Do you drive to work, use a fridge at the office, and does your company recycle? Most business owners will confirm the first two, while they’ll likely admit to not practicing the last item on the list. And that is precisely one of the key reasons the business world still has so much learning and adapting to do in order to safeguard our future and nature: lack of awareness.
Even though you may feel that your small crew of five can hardly cause any damage, it’s the accumulative harm we cause to our planet that’s wreaking havoc on the environment. No matter the size or niche of your business, there are steps you can take to become a role model, a leader, and a trailblazer for sustainability in your business community – and here’s where you can start.
Switch to digital over paper
Numbers rarely lie, but these numbers terrify, to say the least: about one half of all business waste comes from paper usage. While it may seem as simple as “it’s just one printout” or “it’s just one more sticky note”, it actually has a different face in nature: deforestation, entire wildlife habitats destroyed, consequently animals lose their lives, ecosystems change rapidly, climate suffers, and carbon emissions skyrocket.
So, consider that as your incentive to go digital. Luckily for business owners, you can use cloud storage options for easy collaboration, access to all company files, and safety. Plus, US companies alone waste around $8 billion on paper per year – consider this a massive budget revitalizing strategy, as well.
Embrace remote work
While it’s true that working in an office with your colleagues comes with its perks and collaborative benefits, we always forget about the harm we cause our planet in the process. From using transportation to get there, all the way to energy use at the office, it’s considered a wise choice to allow your teams to work from home on a regular basis, if not all the time.
Digital tools facilitate simple communication and better cooperation among remote teams without harming their productivity, making it a win-win for everyone. By cutting down on your office energy bills and fuel usage, you’ll effectively reduce your overall carbon footprint!
Rethink your office energy use
On the days you are at the office, you need better practices to ensure wiser use of energy, water, and other necessities on the premises. Some countries the likes of Australia even incentivize businesses to choose energy-efficient equipment, so the discounts that come with the practice are a great way to reconsider how you design your office space from the get-go.
To make the most of this rising need, businesses have a trusty Sydney electrician on speed dial to make sure they can introduce changes to their electric systems and reduce energy waste for the long haul. That includes new lighting solutions with LED lighting instead of the old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, and smart air-conditioning solutions that help you conserve energy while you regulate office temperature.
Say no to plastic
Disposable cups have become a must for those watercooler chats at the office. They’re simple, convenient, but they’re also a hazard for the environment. Add to that, most companies use and work with catering companies that use plastic cutlery, plastic straws, and other items that ultimately wreak havoc on the environment. After you throw them away, they typically take up to 500 years to decompose, all the while leaking toxic waste into the ground and water.
Encourage your teams to bring reusable, insulated bottles for their water and coffee, work with catering companies that use only recyclable and biodegradable materials, and get rid of any single-use plastic at the office.
Volunteer as team building
Most companies imagine their one-hour paintballing session to be the perfect way to bond and have fun outside of work. Why not, instead, look into local organizations that support sustainability and conservation, and take your teams to volunteer there for your team building session?
For instance, Tree People in Los Angeles allow residents to plant trees in local parks and other suitable locations to give back to Mother Nature. There are numerous other volunteering opportunities of similar nature, so make sure you find one that resonates with your values.
You and your business have a responsibility towards your community and the planet alike. Use these tips to transform your carbon footprint and protect our beautiful planet from further destruction!
About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid freelance writer and blogger from Sydney, Australia. He is a regular contributor to numerous blogs and online magazines, where he writes about interior design, real estate, energy efficiency, sustainable living and other related and unrelated topics. Mike’s goal is to create insightful and compelling content that will help readers navigate through these vast and ever-changing fields.