There’s no need to say that concrete plays an important role in our everyday lives. After all, it’s the material that’s been used to build things like apartment blocks, schools, bridges, and many other constructions we tend to visit on daily basis. And even though concrete is used so much, very few people understand just how sustainable concrete is. That’s why we’ve decided to compile a list of 6 sustainability benefits of using concrete. Read on to find out more.
One of the best things about concrete is that it’s pretty durable. This means that all the concrete constructions are more likely to come to the end of their life because there’s no further use for them rather than concrete failing due to old age. Even then, demolition isn’t always the only option since a construction can easily be stripped down to its concrete core and rebuilt into something new.
We’ve all heard about heat islands that are constantly becoming a bigger problem for metropolitan areas. That’s where concrete comes in handy since it minimizes the effects that produce urban heat islands. This is the case because light-colored concrete roofs and pavements absorb less heat. Moreover, concrete tends to reflect more solar radiation than some other materials like asphalt. Due to the reflectivity of concrete, less energy is used on air-conditioning during the warm months.
Another great thing about concrete is that it can be produced quite effectively. What this means is that usually, concrete is produced in quantities necessary for a project that’s about to take place, thus reducing the waste. Not only this, but the concrete that has been used for constructing a building can be used once again, even once there’s no further use for that building. Concrete can be crushed, recycled and used for pavements or as a road base.
Homes built with concrete foundations, walls and floors are more energy efficient than homes built with any other material. Concrete possesses the ability to both absorb and retain heat, which allows homeowners to spend much less on their heating bills. On top of this, due to concrete’s thermal mass, people with concrete homes need to spend less money on air conditioners since even the small-capacity ones can do the job.
Limestone is the most popular option when it comes to raw materials for producing concrete, which is great since our planet is extremely rich in limestone. Some other materials used for producing concrete include ash, silica fume and slag cement, which are all byproducts from manufacturing facilities. So, if you turn to experts in tilt up construction, you can rest assured no rare materials have been used for producing your concrete tilt panels.
The problem with paved surfaces is that they block natural water infiltration into the soil. This can easily create an imbalance in the ecosystem and can result in issues such as pollution and erosion. Luckily, we now have pervious concrete which allows water to infiltrate the soil. This is due to pervious concrete’s sponge-like void networks. So, when this type of concrete is used for sidewalks and roads, it can help when it comes to replenishing local water supplies.
Floods have the potential to destroy homes and that’s why it’s very important to use water resilient materials when constructing a building. Only this way can all the damage floods can do be prevented. Concrete is pretty water resilient, but whether a building is waterproof or water resilient, depends on what type of concrete is used for construction. Of course, there are other design details that determine just how efficiently a building can keep water out.
All in all, concrete really is an eco-friendly environment you can’t just go wrong with, no matter what kind of building you’re constructing. And since today it’s all about being environmentally-friendly, relying on concrete is always recommended.
Every process in a company can be optimised to create the smoothest and most efficient sale and supply chain — and packaging is no exception. This doesn’t just bring more effective business, however; there are many steps in the packaging process that can be made more environmentally friendly. If you optimise your distribution, you can reduce your carbon footprint. BCS, who supply custom cardboard box making machines, have put together this guide to help you go green with your packaging.
The first step in any process of improving efficiency is to evaluate your current situation. Realistically consider your current carbon footprint and how much of this comes from your packaging solutions – without glossing over things. Bring into the picture how much you waste, how many vehicles you use in delivery, how much package filler you use and so forth. Once you have a solid and realistic idea of where you’re at, it’s much simpler to optimise your packaging process.
Cut Down on Materials
One key way to go green with your packaging is to cut down on materials. The best technique to achieve this is to create packaging that fits your product. Make cardboard boxes with as little excess space as possible. Not only does this reduce the risk of breakages during delivery, it also means you don’t need to use packaging fillers, such as packing peanuts. Styrofoam fillers cannot be recycled, so cutting down on this material will greatly improve your carbon footprint.
It also cuts down on cardboard material as you use less with each package. When your distributing hundreds of packages everyday, a better fit can make a huge difference. Not only does this improve your carbon footprint, it also saves you money on materials and resources.
Cut down on Waste
Along a similar vein, cutting down on waste is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint. While reducing your materials helps with this, you can also be more careful to only make the boxes that you need. This particularly applies to smaller businesses who sell smaller quantities of goods and in many different varieties and sizes. It can be easy to stockpile different cardboard boxes for when you might need them. However, if you only make the boxes you need, you’ll cut down on waste and be more green in your packaging process.
Reduce Carbon Emissions
When you are creating boxes of smaller sizes, that fit your products more closely, you’ll be able to fit more of your product in each vanload. When you’re loading your transport vehicles, be sure to load them efficiently and fully, stacking boxes close together without leaving gaps. This small alteration can make a huge difference to your carbon emissions. You can cut down on the number of vehicles you’re using and therefore shrink your carbon footprint.
We hope you’re enthused about going green by optimising your packaging process. A custom box making machine will allow you to do all the above tips and recommendations. You can create boxes that are completely tailored your specifications, sizes and demand, even making as little as one at a time. But whatever your method, improve your business’s carbon footprint by optimising your packaging process.
Now more than ever, there is an emphasis being placed on us to become more responsible citizens of the Earth. There have been strides to go green wherever possible in order to help sustain life long after we leave it. Although progress has been made, some industries can still stand to make improvements and cut its waste. One of the biggest offenders of waste falls within the construction industry.
How Construction Projects Contribute to City Waste
Between new builds, renovations, and demolitions, the construction industry finds itself responsible for over a third of waste in most major cities, from Sydney, Australia to Vancouver, British Columbia. In Vancouver alone, construction waste totals upward of 1.5 million tons annually. While much of that is recycled, the remaining waste that ends up in the garbage can certainly be reduced if it were also recycled or reused in some fashion. The biggest contributions to this waste are due to improper demolition and disposal of wood materials, common in most new build projects.
How Building Green Benefits the Environment
By taking a green approach to construction we can greatly improve many facets of the Earth, from minimizing water waste to raw materials, energy and even the land itself. By reducing emissions and pollution the environment can be greatly impacted in a positive way and extend the lifespan of our ecosystems. Below are some of the ways that sustainable, eco-friendly construction can benefit our environment.
Less Water Waste
Construction projects utilise water resources in order to perform builds the traditional way. If limits are not placed on water usage in the near future, many communities may be at risk of water shortages which would be highly detrimental to society as a whole. Sustainable new builds with enhanced systems and appliances designed to reduce water waste would drastically cut down on water waste.
Use of Raw Materials
As we find ourselves using up the Earth’s natural resources faster than the Earth can regrow, things like trees used in wood construction builds, it’s important to consider how we will allow the Earth to thrive while still keeping up with societal demands for new buildings. Many developers of sustainable construction have found ways to utilise less raw materials that are significantly eco-friendlier, such as renewable or recycled resources. These teams are constantly stretching the limits of innovation in order to find more durable, long-lasting materials that can be used in new builds as to not use up the Earth’s resources so quickly. Additionally, the more we reuse and recycle, the less overall waste we will contribute to the growing issue of waste management.
Energy Efficient Solutions
With advances in technology, we now have more options for appliances that utilize energy-saving features and release lower emissions and pollution into the atmosphere. These lower our need for harmful fossil fuels and are also more cost-effective.
Choosing the Right Land
As our societies are growing we find ourselves going deeper into territories that were otherwise thriving with natural life before our impact on them, such as the ever-shrinking rainforest. By taking the extra time and consideration to determine the best plot of land to use for new construction, we can prevent widespread issues like land erosion and promote a healthy appreciation for the natural land.
What Construction Companies Stand to Gain from Building Green
While it’s important to understand the effects of waste on the environment, construction companies could stand to gain a lot from switching to more eco-friendly solutions. By building green from the ground up, considering new tools and ways to reuse materials in renovations from demolitions, companies can have more cost-effective builds. Thereby improving their profit margins over time while simultaneously benefiting the community’s overall health as we reduce the number of carbon emissions in the air.
Construction Companies Need to Lead the Way to Change
The construction industry as a whole has not seen much in ways of innovation when it comes to adapting to more eco-friendly building strategies. In order for any of these benefits to be seen, there needs to be a paradigm shift in this area. By re-envisioning the way we can utilize and reuse recycled materials, construction companies can completely change the way the industry handles waste as a whole. In fact, they will discover is that much of what is sent to landfills can be reused at another jobsite.
This will naturally reduce waste over time, and revamp the way buildings are designed in order to better produce more cost-effective and environmentally conscious builds. This isn’t just something that can be done by labor workers, but rather everyone from the financial and legal advisors, designers, architects, engineers, to the site managers and contractors and subcontractors can assist in improving by altering the way they look at waste management. With the right tools, training, and education, there is no reason why the construction industry can’t adapt to our environmental and community needs.
Even those of us outside of the construction industry can help with this growing problem. By being aware of the impact of waste in these vital industries, we can encourage companies to make changes that will better prepare the Earth to naturally regenerate its resources before we eliminate them. By vocalizing our concerns, we can create the gradual shift toward eco-friendly building solutions.
British Solomon is a contributing writer and media specialist for Varco Pruden Buildings. She regularly produces content for a variety of construction and eco-friendly blogs based around the promotion and education of a more sustainable way of living.
As the world grows more conscious of the environment, businesses shouldn’t be lagging behind. It’s important to consider the efficiency of your workplace, as the little things such as light switches and plug sockets can all add up – especially when you consider just how many of them you have.
Your business needs to be prepared for the future in order to ensure exponential growth and success for years to come – and reducing your carbon footprint is one of the major ways to do it. Many places around the world are striving for sustainability, and if you aren’t looking to do the same, you could find your business lagging behind the rest.
There are plenty of reasons to consider going “green” beyond environmental purposes, too. Conserving energy and ensuring your business is sustainable will lead to cutting costs in the workplace, as well as making sure you’re futureproof and ready for any upcoming developments.
Whether it be finding a remedy to little issues you may be having in the workplace in regard to being eco-friendly, or establishing long-term solutions to ensure your sustainability for years to come, now’s the time to consider the improvements and advancements you can make for your business to become greener.
If you’re looking for a place to start, consider reading this thorough guide on behalf of Smart Pension Auto Enrolment. Detailing the many ways in which you can evolve and make your business more eco-friendly, from the very minor things to get started with to the long-term advancements when looking to the future, this guide covers everything you need to know about green businesses – and how to transform your own.
Improving your business’ sustainability and green credentials should be high up on your agenda, so don’t hesitate – with this guide, you can get started right away.
Click here to read ‘The Complete Guide On How To Make Your Business Green'
Poop is good for the environment. However, in large amounts that aren’t properly dealt with, poop pollutes the environment. For thousands of years, humans have been trying to find a way to deal with the enormous amount of waste we create, while keeping the environment safe. For businesses, this should also be a big concern, so here are four facts about poop that mustn’t be wasted.
1. Poop Pollution Has a Long History
When humans were hunter-gatherers who lived off the land and didn’t settle anywhere, the waste they produced helped to nourish the soil in the same way other animals’ waste nourishes soil. We were once another natural part of the nitrogen cycle and carbon cycle. Our man-made fertilizer was a net-benefit to the environment.
Then came the Agricultural Revolution and the rise of human settlements, ancient civilisations and, eventually, cities, empires and modern-day nation states. From the first day we began to settle down around 15,000 years ago, our ancestors immediately noticed a problem: the poop was starting to pollute. It’s for this reason that sewer systems were developed as far back as Ancient Rome.
Jump back 150 years ago and the Great Stink of London is gripping the nation. It was an event caused by the dried sewage of the Thames baking in the sun and causing a stench so foul that historians made a point of writing about it. This historical turning point was followed by the Sanitary Movement and the development of sewers and effluent plants across the world.
However, with the global population continuing to grow, poop pollution continues to be a problem, as we are once again faced with the issue of dealing with more poop than our current sewage systems can handle. This is something to bear in mind when your staff are producing wastewater like there’s no tomorrow. Speaking of which…
2. Your Staff Produce a Lot of Poop
It’s might be an uncomfortable thought, but it’s a realistic one. The greater the number of staff you have and the more time your staff spend at your workplace, the bigger your responsibility.
First of all, it may surprise you to discover that the average person produces 158 litres of wastewater — per day. That figure doesn’t just include poop. It also includes urine, toilet flushes, washing machine water, shower water, dishwasher water and any other used wastewater. Still, to a sewage system, it doesn’t matter, as it all goes to the same place.
Now, let’s say that your staff spend 22% of their week at your work, based on the 37.5 hours a week the average British person works, and that your staff consists of 150 people, which is the magic number for businesses. Those figures mean that your staff would produce 38,465 litres of wastewater at your workplace every week. Over the course of a year, your staff could fill over five-and-a-half Olympic-sized swimming pools with the wastewater they produce at your workplace. If you have more than 150 staff, or if you make them do a lot of overtime, that figure could be closer to six.
3. Doing the Bare Minimum Is Not Always Enough
Knowing how much waste your staff can produce, it’s fair to assume that you’d take every precaution to make sure that you are not polluting. However, not every business does do this. After a recent Glastonbury Festival, it was discovered that the sewage treatment systems they had in place were not enough. As result, human waste from the festival was found to have polluted a nearby river.
4. Each Business Requires a Different Solution to Poop Pollution
For the 35% of Irish businesses or the 25% of American businesses not connected to a public sewage system, on-site sewage treatment systems are a must. While saving money might be a tempting option, this isn’t an area where you should be trying to do so. If your septic tank doesn’t have the capacity to deal with your staff’s wastewater, you’ll quickly regret it.
In this case, it’s most definitely better to have extra space and not need it, than to need extra space and not have it. This is why big, on-site concrete septic tanks are such popular choices for businesses. Their sheer size can accommodate for between 50 and 500 workers. If you want your business to grow, it’s important to know that your septic tank’s size isn’t limiting you.
It is true that we are now living in a world where sustainability matter more than it ever has. For the change to really take place, big businesses should be making small changes to their packaging and product handling strategies.
Businesses like Exporta Global have been making an effort to improve their carbon footprint by recycling materials from euro containers and boxes. Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator, which proves this is a huge step in the right direction for product handling companies.
If you are small business that wants to make a change, the decision to make Eco-friendly choices is largely dependent on the storage and packaging you use. You too can invest in Eco-friendly storage options such as euro crates and storage containers.
Cut Cost with Recyclable Stacking Containers
Are you wasting hundreds of cardboard boxes every year? Sometimes, your stock will require better protection. If you are a small business that ships overseas, then it may be time for you to invest in professional product handling materials.
Buying euro containers in bulk is to save money. One of the biggest mistakes companies make is to buy cheap storage containers that aren’t eco-friendly, that will need replaced every other year. If you are serious about improving your environmental foot print is to invest in reliable storage like euro stacking containers.
Space is also a factor as euro stacking containers can save your business space/ Space costs money and by having more room, you will not need to purchase extra storage areas. Stackable boxes can easily fit on top of one another, this means that you can free up space while saving money.
If you have a bigger business, then you may want to invest in pallet boxes. Collapsible pallet boxes are extremely sturdy, which make them one of the best ways for moving your business’ goods. There are many benefits of using collapsible plastic pallet boxes that can be recycled.
- Fast turnaround of the delivery vehicle
- Reduced labour
- Reduced risk of worker injury
- Goods in pallet boxes are better protected which means less waste
- Pallet boxes can be stored more efficiently in warehouses
Investing in quality materials means that you will not need to keep refreshing your stock. Pallet boxes can be used time and time again, which makes them the perfect option for medium-large sized companies that want to become more sustainable.
Space may not be an issue for bigger business, however, if you have dealt with pallet boxes in the past, then you will know that double stacking in a container can save you a significant sum.
Whether you are a big or small business there are lots of options when it comes to being a greener business. Your business and your customers can benefit from using Eco-friendly shipping containers. Remember to speak to a product handling advisor before you go ahead as there are different choices to consider depending on the type of business you own.
If your business has been waiting to see if the “green” movement would fade before doing something about your energy consumption, you’re too late. Energy efficiency has been embraced by businesses around the world as more than just a feel-good PR exercise. As it turns out, saving energy and operating more efficient commercial buildings is good for the bottom line, as well. Conserving energy has become even more important today as businesses try to widen their profit margins and trim unnecessary costs anywhere they might exist.
As consumers of nearly one-fifth of all the energy used in the United States, commercial buildings certainly represent an opportunity for greater efficiency. Businesses have started to come around on the idea that the less energy their offices and other properties waste, the more money they save and the more efficient their entire operations become. That means the more energy efficient a business becomes, the more competitive it is in the marketplace.
Although many businesses have grabbed headlines by making significant investments in energy efficiency — such as building their own solar farms or windmills — your business doesn’t have to make such a huge commitment. In fact, many of the factors that can have a big impact on energy efficiency are small changes in everyday habits. What’s more, many of those changes can be done through automation. For example, putting interior lights on a timer or motion sensor can cut down on the amount of time they’re on when no one is in the room, saving energy and money. Using the power-saving mode on computers and other office equipment — if not unplugging them completely when not in use — is another easy way to reduce unnecessary energy consumption.
The following checklist of energy-saving ideas can help you and your business become more energy efficient and save you money in the long run. You may have been waiting for “green” thinking to fade, but there’s no reason to wait on reducing your energy usage.
Author bio: Steve Fountaine is the Owner of Premiere Works, which serves the Washington, D.C., southern Maryland and northern Virginia areas. Services include commercial painting, construction, contracting, build-outs, office renovations and more.
Co-working is a specific type of work that involves different companies and employees who all share the same space. Workers are often working for different companies and organizations, but each is searching for a place to get work done or a place where they can access specific tools for their job.
Co-working spaces have been growing in popularity, mainly as a result of businesses embracing a more relaxed office atmosphere and giving employees more power over where they work. The idea has been growing for a few years, now, with companies like Google taking the initial lead with their innovative workspaces that encouraged creativity and stress-free environments, as opposed to uniformity.
Nowadays, improved technology is allowing businesses to work with employees who never step foot into the office, and it’s giving workers the power to create their own schedules and avoid long commutes. This is where co-working spaces have become so useful.
To create an innovative co-working space, there are a few key elements that will make it an effective and efficient workspace for all those who join. Consider these tips for creating innovative co-working spaces:
Ensure There Is a Need
Before you start designing a co-working space, it’s critical that you ensure that area is in need of a space like this. It’s not necessarily a type of business that will intrigue and bring in people from all over the place; these kinds of spaces are built specifically in locations that are easy to reach, located in highly-populated areas, and in high demand.
A city that has hardly any start-ups or open-office spaces likely isn’t looking to send its employees to another location to work. Do your research ahead of time and be sure to find out if there are existing spaces that already fit the bill.
Decide on an End Goal
Is the purpose of your co-working space to make money? Or it is simply to offer a great workspace that will bring amazing people together for hardly any profit at all? For many co-working spaces, there are daily or monthly fees that are required to participate; these are often spaces that include high-tech equipment, meeting rooms, and other quality features.
However, other co-working spaces will charge very little to use the space, but their profits are usually used just to keep the space open. For many, it is more about the potential of these people meeting in their space than it is about making an income from it. Be sure you know your reason for creating a space like this before you start investing, purchasing, and charging.
Provide Utilities Before Furniture
Individuals who are looking for a space to work will likely be more willing to sit on the floor, so long as they have an internet connection and the tools they need. While having comfortable places to sit and tables to work on is important, providing your workspace with the necessary utilities trumps any kind of need for furniture.
Keep this in mind when you’re creating your innovative co-working space; items such as high-speed internet, scanners, ink cartridges, and printers will be much more valued by people who are using your space to work. Once you have all of the necessity utilities, then it will be time to think about a budget for your desks, tables, coffee machines, etc.
Offer Different Options
It has been argued that some of the open-concept office spaces are doing more harm than good when it comes to specific workers. For example, while sales workers will thrive in an open floorplan where team communication can flourish, another worker who is trying to focus on deciphering code may find this approach very distracting. Arguments stretch from an easier spread of common colds to an onslaught of distraction that puts efficiency in reverse.
When it comes to your co-working space, there will be all different kinds of needs of the people who join. While some will want that open concept idea in which to bounce ideas, others will be seeking silence and calm.
To make sure your space is effective for all needs, try to be very creative when it comes to utilizing the area for different requirements. Perhaps you’ll want to incorporate “quiet only” rooms, as well as specific rooms for meetings and open-concept spaces. The larger the space, the more you’ll be able to accommodate the needs of each worker in the space that suits them best.
Have Every Requirement Met
Those co-working spaces that do best are often ones that can offer lots of different services for their members. If you envision your co-working space growing in the future, you might consider adding in a community kitchen, vending machines, larger washrooms, and even an independent coffee shop.
Workers who know that all of their needs can be met in this one place won’t have to worry about making different stops throughout the day; your co-working space will essentially become their one-stop shop for getting work done, having their lunch, hosting a coffee meeting, and maybe even hitting the gym if you’ve got the space for it. The options are endless when it comes to these spaces, so long as you can continue to offer the best tools and a great space to get work done; after all, this is the initial goal for co-working spaces.
Location Is Everything
If your space is hard to find or inaccessible for some people, then you’re definitely going to be missing out on a lot of traffic. It’s very important that you choose a location where you know people will have no trouble finding you, especially if you want to cater to people who are passing through the area from out of town.
This is also why it’s important to have a space that is accessible by car or foot, and which has ample parking in the area for those people who are from out of town. Locations that are hard to reach or that lack parking availability will likely not cater to a large group of people.
Creating an innovative co-working space can be a lot of fun, and you can often incorporate your own kind of style and preferences when it’s time to bring the décor and style together. However, before you get too far along, be sure that the demand for your space is there and that you can provide all of the necessary utilities for workers to get up and running.
Going green is not only popular, it’s also morally right. You might not have all of the resources to make your small business 100 percent eco-friendly right away. However, you can still make a positive impact on the earth as you grow and succeed in your business. Not sure where to start? Here are 10 ways you can make your small business eco-friendly.
Invest in eco-friendly office supplies
If you want to become eco-friendly, you have to start within your business. Using eco-friendly office supplies will remind you and your employees how important it is to be a green business while also reducing waste. Eco-friendly supplies include recycled folders, recycled paper towel rolls and tissues, refillable whiteboard markers, reusable cups and mugs, recycling bins and much more. You can also incorporate more greenery while adding a bright aesthetic to your office by having moss terrariums or Zen mini gardens.
Use LED lighting.
Using LED lighting can help reduce energy waste as well as rid of the noxious chemicals (like mercury) you’d get from fluorescent lighting. Although they’re a bit more expensive, they last much longer than traditional lightbulbs. In fact, they’re 80 percent more efficient, with 95 percent of the energy in LED bulbs is converted into light and 5 percent converted into heat (the opposite is true for traditional fluorescent lights). LED lights also don’t contain toxic elements and have a better quality of light distribution, which means that less bulbs are needed to bring light into your office or store. Good for the environment and good for your budget!
Online marketing campaigns
Instead of taking ads out in the paper or putting up flyers, invest your marketing campaigns to be strictly online. Social media and email threads are a great way to expand your brand while also reducing paper usage, which reduces pollution and saves some trees! You can also encourage your customers to be eco-friendlier as well as starting discussions with them on how to make your small business even more green.
For your equipment, ingredients or anything you need for your small business, try to buy from local vendors. Shopping local not only helps the environment, but it also supports your local small business. By shopping local, you’ll have less deliveries, which cuts down air pollution caused by delivery trucks. You can also partner with your fellow local business for more green initiatives, taking action on sustainability. You can develop strategies for a more circular economy, which promotes local sourcing of material and reduces the consumption of natural resources.
Brand green promotional products
Instead of branding one-time use bottles of water, look into branding reusable water bottles. This way, you’re helping the planet by reducing plastic pollution while also enhancing your brand. If you offer your customers one-time use bottles, they’ll throw them out and will probably forget about your business. However, by giving them a reusable water bottle, they’ll have a continually reminder of your brand and business. Customers will also feel good for helping reduce the planet’s plastic waste.
Offer eco-friendly products
Offering eco-friendly products helps the environment, your conscience and your customers’ consciences as well. By offering or selling environmentally friendly products, your customers will have that charitable fulfillment and will continue to shop at your store in order to keep helping the environment. It also might inspire them to incorporate a greener lifestyle. Eco-friendly products include reusable bags, soaps or fragrances using plant resources and sustainable oils, non-animal tested products, biodegradable wrappers or containers and much, much more.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 86 percent of workers commute to work by car and at least 75 percent drive alone. Your car emits carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, all of which create an atmospheric haze and can damage your lungs and the earth. Instead of driving or driving alone, bike or walk to work, take public transportation or set up a company carpool chain. If you can, allow your employees to work from home once in a while. This will help reduce harmful chemicals in our atmosphere, and the earth – and your lungs – will thank you for it!
Offer customer rewards
Reward your customers with giveaways or coupons for being green. For a giveaway, hold a contest on social media using a specific hashtag to incentivize your customers to go green. It could be as simple as them posting a picture of how they’ve made a green change in their life and then a random winner being selected (either for a gift card, a free product or a special discount code). Also have “green days” in which customers who bring in items for recycling, use paperless receipts or purchase eco-friendly products get a small discount on their total bill.
Check your receipts
Offering customers a choice between paper and email receipt can decreased your use of paper, which keeps your business eco-friendly! While not all customers will want a receipt emailed to them, giving them the choice increases their likelihood of receiving paperless receipts (or no receipt at all). You should also use recycled receipt paper for those who still want a paper receipt. If you provide a service, stick to online only invoicing to reduce the use of paper.
Get listed on eco-friendly websites
Being environmentally sound can provide benefits to the environment, your conscience and your small business. Eco-friendly websites will want their users knowing which businesses in their area are environmentally friendly. By greening up your business, you can reach out to these sites to be featured. You can also learn even more innovate ways to make your business green!
Implementing some, if not all, of these 10 tips will help you green your business. Going green isn’t just good marketing – it’s good morals. You’re helping your business and the earth when you take care of the environment. If you don’t have the resources to go completely green, you could take out a small business loan to help jumpstart the process, or you can start small and grow from there.
Constantina is a new addition to the SEO team at Kabbage, a small business loans provider. She holds a Master’s degree from Northwestern University, where she learned how to create content that could best be organically shared. When not in the marketing world, Constantina enjoys strategy games and singing along to the Law & Order: SVU theme song.
In any given time, there are two types of people who are reading this blog: the optimist and the sceptic. If you are one of the optimists, you are likely ready to invest your time and money to green your office. You are likely to know why you want this—in fact, you probably have read several other articles related to the topic. If this is you, go ahead and check out our carefully crafted steps and unique recommendations to make your green office one of a kind.
If you are a sceptic, however, you might not want to skip this part. Do you know that one of the most popular false mindsets in going green for businesses is that it costs an extraordinary amount of money? This could be what makes you be sceptical in the first place. If this is so, get ready to be blown away.
It’s true that environmentally friendly products can be more expensive than their regular counterparts, but what people often miss is the long term benefits. Companies, either big or small, can reduce their costs quite significantly by going green. Governments give out tax credits and tax reliefs for businesses that implement energy-saving plan into their operations. But that is the indirect way of going about it. What about the direct way? What can a company do to save the environment and energy cost at the same time? Read the easy steps below.
Yes, sleep! Not for you, but for your electronics. Putting your PCs to sleep can reduce carbon emission by 300 lbs. per year. Carbon emission is the release of carbon into the atmosphere, which can cause climate change, decreased water and food supply, and increased incidents of severe weather. Roughly 35% of energy usage in offices comes from lighting, so turn off lamps when not in use, as well as printers and copier machines.
To give you an idea what reducing carbon emission can do to your business, DuPont, a chemical manufacturer, saved approximately $3 billion in over two decades by using this method.
#2. Get Intimate with the 5Rs
Have you heard of the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? That is so last season! Now there are five: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle. The main point of this practice is to prioritise your company’s needs relating to items’ purchases and uses.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Refuse teaches you not to buy what your company doesn’t need, at all.
- Exercise Reduce by restraining the company’s overall consumption of supplies. This means you have to be smart in selecting your products. LED lights are more efficient and last longer than fluorescent bulbs. In the long term, they will reduce energy consumption by 35% in the commercial sector. Another example is choosing AFRDI Green Certified ergonomic office chairs over regular chairs. Providing support and comfort to your employee will increase concentration and productivity, and you also improve nature’s sustainability by choosing a green product.
- Drop the disposable option and go for The simplest tip is to look at your company’s pantry or cafeteria. Are they using throwaway plastic plates, spoon, and fork? Minnetonka Middle School substituted their plastic wares with metal wares in the student cafeterias, and they reduced their cost by $3000 in just one year without any significant increase in labour time and water consumption.
- Repurpose old office supplies and office waste. Got old cardboard boxes lying around? Convert it to DIY tissue holder or charger organiser. General Motors repurposed their office waste by donating them to other smaller businesses and organisations, effectively promoting sustainability.
- If all else fails, Recycle! The EPA states 82% of electronic waste today still ends up in a landfill. E-waste produces toxic chemicals such as cadmium and arsenic which can be deadly to people living in the vicinity. Recycling paper can help save water, trees, and oil—all of which were used in the production.
#3. Carpool or Stay at Home
Working from home help reduces auto and gas emissions, as well as energy consumption. It can also increase employee productivity up to 13% while keeping them happy at the same time. Remote work also means a reduced budget for office space and supplies.
If you are in a kind of businesses that mandates your employee to come to the office, you can encourage your employees to carpool or you can provide a corporate shuttle. Aside from reducing carbon dioxide emission, this option may save money by eliminating the need to rent or build a car park.
So there you have it! These 3 easy steps are a great start to your green company. If by any chance, you are building a new office or are looking to change up the office to a greener version, you can build a virtual layout and get cost estimation before actually going through with it. This way, you can optimise and customise your green office.
Now, let’s say you follow all these steps religiously and you make all these green policies in the workplace. And yet, the annual evaluation doesn’t reflect this effort. Your company experiences no real benefit from going green. How could this be?
Employees are the human aspect—and an important aspect—of going green that are often overlooked. Research indicates only about 34% employees are aware of their company’s environmental targets. About 64% of them admit that lack of empowerment and communication causes them to be less green at work. Awareness is important. A good employer wouldn’t just tell their employees what to do—they would give understanding and involve employees in the process.
With all these information, are you ready to go green? Design your green office layout, purchase the right, sustainable supplies, and turn off your electronics when you don’t use them. Get to know your 5Rs and apply them, and manage how your employees get to and from work. Do all those things, along with spreading awareness and providing support and motivation, and guaranteed—your company will see benefits, environmentally and monetarily, in no time!