Green business practices are now being emphasized in corporate offices across America. It’s nice to see that companies can improve their workplace environment while creating a greater awareness towards using eco-friendly products, while saving money at the same time.
Going green can start with the basics like switching out the light bulbs to a more energy efficient brand, and recycling. Many companies are now going paperless by sending out e-statements. This not only conserves paper, but saves the company overhead costs as well. Read below for further ideas on how green companies can reduce their carbon footprint.
Green Business Starts with Coffee
Green companies are now promoting new office policies on consumable items such as coffee supplies and water bottles. Companies naturally want their employees to feel comfortable and alert at work, but that shouldn’t be at the expense of the environment.
For example, if an office of fifty employees simply switched from Styrofoam or paper coffee cups to re-usable glass coffee mugs, that office would save 2,600 Styrofoam cups from being thrown into landfills each year.
For even further savings, green companies are using metal spoons instead of plastic spoons and coffee stirs, and are recycling used coffee grounds as plant fertilizers. As an added savings, companies would save about $200 or more per year on disposable coffee supplies. According to Planet Green, some additional green business practices related to coffee and beverages should include:
- Serve only locally grown organic coffee that has traveled the least amount of distance.
- Ditch the plastic stirs and spoons.
- Compost the used coffee grounds.
- Use only organic milk and sugar to flavor coffee.
- Serve Certified Fair Trade coffee that supports proper wages and living conditions for coffee farmers.
- Brew coffee in the office rather than paying non-eco-friendly vendors to supply your coffee needs.
- Recycle all paper, plastic bottles, and aluminum cans.
Green Companies Strive to Integrate Green Technology
Companies can reduce their overall carbon footprint by integrating green technology practices at the office. For starters, green companies can reduce their C02 emissions by purchasing hybrid cars and suvs for their company vehicles.
Businesses will even save money when it comes to purchasing hybrid vehicles. According to ConsumerReports.org, the Toyota Prius will actually save $3,500 over five years in comparison to similarly ranked gasoline-only fueled cars in America. Other ideas for integrating green technology in the office are:
- Upgrade to solar energy whenever possible.
- Invest in energy star appliances for the office.
- Disallow employees to have personal microwaves and refrigerators in their office spaces.
- Switch to energy efficient light bulbs.
- Go paperless by sending only e-statements and e-bills whenever possible.
Green Business Conserves Whenever Possible
There are lots of ways that a business can conserve energy. First of all businesses should plant shade trees around offices and parking lots to reduce reliance on air conditioning. They can also decorate their office spaces with live plants. This will not only help to provide cleaner air in the workplace, but will also help to improve the overall atmosphere at work.
Green companies should promote a spirit of conservation. They can offer employees incentives to carpool, or to telecommute from home. Most importantly, businesses striving to go green should communicate their “Green Business Plan,” to ensure that all employees are on board with preserving the environment. A Green Business Plan should include:
- Encourage Employees to carpool to work and to lunch (or better yet, walk to lunch or to brown-bag-it).
- Turn off the lights when rooms are not in use of put lights on a timer to shut off when rooms are empty.
- Purchase green technology whenever possible such as solar computer and cell phone chargers.
- Shut off and unplug all computers and electronics when the office is not in use.
- Set air conditioners and heaters on timers to operate only during business hours.
- Promote volunteerism in helping eco-friendly organizations (This also promotes the business).
Green Businesses Practice What They Preach
Green Business Plans must be modeled from the top down. The CEO should drive a hybrid car, and should only drink his Java from a re-usable coffee cup. Company leaders should offer incentives to employees for helping to promote an eco-friendly environment in the office that will save the business money.
A great way to get employees involved in helping the environment is to solicit workers’ ideas on what they think they can do to help reduce their overall carbon footprint at the office and at home. Finally, green business should thank its employees for helping to save the earth.