How to Make Business Green More Than Just Talk

How to Make Business Green More Than Just Talk

Businesses may claim to have gone green, but is this just public relations and press release talk or have some really moved to the cutting edge? How many are looking at their business and seeing how green they can make their operations and employees?

Businesses often think big when they consider going green, but it’s really how their bottom line profits are affected that sets the real trend. Here are some ways they can look at making easy savings and going green at the same time.

Cut The Heat Loss

Heat loss is a major expense to business so the first place to look at saving money and expenses is to cut the heating bill. Even if you don’t own the building you work in, talk to your landlord to see if the loft or attic space is properly sealed against heat loss. There’s no point in paying heating bills just to send most of the heat above your office or production unit where it’s no use to anyone.

While you’re in the mood for cutting costs, check that all the windows are sealed properly. Heat loss through old windows and improperly sealed frames can account for 30% of your heating bill.

Check to see what fuel bills you are paying. If you’re running an expensive heating system, consider switching to greener options as they always reduce your costs. Would solar panels or bio-fuels help you lower your expenses? You’ll need to balance the extra initial expenses against future savings and see if your cash flow allows you to make major changes which might not give you pay back for a few years. And maybe your provider of business or park home insurance will give you a rebate for going green.

You can also lower your carbon footprint if you manage your air conditioning and heating use. If you can increase your air conditioning temperature by just one degree and lower your heating by one degree, you might find that employees are just as content in their working environment. In fact, most green companies are wondering if opening windows saves the money that they are spending on running air conditioning. Rather than turning up the heat during the colder months, reduce your heating bills with a personal heater instead.

Can You Go Paperless?

How paperless can you go? Did you really need to print out that last email just to show it to a colleague? Some businesses are reporting saving hundreds of reams from their stationery purchases just by reading everything on screen and stopping all paper print outs. Laws have changed to ensure that digital signatures are as legally binding as pen and paper so moving with the times shows initiative as well as cutting cost.

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With less paper around the office, more storage space becomes free. Without paper the delivery to you is lighter, costs less and uses less gas or diesel.

Just why does anyone need a fax machine these days? The cost of purchase, maintenance and consumables only rises. They’re also an energy waste. Think of the money you’ll save by removing that extra phone line or and the cash you will generate by using it instead to make extra sales.

When you cut down on paper and faxes, you can keep more in the digital cloud. Learning to archive better and having paperwork delivered by PDF saves employee time as well.

Buy Green

Buying your office products from a green supplier will automatically help green your business. This will allow you to expand your greenness without even trying.

Recycling is an easy start for most businesses and often shows the finance department where money is being wasted. This might also encourage buying locally which reduces delivery costs, often a hidden ingredient in business costs.

Green Planning

Setting out a business plan to save money long term will give your employees a better code of ethics and make them feel part of the overall company plan. You might not be able to green everything over a weekend, but putting a cost effective arrangement in place will aid better strategic planning.

One benefit of having employees actively helping your business green initiative is their feeling of being appreciated by the employer. This in turn leads to a better ethical exchange between employers and employee, causing fewer sick days, more productivity and a better company ethos.

Taking small steps, one at a time, will keep the green message growing, and will retain the customers who know that going green is the future for business.

-Izzy Woods is a guest writer for Green Home’s Blog. 

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