It’s a well-known fact that carbon emissions could be extremely harmful to the planet. But it’s not always easy to reduce your carbon footprint, especially when money is at stake.
Going green might not be a top priority, especially if you’re a business owner. That’s because adopting the right measures and technologies in this regard could be a bit expensive. This indeed can’t be denied, but the benefits that come afterwards make everything worth your while. You can save considerable money by reducing energy bills and costs associated with manufacturing, packaging, and transportation. Besides, becoming more environmentally conscious can boost overall productivity within your company, instilling more motivation in employees and improving your brand image.
It’s normal to be a bit scared of making this move, mainly if you rely on a tight budget. But learn that you can generate cost savings not only by but also while going green. Here’s how:
Drive performance by exploring the three Rs
The three Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle – could be the answer to successful waste management and improved business operations. If you run a company whose objective is to become sustainable, consider exploring these three approaches to waste management. Do your best to buy fewer raw materials for the manufacturing process, for example, by reusing actual materials. You can also take sustainability a step further by rethinking your packaging. So, instead of plastic, opt for eco-friendly packaging solutions such as biodegradable plastics, recycled paper and cardboard, seaweed packaging, corrugated bubble wrap, or corn starch packaging. If possible, consider reducing your product packaging by encouraging minimal packaging. Not only does this cut down on material packaging expenses, but it also lures customers who have become increasingly more interested in shopping sustainably.
Also, address waste by introducing the right recycling systems. There are balers and compactors suitable for any waste type and volume, so there’s no chance of not finding something right for your business. Be sure you choose these tools based on the trash that often goes to landfill to decrease its volume through crushing and compressing. Such systems can be expensive, but once you incorporate them into your company, you’ll see the upsides sooner than imagined. Balers and compactors provide advantages from saving money to saving space and time spent on managing waste.
Don’t get discouraged if you find it hard to cope with the initial costs of these tools. If you want to step into a greener future, possibilities will be found. Some companies allow clients to rent or hire the equipment instead of buying it, so in case this is a convenient variant for you, go for it. The only thing we advise you on is to choose equipment wisely and look for reputable providers.
Apart from reducing and recycling, there’s reusing that should receive just as much attention as the other two. We know it could be challenging to find a second purpose for a certain product, but if you put some energy into this, we’re sure a solution will be found. Think of hair, for example. It could be used as a thermal insulator for both homes and buildings in the future. If only hair recycling would be more promoted.
Reduce waste in the breakroom
You could also implement a waste management plan regarding employee waste. The main concern in this sense is represented by plastic bottles or cups, which are ubiquitous in almost any breakroom. So, it’s time to take action and rethink your options regarding the plastic products used in the workplace and food scraps generated by workers in the breakroom. For the former, consider turning to more eco-friendly options like paper. As for the latter, ensure you include a waste composting system. It would be great if you introduced company-branded, reusable drinkware instead of disposable plastic cups. You can also minimise water bottles and look for a filtration system or cooler instead. If you prefer a water cooler, be mindful of its energy use and don’t deviate from the main goal in this story – saving money. If the cooler provides hot water in addition to cold, it’s likely to consume more electricity, so be sure you go for a convenient dispenser. If you want to wow your employees, you can opt for a smart system that enables them to add certain flavours and carbonation to their water. Whatever you choose, one thing is for sure – in the long run, these solutions will cut energy costs and minimise waste.
Allow remote work options
Remote work has the potential to save significant money if it’s rolled out carefully and, of course, if it aligns with your company’s needs. We know there’s a lot of debate on how helpful or how unproductive remote work is, but the truth is that there’s nothing cast in stone regarding this option, so if it works for your organisation, we don’t see why you can’t allow employees to work from home. Not only can this reduce your environmental impact, but it also cuts down on heating, cooling, and lighting expenses. If you run a company that could function entirely with employees working remotely, you’re also likely to save money on equipment, maintenance, breakroom refreshments, and furniture. Enabling telecommuting also eliminates workers’ commutes contributing to the atmosphere’s carbon emissions.
Plastic reduction is indeed a top objective, and it’s true that paper is a great alternative to this non-biodegradable material. But this doesn’t mean paper doesn’t generate waste – its use leads to both wasted energy and wasted trees. So, businesses are highly recommended to embrace digitisation and eventually go paper-free. This solution is only beneficial as it can cover all kinds of administrative needs, from office communications and document sharing to order and invoice purchasing and data storage. Apart from accurate reporting, you benefit from considerable cost savings, as web-connected apps cut costs related to printers or other similar equipment.
The path to a sustainable business isn’t always expensive, as you can see. The only thing that matters is your initiative to bring a change.