Green movements have gained impressive steam in the past several years, and while the majority of companies have made small adjustments to their operations - such as adopting recycling and investing in motion detecting lights - there are several other ways small business owners can significantly alter both their impact on the environment and the amount of money spent on daily tasks.
A rising number of businesses have introduced telecommuting as an option for their employees. This practice not only allows workers the freedom to conduct business from their own homes, but also cuts down on the cost of transportation, resources at the office and potentially even rent for the company's space. By cutting down the need for your employees to commute, you can effectively minimize your company's environmental impact, as transportation accounts for nearly 28 percent of a business' greenhouse gas emissions.
Similarly to telecommuting initiatives, several companies have opted for paperless processes, including marketing, communications and receipts. By eliminating paper in a company's work, business owners can radically reduce the amount of waste produced each year. Whether you're primarily promoting new products on digital forums - such as social media or television - or converting your store's transaction process to deliver electronic receipts, looking for ways to go paperless can save serious cents at the office.
Cut the Lights
While lights that have been left on until 5 p.m. may not seem like they're making that much of a difference on the world, this waste can add up over time, leading to increased cost and gas emissions from a business. Instead of opting for timed electronics, consider motion detectors that turn off machinery immediately upon someone's exit from the area.
One of the best ways for brands to improve their operations is by opting for local products, as opposed to industrially produced ones. For restaurants and retailers in the food business, consider searching for local farms or locally made materials. Other brands should similarly seek out these types of vendors, including small business owners in a variety of other sectors.
Measure Your Usage
This is the most important step to take both before and after choosing new initiatives for your business. In order to examine how effective your new initiatives have been in both saving energy and expenses, you must keep a watchful eye on your expenditures. This way, you can not only view tangible differences your new programs have made, but also examine other ways your company has been wasteful - and start planning how you can fix that with greener initiatives.