5 simple ways to improve your business's green credentials

Published by Paul Drury on 03 March 2014
in Improving efficiency, Environmental care, Washrooms, Waste management, Safety & compliance

Your business can’t get away from it: operating ethically and taking your environmental impact into account is becoming more and more important to your customers.

Consumers and businesses increasingly take into account green credentials when deciding who they will do business with, so it’s great marketing if you communicate what you’re doing about it effectively.

This is especially relevant in the business-to-business (B2B) world, where it could damage reputation to be seen dealing with an unethical company.

Of course these shouldn’t be the only reasons you act responsibly towards the environment, because ultimately, being a bit greener will benefit us all in the long run.

With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of 5 simple ways you can make your business more responsible and environmentally friendly.

1. Cut back

This is going to sound obvious, but one of the easiest ways of reducing your consumption is simply by making sure you and all your staff cut back on using energy and resources wherever you can.

Make sure a sweep is done each evening to ensure all lights are turned off and computers are shut down. Does that document or email really need to be printed, and if so, can you print on both sides?

You should also make sure that all of your electrical equipment is up to date, safe and functioning correctly by having it compliance tested. Apart from being dangerous, faulty equipment can use more energy than necessary and really bump up your bills.

Keep a record of how much energy and consumables you used before the action and then publish an update later, showing the savings made.

2. Invest in resource-saving appliances

We all know the frustration of waiting patiently as a hand dryer spews a weak breath of scalding air on to our hands that does nothing but blow the water around a bit and give us minor burns. Well, not only are those dryers highly ineffective, but they also use an obscene amount of energy in doing so.

Switching to a modern, more energy efficient dryer will not only mean you leave the bathroom with dry hands, but over time it will help you cut down on energy consumption.

The other key area of wastage in washrooms is water. Most old bathroom appliances are especially wasteful, so updating to products like water saving taps and water management systems can cut your consumption considerably.

3. Encourage green commuting

A great way to promote green thinking and reduce your business’s overall carbon footprint is by encouraging staff to think green when commuting.

One way to do this might be to set up a bike to work scheme. Schemes like this take advantage of a tax exemption that allows employers to loan cycles and equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit.

If you are unable to set up a scheme internally due to budget or resource restrictions, there are third party companies who you can partner up with in order to still reap the benefits of the scheme.

Another easy way to make your company greener is to encourage car sharing between employees. Not only is this good for the environment, but it also encourages staff to get to know each other and step out of their usual workplace social groups.

4. Implement a recycling strategy

One of the most common ways to ensure your company is making as little of an environmental impact as possible is by implementing a recycling scheme. The most important thing is to have lots of clearly visible recycling bins around the workplace and in any break rooms etc.

You should also make sure that all your staff are educated in what can and can’t be recycled, and what the benefits are for both your business and the environment.

5. Get your staff on board and involved

In order for your swanky new green strategy to work, you’re going to have to get everyone involved. Make sure that staff have lots of resources available to them, showing the advantages of acting in an ethical way.

Be sure to collect and publish the results of all your energy-saving and recycling efforts, so that staff can see what they are doing is making a difference. Perhaps even consider incentivising certain areas of your green strategy, offering the most energy conscious team a small prize each month, for example.

Finally, encourage staff to come up with their own ideas for being more green, and make sure that they are given the resource, praise and recognition they deserve for them.

Do all this and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a more ethical, communal and overall greener workplace that others will want to do business with.

by Paul Drury in Improving efficiency, Environmental care, Washrooms, Waste management, Safety & compliance