Sustainable building materials or energy-efficient light bulbs often come to mind when people think of environmentally-conscious businesses. Those are certainly important, but the three Rs — reduce, reuse, recycle — span much more than how your building is held together.
Technology also holds our businesses together, leaving its own carbon footprint. With Earth Day around the corner, now is a good time to reevaluate your energy usage and establish best practices.
Reduce paper usage
The answer here is more than just use email. Paper accounts for around 35 percent of businesses’ waste streams. Adjusting paper usage is a simple way to make a big impact.
Encourage employees to refrain from printing whenever possible. Printing and the physical storage of files and databases is also draining your energy. Consult with your IT partner about converting to a cloud-based data storage system. By opting for a cloud network, you could potentially slash your paper purchases by 50% a year.
There’s a reason flex-time and telecommuting are trending in business these days. From the annual sales meeting to everyday commuters, this is another big opportunity to save.
The percentage of employers offering telecommuting has increased from 45 percent in 2012 to 56 percent in 2016, according to a 2016 Employee Benefits survey report conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management. This growing trend can work in your favor.
The physical equipment in your office could be draining your energy as well. Your technology partner can help stretch the life of your existing computing equipment. A reputable partner will evaluate your entire system and recommend energy-efficient solutions without upending your budget. You may able to consolidate some costs and gain predictability in your technology investments along the way.
Return on Investment
Your investment in Mother Earth may turn into an investment for you as well. Customers and investment or business partners increasingly look to do business with green companies.
You can double (or triple, or quadruple) your impact by working with other companies who share the same values. Examine every layer of your business to determine whether your company could utilize greener products or work with more eco-friendly suppliers.
Investors consider the measures you take to reduce your overhead, which is what reducing your carbon footprint will do. Similarly, consumers increasingly expect transparency from brands about how their products are sourced. Ethical supply chains and sustainable business practices are seriously considered before purchase by many consumers.
Yes, some measures to improve your eco-footprint may require some time and financial investment. However, the benefits for you, your business, your partners, your customers and your community will exponentially grow for years to come.
Protect Mother Earth with a pledge to reduce the carbon footprint of your SE Michigan business. Contact Dan Heimler, Sales Director at UTEC or call (734) 434-5900.