What better way to start a business than to start off by caring for the environment from the very beginning? It’s quite common these days to hear about more businesses looking to go green in the office. While that is certainly an accomplishment worth applauding, what if you could cut out all the extra steps by simply going green from the very start? From the type of building you decide to purchase to the very furniture and office equipment that you invest in, there are plenty of options that will allow you to minimize your carbon footprint immediately.
To get you started, here are a few options that may be worth the investment.
Selecting a Commercial Property
Before you can start your business, you’ll need a commercial property to house all your staff, inventory, and welcome your consumer base. While you could opt to choose a commercial property that is already established, sometimes the cost of revamping it to make it your own (and green) can be expensive.
Another option that might be worth considering is investing in high-quality prefab metal buildings. These buildings are created from environmentally friendly metals such as steel. The materials are durable while also being aesthetically appealing. With the right service provider, you can customize your commercial building any way you’d like to accommodate your immediate needs. There are plenty of environmental benefits to prefab metal buildings including:
- Shorter construction time
- Lower construction costs
- Easy to expand
- Durability and weather resistance
- High efficiency
- Minimal maintenance
Purchasing Office Equipment and Appliances
Office equipment such as copiers, printers, fax machines, telephones, computers, and more can suck up a lot of energy over the course of a work day. Instead of investing in products that consume a great deal of energy, you could invest your money into purchasing eco-friendly equipment and energy saving appliances.
Did you know that there were eco-friendly copiers that allow users to erase prints and reuse the paper? This could save a ton of money over the course of a year, not to mention the amount of paper you can save. Other options include purchasing products with Energy Star ratings. These ratings essentially mean that they consume less energy than traditional types of equipment and appliances and can save you money each month on your energy costs.
Purchasing Office Furniture
Whether you’re looking to purchase a couch for the waiting area or an office desk and chair for your staff, you can go green by investing in refurbished furniture. Now before you frown about the idea, there are plenty of second hand shops that have beautiful pieces of furniture that is in good condition. While you may opt to purchase some things brand new, investing in a few pieces of second hand furniture can save you money and also help the environment.
Although advancements have been made, progress has been slowed by the limitations of current technology and an overall reluctance to modify or relinquish traditional paper practices. The reticence of some offices to adopt electronic document workflows is driven in part byworkers’ allegiance to the almost 50-year old fax machine. For example, 42.3 percent of those surveyed still send faxes ‘most of the time’ or ‘always,’ while only 3.9 percent ‘never’ send faxes. Similarly, 99.0 percent of respondents still rely traditional ‘pen-and-paper’ review, with a mere 1.0 percent choosing to adopt fully electronic review cycles, stating that they‘never’ review printed documents.
Respondents were asked a number of questions pertaining to electronic and traditional document sharing and reviewing, use of productivity and collaboration software, prioritization of “paperless,” recycling habits, and challenges faced with shared document workflows. Overall sentiment towards the paperless office remains divided, and the increased adoption of and access to easy-to-use tools will be the key driver for the growth of the movement.
“Through this survey, we’re seeing that while a majority of office workers are sharing documents electronically, almost half are still relying on physical paper to get work done,” said Sam Chandler, Nitro Founder & CEO. “The so-called “paperless revolution” was supposed to make our working lives easier, but tools for working with digital documents have not evolved quickly enough to make that a reality. At Nitro, we’re committed to making the paperless office a real possibility through intuitive technology – our vision is to change the way the world works with documents.”
If you really want to decrease your carbon footprint, simply going digital in some of your business endeavors can save money and the environment. For example, hiring a team of customer service representatives that work from home can help to minimize the amount of energy that is being consumed in your commercial property each day. Another option would be to consider using online forms, and cloud storage systems for collaborations and filing. This will decrease the amount of paper used on the day to day basis.
These are just a few options for new business owners looking to save money while also doing their part to protect the environment. While it may seem like investing in these options would initially be very expensive, over time you will see a return on investment. Not to mention the very fact that mother earth will thank you for helping to minimize your carbon footprint. In closing it is recommended that you evaluate each of these options based on your immediate business needs before moving forward.