1. Go Digital – With programs like Skype, Salesforce, Go To Meeting, and the Cloud, you have no other excuse as to why you shouldn’t be using digital forms of conferencing, document sharing and beyond to avoid emitting carbons when traveling or wasting paper at the printer station. The greenest type of paper is no paper at all, so keep things digital and dematerialized whenever possible. Review documents online or in PDFs instead of printing them out. The more ways you can use the Internet for operations, the greener your business will become. Or, look into options for working from home, since so many companies are entertaining this idea. Instant messaging and video conferencing are helpful and free! And not to mention, working in comfortable clothes is another added perk and will cut down on your dry cleaning bill.
2. Optimize Energy Settings – Think of all the technologies and devices in your office and how many have energy saving features. Put in motion sensor lights, require employees to put devices to “sleep” before they go home, and unplug machines when not in use. It’ll end up saving you money, too.
3. Computer Usage – Computers are one of the most energy-sucking devices in the workplace so encourage coworkers to turn monitors off or into sleep mood every evening. Decreasing screen brightness on computers can also reduce power consumption.
4. Green Furnishings – Innovate your workspace using eco-friendly furnishings, desk furniture, chairs, LED lighting arrangements and more options that not only use fair practices but also look to the great good of the environment. And definitely take advantage of natural lighting to keep costs down.
5. Get Some Fresh Air – If your office permits, open up the windows and let the fresh, cool air permeate. Fresh air helps to make employees more efficient and the air will feel definitely less stale when using air condition systems or even a fan.
6. Recycle – Use recycled printing paper; recycle scrap paper; collect aluminum, cardboard and plastic and take it to appropriate outlet for proper reuse. Look for recycled paper with a high percentage of post-consumer content and minimum chlorine bleaching for the most eco-friendly printing material.
7. Environmentally-friendly Break Rooms – Most of the office waste can be found in the kitchen/break room. Encourage employees to use reusable food containers, avoid Styrofoam and plastic water bottles, and have lots of silverware, plates, plastic cups and other reusable eating utensils.
8. Green Your Commute – Look into public transit and whether your business offers commuter sharing discounts. Car pool with coworkers in your area, try biking if you live near, or some other combination. Consider hybrid or electric vehicles and take advantage of the carpool lane.
9. Fair Trade Food – Fair-trade coffee and tea is just a small investment that works toward global health. Look into buying produce and other food locally to help decrease carbon emissions from farmers and other food makers.
10. Green Business – Whatever industry your business resides in, look into implementing these green techniques in business practices with your suppliers, vendors, clients and customers. Not only will these parties save money on their side, but they will also appreciate your eco-friendly efforts.