There was a time when “going green” meant spending more on specialized products and investing in costly upgrades, but not anymore. These days, you can make your business more eco-friendly with a few changes that are not only easy to implement but also beneficial for your budget. Try these six practical tips for more efficient, sustainable business practices that will save you money.
1) Assess Energy Usage
Check with the power company that supplies your business to see if they offer a free energy audit. If so, take advantage of it and see what tips they can provide for reducing waste and improving energy efficiency. Some companies may also offer online tools for a do-it-yourself audit that can reveal areas where you can make changes to conserve energy and cut costs.
2) Choose Sustainable Materials
Whether furnishing your office or decorating your brick-and-mortar establishment, seek sustainable options such as refurbished furniture and renewable flooring materials. Other ways to cut back on waste include minimizing packing materials when shipping and using smaller packages for your products. Seek local sources as much as possible to reduce the amount of energy used to ship the materials you need.
3) Streamline Office Operations
Instead of having a separate copier, printer, fax machine and scanner to handle your business paperwork, consider investing in a good all-in-one system. Not only do these machines take up less space; they also draw on a single electrical outlet and require only one set of ink or toner cartridges. This saves you money on both energy and materials, especially if you print only when necessary.
4) Don’t Buy New – Unless It’s More Efficient
Pre Owned and refurbished equipment can be much cheaper than new when you’re looking to upgrade. However, it’s important to look into the energy efficiency of machines and appliances before buying. You want to make sure that the equipment will save you money not only in the purchase price but also over time. Used pieces that save energy are a win-win for your business.
5) Use a Container Exchange
Businesses that receive regular shipments of inventory and supplies wind up with a lot of empty containers. These can net you a little extra cash if you sell them through a container exchange. All that’s required is a simple registration process after which you create listings for the used containers. The exchange handles the rest from alerting you to potential buyers to handling payment processing.
6) Turn Everything Off
At the end of the day, make sure that you and your employees switch off any equipment that doesn’t need to stay running, including computers and peripherals. Lower the thermostat for the night as well. If you have machines that go to “standby” mode instead of powering down all the way, consider unplugging them to avoid excessive energy drain.
Conserving energy and seeking more sustainable options for your daily business operations is a smart way to save money while protecting the environment at the same time. The small changes you make today can have a big impact on the future of your business and the health of the planet. Get your employees on board with new, greener operations and keep lines of communication open so they can share their own ideas on how to make your business even more efficient.