There are hundreds of ways you can change your business practices and policies in order to improve your public image, reduce your carbon footprint, and make your company greener. And these days, you need to do everything you can to spend less (by reducing waste) and earn more (by winning over the hearts of your customers). So if you’re looking for ways to give something back to the environment (as well as the community you operate in) even as you spruce up your brand image and attend to the bottom line, here are few green ideas that could seriously benefit your business.
1. Waste less. By undergoing a waste assessment, you can determine areas that could be streamlined to cut costs. So check your records (how much are you paying for utilities and trash dumping?) and make a physical inspection of the premises to look for high waste areas. This way you can cut back on energy and water use, as well as what goes to the landfill.
2. Learn and earn. There are likely items you’re throwing away that could be sold off instead of getting dumped. Look at waste from manufacturing and try to determine ways it can either be reused in your own facilities (as a way to cut costs on materials) or sold off (for other uses). By taking the time to learn about other potential uses for your cast-off materials, you might make some money on items you would have been paying to throw away.
3. Recycle. It’s easy to set up basic recycling within your office or other facilities. All you have to do is put bins around your building for employees to drop glass, aluminum, plastic, and paper. Then call your local recycling center for a pickup or arrange a schedule for drop-offs. And if you produce any other metals, they may also be recyclable.
4. Take returns. No matter what you manufacture, you may be able to offer return service. Electronics, in particular, lend themselves to this type of program. By getting used items back, you can not only keep them out of the landfill, but also put their parts to good use in new products, or simply refurbish them for resale at a discounted price.
5. Consider packaging. If you manufacture a product, think about the packaging you’re currently using. There are a couple of ways you can green it up. First, think about using recycled materials for at least a portion of the packaging. Next, see if you can find a way to reduce the size in order to cut back on materials and increase the product that can be carted away in a single shipment (making for less shipments overall).
6. Alternative transportation. If you use a trucking service to ship your products cross-country, think about contracting the services of a company that supports bio-diesel vehicles in order to produce less greenhouse gas emissions as a result of your shipping practices. There are several companies currently trying out biodiesel trucks.
7. Sustainable energy. Conserving energy is a great start, so use natural light if possible. However, some buildings may not allow for this, so at least think about using alternative forms of energy (like solar, wind, or water power) that are sustainable. You can often get tax breaks or government rebates for installing such power sources and you might even be able to sell excess energy back to the grid. If you can’t afford the initial cost, think about buying Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) that ensure alternative energy sources continue to thrive. Find more information at Renewable Choice Energy.