas prices high, the cost of company transportation can drain a budget quickly. Switching over to electric vehicles can be prohibitively expensive. Thankfully, a few simple tricks can increase your gas mileage. Lowering the mass of a vehicle, shutting off the engine instead of idling, and slowing the average speed can make all the difference in terms of fuel efficiency. Make these hacks official policy for all of your company’s drivers.
- Upcycle Obsolete Tech
A powerful and easy sustainability hack is upcycling. Upcycling takes recycling a step further. Upcycling is the process of refurbishing old items into new ones. For example, old office furniture could be made into art and resold. Former inventory boxes can be transformed into storage units for office supplies. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Search online for upcycling inspiration and learn what trash you might be able to turn into treasure.
- Make Sustainability Your Vision
A purely top-down approach to sustainability rarely achieves results. If everyone isn’t on the same page, changes won’t achieve lasting success. This truth makes having a shared vision necessary to keep the company sustainable. Systemic change is the key to making this happen. Make sustainability a shared responsibility. Instituting a company-wide recycling program is a worthwhile start.
A reputation for environmental responsibility can also improve your company’s reputation among consumers. Research shows that consumers are increasingly demanding commitments to environmental responsibility. A survey done by McKinsey & Co. revealed that 66% of the U.S. public considers sustainability when purchasing. The number rose to 75% among millennials. Bottom line: Going green isn’t just good for the world. It’s beneficial to your bottom line.
Going green doesn’t have to break the bank. Creativity is critical to making environmental responsibility pay dividends for your company. Use the power of innovation to help make the world and your company better places.