Sustainability is good for the environment, but did you know it’s also good for the bottom line? The headlines are filled with stories about the latest and greatest sustainability goals and projects for large corporations. But, you don’t have to be a giant company to be a green business.
Sixty-five percent of leaders at small and medium sized-businesses are committed to increasing eco-friendly activities, according to the Cox Conserves Sustainability Survey. The survey also revealed that half of small businesses believe sustainability is good for the bottom line and will become a standard practice in the next five years.
“Our research revealed that SMBs welcome the opportunity to learn more about sustainability, and there is compelling data that education can move the needle on sustainability,” says Cox Enterprises Executive Vice President Alex Taylor. “There is a correlation between the amount of sustainability knowledge business leaders reported having and their level of participation in eco-friendly programs.”
While some projects require large-scale investments, small businesses can easily become more efficient in many other ways.
Here are some quick tips that can help any sized business improve efficiency.
1. Turn off computers and other office equipment when they are not in use.
2. Lower your heater thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting when your business is occupied. Set the temperature back further when the business is unoccupied.
3. Use paper efficiently by printing double sided and using shredded scrap paper as packing materials for shipping.
4. Talk to your building manager about incorporating recycling programs, as well as energy and water-efficient appliances.
5. Offer paperless billing to reduce costs associated with materials and mailing.
Operating in an efficient manner is important, and engaging your customers and employees can also make a difference.
1. Consider teleworking as an option for employees.
2. Encourage employees to keep reusable mugs and bottles at work. Earth911 reports that the average American office worker uses 500 disposable cups every year.
3. Ask your employees for ideas on how to operate more efficiently.
4. Offer discounts to customers who bring their own bags or opt out of taking one.
5. Add a note to your email signatures with the message: Consider the environment. Please print this email only if necessary.
These easy tips can start your business on a journey toward becoming a more efficient and eco-friendly organization. The benefits start at protecting the earth and extend to enhancing the bottom line.