Whether you’re an entrepreneur, CEO of a big corporate firm, or an employee putting in eight hours a day, you most certainly have heard of the green movement making way into homes and businesses. A more sustainable lifestyle is becoming a goal for society these days as the green movement is showing people the serious consequences that we can suffer if we don’t take better care of our environment.
Businesses can and should take steps in greening their space as well. People spend most of their time working, so doesn’t it make sense to turn your working lifestyle into a more sustainable one? By implementing some changes into your working environment or changing your working methods, you are benefiting the environment as well as creating a healthier space for yourself and your workers.
What is a sustainable or green business?
An enterprise with minimal negative effect on its environment, community, society or economy can be considered sustainable. Green businesses are socially and environmentally responsible, and apply sustainable principles in all aspects of their business, from the product, through their employees, to the customer service. (See also: “triple bottom line” businesses.)
Does your business have the following criteria to be seen as green?
- When making business decisions, sustainability is one of the principles.
- The service or product is environmentally friendly.
- The business makes continuous improvements to become greener.
- Environmental principles are applied no matter what the operation is.
Make your business more sustainable
It is exciting to see a majority of commercial buildings and businesses taking the environment into consideration by adapting to sustainable strategies. No matter how big or small, everyone can take the steps to make some changes. Here’s how:
One of the first things that come to mind when considering sustainability is recycling, which is a great way to start. Make sure to recycle all the paper and paper scraps used in your workplace — there will probably be a lot of it.
Apart from paper, it is also very important to recycle e-waste. E-waste or electronic trash is becoming the world’s biggest source of waste in the digital age, posing a threat to both the public health and the environment. It should be carefully disposed of and recycled, and the best way for businesses to do that is to partner with a licensed recycler.
2. Construction and Sustainable Materials
If you are a new or expanding business starting a large scale development, you have the advantage of making the right choices from the start. Choose a green building construction company that follows the best methods for reducing greenhouse gasses and toxic waste, uses recycled and sustainable materials, and can develop a sustainable building according to your needs.
3. PCW Paper
It is always best to use as little paper as possible because the production of paper includes cutting trees, creating a lot of waste, and using a lot of energy. But sometimes we simply need paper and it is inevitable to use it occasionally.
In those cases it is best to use PCW (post-consumer waste paper) because it is 100% eco-friendly and made entirely out of recycled paper, i.e. from the paper we put in our recycling bins every day.
The usual recycling symbol found on paper is an unregulated designation and can have very little post-consumer material, so it is more recommendable to use paper labeled PCW. Half as much waste is produced in the process of manufacturing it and it requires almost 50% less energy.
4. Local Investment
Since a green business is socially and environmentally responsible, it can have a tremendous impact on your local community and beyond. Start investing in and supporting local initiatives that are environmentally oriented. Try to direct some of your funds into creating educational opportunities and into improving local ecology and green agriculture.
In order to solve global issues, it is each individual’s responsibility to make small changes. If you are a corporate leader at a big firm you already have a leadership advantage that can make a big difference to our environment through being an example and leading the way. With that being said, going green does not only help the environment but it can help you save money along the way and help your business stand out from the competition.