Going green with your business is an excellent goal, no matter what your sector is. The process of doing so can be difficult, though. Deciding where to start and what to prioritize can take a lot of time and leave you with just a few months at the end of the year to implement changes. If your business is looking for ways to go green during the 4th quarter, here are five things that you can do to get you over the goal line.
Switch to Digital Forms
If your business uses paper order forms, records, purchase orders, or other printed communications, consider switching your sales closing techniques to incorporate digital versions. Not only will this help save paper, but it can also help save time, storage space and increase efficiency. Digitally stored files eliminate the need to file paperwork, as well as the need to house multiple filing cabinets or storage systems.
Digital files can be accessed from anywhere, which saves employees valuable time in accessing client records. For customer-facing forms, hosting digital copies on your website or through a secure portal allows them to place orders or sign documents on their own time. This can further speed up the communication process and lead to happier clients.
Delete Old Emails
While digital files save on storage space, they aren’t 100% green on their own. You can boost your environmental impact by removing old emails. Deleting emails can save energy and money by reducing paying for an extra server or cloud hosting space.
Encourage your team to take a good look at their inbox, especially in any subfolders. Emails no longer needed can easily be missed when they’ve been sitting in folders for a while. Regular email clean-up doesn’t require much time investment but can significantly return your bottom line.
Turn Off Electronics at Night
It can be tempting to leave computers in a low-power state overnight so that you can start your mornings off faster. However, that extra energy use could be driving up your utility bills and contributing to a higher carbon footprint. Shutting off non-essential electronics at night will save on your energy costs and boost your business’s green efforts.
Recycle Writing Utensils
Pens, pencils, markers, and all kinds of other writing utensils are recyclable. You can recycle plastic casings with other plastics and reuse metal and ink parts. Broken or shredded crayons can be melted down and reformed into new ones. Additionally, you can recycle paper wrappings into new labels.
Look up the local recycling center nearest to you to see if they accept writing utensils, or check out a national option where you can ship items. Then all you have to do is set up a collection point in your office and ship utensils off as it fills up.
Recycle Uniforms & Shoes
Businesses that require uniforms know how fast and often their employees may need replacements. When old or unusable uniform items come back, there are a couple of ways that you can keep them out of the trash. For items that you no longer need but are still usable, such as uniforms from former employees, a second-hand uniform shop may be just the solution.
Offering these items for a reduced price or free to employees can keep them outfitted while reducing your need to purchase new items. If you cannot reuse items due to damage or wear you can send them to a textile recycling company. They can have new life as automobile seats, new textiles, and more.
Implementing green initiatives can save your business time, money, and efficiency, as well as helping you reduce your carbon footprint. Turning forms from paper to digital saves on paper costs and storage. Deleting old emails and turning off electronics at night saves on energy usage needs and expenses. Recycling pens, pencils, markers, uniforms, and even shoes can reduce your business’s waste. All of these actions will lead to better outcomes for your business and our planet.
Author: Finnegan Pierson