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4 Essential Steps for Environmentally Friendly Businesses

Creating an environmentally friendly business is important now more than ever, and it is an essential step in taking a leadership role in effecting positive change. Fortunately, not only are green initiatives great for the world we live in, but they can also be great for your profits by helping you identify ways to conserve resources and save money in the long-term. Here are four steps that you can take toward making your business more environmentally friendly.

Minimize Waste in the Office

Office supplies are generally bought in bulk and are designed to be disposable. As a result, we've gotten into a habit of being quick – a little too quick – to throw things away. In the United States, four million disposable pens are thrown away every single day. Thirty percent of print jobs are never retrieved from the printer, and a whopping 45 percent of printed paper will end up in the trash by the end of the day. In just one year, the average office worker will use 10,000 sheets of paper.

Focus on reducing your paper usage by printing double-sided documents and only making copies and prints when it's truly necessary. Additionally, provide office workers with recycling containers that are just for paper recycling in copy rooms and next to each desk to significantly cut down on how much paper hits the trashcan. You can also invest in refillable pens and monitor how many pens are taken from the supply closet or cabinet.

Review Procurement Practices

Taking a look at your procurement practices is another simple step you can take toward environmental sustainability. Seek out suppliers who consider sustainability in the goods and services they provide and who don't use substances that are toxic or harmful to the environment. You should also look for suppliers that don't use excessive packaging and who offer a service where they'll take back packaging for reuse.

Investigate Green Web Hosting Solutions

It takes a lot of energy to run all of the servers in the United States; in fact, the amount of energy that the nation's servers consume is equivalent to that of five nuclear power plants. By switching to a green web hosting option, you can cut down on your business's energy use. With green hosting, part of the energy comes from a renewable power source. Not only is this better for the environment, but it's more affordable for your business. The hosting company generates its own energy, lowering its own operating costs, and as a bonus, the cost savings get passed along to their clients.

Dispose of Old Furniture and Electronics Properly

After completing an office renovation or upgrading your computers, what happens with the old furniture and electronics? Landfills across the country are already overflowing. Furniture can take decades to break down; in fact, many of their parts won't break down at all. Electronics contain heavy metals like mercury and zinc that can leach into the soil, poisoning plant and animal life and eventually contaminating our waterways. Fortunately, furniture and electronics can both be easily recycled, helping to minimize your business's environmental footprint.

Your business can set a valuable example to our community, modeling sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. Follow these steps to enjoy cost savings while doing your part for the community.

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