Most companies are trying to implement green initiatives to help minimize our carbon footprint. But, it can be an expensive endeavor. Changing existing manufacturing processes will need a bigger upfront capital, while setting up a greener data center means moving to another location. The road to greener pastures and sustainability is often laden with roadblocks.

Thanks to the introduction of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in the enterprise, companies are now seeing its potential to start growing green. Aside from helping increase an employee’s productivity and work satisfaction, it’s also the best way to save money, energy, while teaching them to become stewards of the earth. Let’s look at how this scheme can help the enterprise go green.

In a BYOD working environment, employees are encouraged to use their own devices to be more productive. However, it can be a bit challenging to implement procedures on what to do with their old devices. Since managers are in the position of leadership, they can influence the workforce to start recycling their old gadgets. A good approach is to introduce reward structures and incentives for them to participate. Appraising their old gadgets and exchanging them for cash or newer cellphone models are good ideas to implement.

Mrs. Green, a well-known “green” blogger and participant of O2 Recycle, believes that our recycling habits are about being “out of sight, out of mind.” In her blog, she said that “we assume we know where it [discarded phones] ends up and we make ourselves feel better by justifying our recycling habits.” By implementing recycling initiatives, companies can now help change their employees recycling habits.

The good thing about mobile technology is that it can be reused. Aside from recycling, this is actually another alternative to promoting a “greener” working environment. An average desktop PC consumes between 65 to 250 watts when in use, according to feature published on the Wall Street Journal. This also accounts for the 1,380 tons of carbon monoxide spewed by power plants annually. With BYOD, companies now are spending less on electricity bills which is helping lower their carbon footprint.

Since smart devices automatically install periodic updates, their service lifespan is lengthened. Just like their predecessor, the office PC, a well-maintained device can definitely be used until it’s rendered as obsolete. The “reuse” mentality will support any green campaign inside an organization.

Basically, BYOD’s aim is to reduce power usage and devices used inside the office. Advancements in technology transformed the mobile phone into a smart and portable computing machine. In the future, workspaces will be free of workstations and employees will be truly mobile. As more options are produced for both personal and professional use, offices have the opportunity to reduce technology use. Some of these ways include:

Reduced cost – companies don’t have to purchase mobile devices for their employees, since they’re carrying their own devices.

Reduced PC-dependency – since these devices are as powerful as their PC counterparts, they won’t need to use desktops while at work.

Helps reduce the number of PCs produced – a 2004 article on InfoWorld revealed that around 1.8 tons of raw materials are needed to produce an average desktop computer. It also needs at least 1,500 liters of water, 22, kilograms of chemicals, and roughly 240 kilograms of fossil fuels. The amount is comparable to building a mid-sized sedan.

Helps reduce printing costs by going “paperless” – It’s the dream of every sustainable company; going paperless. Thanks to cloud storage and smart devices, this dream can now be realized. Files can be easily stored in the cloud and the workforce can access them anytime and from any place. No more need for printing since it goes directly to their phone or tablet.

Integrating a BYOD campaign into an office environment will help train employees to recycle, reuse, and reduce. By implementing a formal, yet, flexible policy on bring your own device, they will learn to leverage on its benefits to reduce the company’s cost. In the end, when done properly, the campaign will nurture a culture of innovation, collaboration, and going green.

As well, it’s also good to recycle your devices. I’d suggest to go to an ecoATM but I also have donated old devices to goodwill for tax deductions.