In today’s world, businesses are realizing that going green can help fill their wallets with some green. Eco-friendly practices in the workplace can help reduce costly energy bills, increase productivity, and make your brand more competitive, all while helping the environment. Don’t believe me? In over 40 studies done by Economist Intelligence Unit, Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, Harvard and more, it was found that companies committed to environmental goals such as zero waste financially outperformed their competitors.
To get the most out of your resources and reduce environmentally harmful actions in your office, here are a few tips to consider:
- Rethink the Way You Drink
Get rid of paper cups and plastic water bottles in the office. By having everyone bring in their own mug and reusable water bottles, you’re cutting out the cost of unnecessary and environmentally-unfriendly products, and reducing their impact on the environment.
Nix the Keurig and stick with the traditional coffee pot. Though using K-Cups is significantly more expensive than making a pot of fresh brewed coffee (Business Insider estimates that costs of Keurig usage could be up to 5 times as much), the K-Cup market is still rapidly growing. To keep up with demand, Keurig Green Mountain upped their production from 8.3 billion K-Cups in 2013 — an amount that could circle the Earth 10.5 times— to 9.8 billion portion packs the next year. Let’s be real— we all need our coffee, however, single-use plastic K-Cups cost us and the environment far too much to use.
- Shop Smart
When buying office supplies, consider buying eco-friendly. Though they may cost more than traditional light bulbs at the register, switching to energy-efficient light bulbs is an investment that pays off. Not only do they use less energy (thus cutting down on harmful energy use and decreasing your energy bill), they last longer than your average bulb. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that LED light bulbs use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting. Pretty impressive.
Another way to reduce your energy bill and pocket some cash is buying tech products such as computers and monitors that are Energy Star certified (such as Dell’s OptiPlex desktop computer.) These products are guaranteed to have met international standards of energy efficiency. To help guide you in the buying process, checkout the Energy Star website for a full list of consumer goods that qualify.
- Recycle Your Supplies
Recycling seems like an obvious one, but did you know your business could be paid for it? Recycling toner cartridges that can be extremely toxic and would otherwise end up in landfills can often get you rewards or discounts for new cartridges at certain retailers, such as Staples. Now, who doesn’t love a good discount?
Companies, like Gazelle, incentivize businesses to recycle office supplies by purchasing used computers, phones, and other electronics. It seems like new and improved products come out everyday, and keeping up with the latest technology has a cost. Instead of throwing them out, along with your money and the earth’s well-being, let your old supplies help buy your new ones!
- Put Paper in the Past
Throw paper out (metaphorically, that is). You can almost always hear the printer hard at work in the office– the nonstop sound of copying, printing, and scanning. Unfortunately, our reliance on paper in the workplace has detrimental effects on our environment and the life-sustaining processes that trees perform.
Let’s put some numbers to the problem:
- 42% of all harvested wood worldwide goes towards producing paper and U.S.businesses alone use 12.1 trillion sheets of paper each year (The World Counts).
- U.S. companies spend a staggering $120 billion per year on paper for printed documents (The Paperless Project)
- Reduce your environmental footprint and your hefty costs on ink and paper in one swift move: by going paperless.The hundreds or even thousands of documents that are printed a day not only contribute to the chopping down of trees, but also cost you time and money. Paper processes can take up valuable time, from the hours spent organizing documents in file cabinets to the days waiting on time-sensitive contracts to be signed and scanned back.
- Cloud products such as Google docs, email, and e-signature platforms such as SignNow, can help your office seamlessly transition away from unnecessary paper processes and help maximize productivity. Along with cleaner desk spaces and less time spent sorting through countless documents, e-signature products offer an environmentally-approved solution to our paper problem. Create, send, and sign documents all while never laying a hand on a single piece of paper.
It’s true– you can save the world while saving some cash. Join the community of environmentally friendly businesses today and experience the rewards yourself by implementing some of these tips in your office.