These days, more companies and organizations are becoming aware of the importance of sustainability practices. By incorporating green methods and habits in the workplaces, businesses can reap significant financial benefits and appeal to more modern consumers. But depending on the business context, sustainability has different meanings.
In terms of business and employment practices, sustainability can be focused on boosting creativity and productivity, ensuring long-term profitability and increasing the level of corporate social responsibility. Here are several ways to make your process more sustainable, benefiting both your business and the environment.
Manage your energy footprint
According to a study by Energy Information Administration, both commercial and residential buildings in the U.S. use about 39% of the country’s energy. With such alarming statistics, there’s been a rapid growth for high-efficiency architecture to reduce emissions from buildings.
Whether you are renovating your old business premises or building a new one from scratch, make sure to use eco-friendly materials or systems. These include HVAC systems, solar panels, natural insulation materials, triple-pane windows, and geothermal systems. Regularly check your workspace for cracks or holes that need to be sealed to cut cooling or heating consumption and costs.
According to The World Counts, offices in the U.S. use over 12 trillion paper sheets in a year and 50% of business waster is made from paper. Now think about how many trees were cut down just for that. The best thing you can do is to create a paperless workspace. Switch to online paperwork or use digital software and apps to write and store your data, from receipts to contracts.
This won’t just allow you to minimize paper waste but also gives you additional storage space in your workplace. If you still need paper for some of your operations, reuse or recycle them whenever you can. With proper implementation, telecommuting can make your company more environmentally friendly. Plus, you can improve your employees’ morale, making them happier and less stressed.
It is proven that flexible work options are not just cost-effective but are also good for the environment. By telecommuting, you can take part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. This is possible since individuals who work from home tend to use fewer supplies, less office equipment, and less electricity.
Review and revise your company’s HR practices to suit flexible work arrangements for your employees. Ensure that the revised practices are still compliant with local, state, or federal laws. You can consider hiring a professional employment attorney to review your new policies. Doing so will protect your business from legal issues while still addressing your employees’ rights and needs. If you’re considering telecommuting, be sure everyone on your team knows your goals to make the transition smooth.
Practice green procurement
Practicing green procurement is another effective way to make your business more eco-friendly. This method is about sourcing goods and services supplied or produced sustainably. Green procurement won’t just allow you to support the community but also reduce transportation costs. Ideally, locally sourced goods do not have ozone-depleting substances or toxic materials, are made from renewable or recycled materials, or don’t use excessive packaging. They should also be designed to be recyclable or repairable.
In creating your company’s green-procurement program, include the expected behaviors in productions, labor, and waste management. You should also educate your supply base about the sustainable practices you’re planning to implement. And most importantly, commit to sustainable operations and practice what you preach.
Opt for eco-friendly packaging
Do you know that packaging and containers are among the top contributors to landfills? By finding a better alternative for your products’ packaging, you can already reduce a significant amount of pollution and waste.
You can opt for eco-friendly packaging materials, such as recycled paper or cardboard, biodegradable packing peanuts, mushroom packaging, inflatable air pillows, cornstarch packaging, and corrugated bubble wrap. Choose packaging that offers the right functionality, style, and durability for your products. Making your packaging sustainable allows you to make a lasting impression on your customers.
Follow these pointers to create a sustainable strategy for your business. Remember that creating a sustainable business requires various operations, behaviors, and policies. And remember, while the sustainability plans of every business are different, the main goal is to promote environmental protection in the industry.