There are some business practices that are obviously bad for the environment, such as mailing out unsolicited advertisements and giving away disposable, branded bottles of water. However, some green practices aren't so immediately obvious. If you're looking for ways to reduce the negative environmental impact your business has on the planet, there are plenty of options that may work for your company.
Reduce the Paper You Use
Even recycled paper has a huge impact on the environment. Instead of printing the company newsletter, email it to everyone. Instead of printing out fat bundles of materials for meetings and promotional events, put everything online. With the proliferation of cloud computing and document sharing, there is little need for the vast majority of printed materials.
Reuse Your Paper
Any paper that is used can be run through a shredder, crumpled and used as eco-friendly packing materials. Instead of paying for packing peanuts or plastic bubble wrap, using shredded paper gives you nearly free packing material and reduces the amount of waste your company produces.
Encourage Distance Learning
Encouraging your employees to continue their educations is great, but the never-ending procession of textbooks, commuting to and from class and climate control in enormous lecture halls makes online learning a much more Earth-friendly option. For example, a student earning their online civil engineering master’s degree may have all of their books and materials made available online, with no commuting necessary.
Give Out Company Mugs
The amount of plastic bottles and paper cups used by a company in just one day can be staggering. Give every employee a spill-resistant mug and then remove all the disposable options from the building. Not only is this a boon for the planet, it will save you a ton of money over the course of time.
Consider Green Cleaning Supplies
For most sectors of business, there is absolutely no reason to be using ammonia, bleach and other contaminants for cleaning. There are plenty of green options available that clean just as well without resorting to harsh pollutants. If you have a cleaning service, inquire about green products. Green products also have the added attraction of being less-irritating to those with allergies or sensitive skin, which in turn could improve productivity and employee happiness.
There are plenty of small ways companies can reduce their negative impact on the environment. Carefully consider these strategies to reduce waste and be kind to the planet at the same time.