It is time to stop thinking of going green as a gimmick. Business has a very important role to play in protecting the future of our planet, but there are other reasons why taking an environmentally friendly approach is a good idea. Contrary to many misconceptions, going green can actually save you money and it is also really good PR, so there are business reasons as well as ethical ones for your company to get on board. We have put together a few ideas, from using eco friendly promotional bags to appraising your entire business, to help get you moving in the right direction.
Take a whole business view
To make your new greener approach a success, it is important to make it work across your entire business. For example, it is all very well improving your recycling processes, but if you are still very wasteful with energy you can hardly call your business truly green. The first step should be to analyse every step of your business from travel to energy use and from manufacturing to packaging. Then you can systematically look for ways of improving each area. Collate your ideas into an environmental policy that can be implemented right across the business.
Turn off unused equipment
Businesses waste a huge amount of energy through leaving equipment on when not in use. Putting a stop to this is a very simple way to kick start your new greener approach. Instruct all staff members to turn off computers and other machines at the end of each day and charge an individual or individuals with the task of checking that they comply. Not only will you be doing your bit for the environment but you will also save money on unnecessary electricity usage without having to make any real change to your business practices.
Empower your staff
Once you have formulated your environmental policy, it is vital that you get the support of your staff if you are to make it work. They are the people who operate your business on a day to day basis, so they are the people who will effect and be affected by the proposed changes. Get them involved in the process as early as possible — ideally at the ideas stage — and give them responsibility to make the new environmental approach work. If they feel some ownership of the process they are more likely to adopt it enthusiastically and efficiently.
Encourage your customers and suppliers
As a green business, you have a responsibility not only to act in an environmentally friendly manner yourself but also to encourage a similarly ethical approach from others. Providing your customers with eco friendly green bags is one way to encourage them to reuse and reduce consumption. You should also not be afraid of advertising your new greener approach. The more people see businesses acting in an environmentally responsible manner the more likely they are to follow suit. Your suppliers should come under scrutiny too. Where possible choose partners that meet your environmental standards and let companies that aren’t up to scratch know that this is why you can’t work with them.