Going green is a movement that's caught fire across the U.S. An increasing number of businesses have started implementing eco-friendly strategies to join the growing effort to reduce carbon footprints. Even some of the country's Fortune 500 companies like Facebook, Bloomberg, and Johnson & Johnson have made efforts to satisfy the rising demand for environmental responsibility. In addition to helping the environment, companies with green initiatives also save money and look more attractive to potential business partners, clients and hires.
As a business owner, if you're wondering how to grow a small business while using renewable technology, here are a few tips for your company.
Look to business leaders and top companies
Corporate America has shown its commitment to going green. For example, according to Business Insider, Bill Gates recently announced that he will be investing in companies that are working on renewable technology initiatives. In fact, he recently doubled his investment to $2 billion over the next five years to emphasize his belief that implementing these technologies into businesses is what the environment needs to overcome climate change. Gates is investing in 45 companies that are working toward solar-chemical, high-wind and battery-storage power.
Similarly, it wasn't too long ago that the World Wild Life Fund partnered with many Fortune 500 companies to develop strategies to eliminate the obstacles they face when adopting renewable energy technology. The WWF released a set of principles that were signed by each company, such as Walmart, Sprint and other major companies. Small businesses may benefit from jumping on the bandwagon and investing in a few renewable initiatives themselves.
Reduce your carbon footprint in the office
There are multiple ways that businesses can increase their savings and play their roles in society's efforts to go green. Don't be intimidated at the thought of adopting sustainable technologies - taking the leap doesn't mean you have to invest in a wind turbine for your building. Here are a few simple ways that you can make your business more eco-friendly:
- Invest in technologies made from recyclables - Forbes noted that there are electronic companies like Dell that have committed to going green by increasing the amount of energy it uses that's derived solely from eco-friendly sources. The company also announced that it has begun relying on recycled soda bottles and other plastic material to make monitors and desktops.
- Choose solar energy IT systems - IBM offers a system that acquires energy from the sun, which it then converts to power. Not only does this increase your company's clean energy use, but at just 10 cents per kilowatt hour, you're sure to save money. The system was designed to power office machines and systems that require a significant amount of energy.
- Look for the Energy Star Label - To be sure that your company is purchasing the most eco-friendly products, check for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star rating certifications. Energy Star air conditioners, for example, have the potential to cut your energy consumption for cooling by around 20 percent, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
- Properly dispose of electronics - The EPA reported that of the 3.4 million tons of e-waste in the U.S. in 2011, only 25 percent was recycled. Researching programs that assist your company in disposing of your e-waste will lower your carbon footprint.
For more ideas on how to create a greener workplace, look to leading companies like Google to copy the practices that you can afford. Although you may not be able to make the same efforts as Fortune 500 companies, using their initiatives as guidelines will get your business started in the right direction.