Today, running a business is no longer just about profits. With organisations urging people to “Go Green” and “Live Responsibly”, an increasing number of businesses are realising the importance of being eco-conscious and adopting sustainable practices in their production process. It is ethical and responsible, and leaves a smaller ecological footprint. But many businesses think that going green is a costly, time consuming process, requiring heavy initial investment and training for the staff. So, they end up putting it off for a later date, or shunning it altogether.
However, adopting sustainable practices comes with its own benefits. People are becoming more aware and conscious themselves, and today’s customers tend to choose retailers who follow responsible practices over the ones who don’t. And if cost is the issue, that worry can be dispensed too. Green technology can help make the most of your resources, lower financial pressures and increase productivity. Some newer, smarter machines use less electricity to operate while others make use of natural resources. Overall, it might just prove to be cheaper for your company in the long run.
How to steer your business towards an environmentally responsible path without disrupting everyday working, is a pertinent question. Bigger businesses with funds to spare can install solar panels, set up their own recycling units or switch to smarter technology for heating or cooling their offices. Smaller businesses that might not be able to afford a technology switch, can put their money towards research, and start sourcing their raw materials from a greener source. Individual machine upgrades- like a smarter cooler or air conditioner- can also be quite effective. One simple way by which almost every business can cut down ecological impact while also saving costs is by being a conscientious printer.
‘Don’t print if you don’t have to’, is the most obvious printing rule, and the one most flaunted email signature and mantras used. In every firm, there are innumerable documents printed that could just as easily have been e-mailed. Needless reports, backups and extra copies are regularly printed and subsequently trashed. Many businesses seek to improve relationships by leaving memos, notifications or motivational articles on employees’ desks. These can be sent digitally. Another common mistake is to ignore formatting a document so that just a line or two, most often unimportant, is printed out on a whole new page. Certain fonts like Century Gothic and Times New Roman use considerably less ink than the commonly used Arial. These issues, if not addressed, eat up printer ink, energy and paper. The simple changes made, will not only reduce environmental impact, but also slash company costs!
Your printer itself can make a lot of difference too. The little POS (Point of Sale) printers that are used at every retail outlet to print out receipts can have a big impact. Certain printer companies have introduced POS printers that combat ink and paper wastage in different ways. For example, the blank margin at the top is superfluous, and can be done away with to save paper. Similarly, the contents of the bill receipt can be formatted horizontally or vertically to make it fit in one sheet. Some smart printers have the option to confirm if a receipt needs to be printed at all. This way, one- or two-item bills which are thrown away immediately, need not be printed. Innovations in printers and printer ink can also help in the quest for sustainability. Landa has come up with a new technology called Nanography, which uses water-based ink and colourants. These colourants are environmentally sound, dry faster (thereby consuming no extra energy), and images formed by them are just 500 nanometres thick, which enables one to use them even on recycled paper.
Some schools, universities and retail giants like Tesco and Starbucks have already started moving towards eco-friendliness, and are feeling the impact. Senshu University, Japan, decided to install power-saving Fujitsu computers and low heat-emitting servers. In four short years, the university’s CO2 emissions have reduced by 975 tons, equivalent to almost 70,000 cedar trees! The cost savings stand at an impressive 27 million Yen. So though adopting sustainable practices might initially seem troublesome, they are well worth it. And with simple steps like conscientious printing practices, it can be the smartest decision as an eco-conscious business of today.