#green initiatives#corporate responsibility#environmentally friendly#profitability#reputation

Work towards becoming a 'green' business

|Apr 15|magazine10 min read

Working towards having green initiatives at your own company should always be a priority for a business. It makes a lot of sense, both financially and reputation wise. Green programs tend to reduce energy cost and waste while appealing to the millions of people (and potential customers) who believe companies need to be accountable for their impact on the earth.

There are several things that need to be considered while building and implementing your business’s green initiatives, but here are a few things to consider while researching and when your initiatives get off the ground and applied.

Consider: Will the green changes impact your revenue stream?

As a whole, green initiatives are designed (for the good of the environment, yes, but also...) to save your company another type of green – money. LED and CFL light bulbs last longer than incandescent, cutting the amount of paper your company buys by going digital and solar energy are just a few ways to both help the environment and save money.

Reconsider a green initiative if it is going to cost your company more than you think it is worth. At the end of the day, you still have a business that needs to make a certain amount of money to remain operational to please shareholders. Understand the legislation in your area as well – there are often tax breaks for environmentally friendly plans (and extra taxes like the carbon tax on things detrimental to the earth).

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Also, plan to introduce these changes to your business one at a time. This way, if part of the plan becomes too expensive, it’s easy to find where to plug the leak. Also, incrementally incorporating these plans into your workplace allow your employees to get used to them gradually, and will be easier on the company’s wallet.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

A phrase known since primary school, “reduce, reuse and recycle” definitely has a place in the workplace. Reducing paper waste – not just printouts from the computer, but paper plates as well – is a great place to start. Move towards digitally storing information (if your company hasn’t already), and buy regular dishware for your employees. Another easy way to reduce cost and impact on the environment is by considering your company’s energy usage. Invest in energy efficient appliances, or just make sure all the lights are turned out when the last person goes home.

The ‘reuse’ portion can be a bit tricky, but can yield great results. Have a designated area for scrap paper, and have employees write notes on scrap instead of sticky notes or notebooks. Buy a battery charger to combat battery waste. When equipment or hardware is outdated or your looking to remodel your office, donate what you can.

Recycling has become a common part of life for many – make sure there are several recycling bins placed around the office. Offer to collect dead batteries and outdated tech and make sure it gets recycled properly.

Always consider your green reputation

As mentioned earlier, most people like a company that is doing what it can to lessen its negative impact on the environment. Businesses are urged to self-report on their green initiatives, so that when potential buyers and partners are researching your company, all of the information is laid out for them in a sustainability report.

Self reporting is a great place to start, but independent accreditations are an absolute must if you want to be considered a leader in the green field. Independent third parties will provide an unbiased report on your business’s true green capabilities, and prove you to be a trustworthy source to your consumer