In recent years, there has been a tremendous push by consumers to be more conscious of the environment. Both consumers and companies are becoming more aware of their impact on the world, and many are taking action by focusing on reducing emissions and limiting carbon footprints.
As businesses are held more accountable for their environmental impact, it may be wise to find ways to conserve energy and “go green.” Below, 15 members of Forbes Business Council shared some easy ways your company can start operating in a more environmentally-friendly way.
Forbes Business Council members share easy ways businesses can begin adopt more environmentally-friendly operations.
Photos courtesy of the individual members.
1. Account For Your Carbon
Accounting for your carbon and offsetting it, whether it’s energy from a building or an Uber ride, is a perfect place to start. Companies can also set commitments around eating sustainably at company-sponsored events, like no red meat. Make sure the work from home environment is as sustainable as possible, and have a “green team.” – Lizzie Horvitz, Finch Insights
2. Benchmark Your Current Gas Emissions
Start by benchmarking your current greenhouse gas emissions. You can’t change what you don’t measure. As soon as you are able to understand the GHG footprint of your company, you can begin to take steps to reduce it in an organized and strategic way. – Robert Krenza, BlackWolf Consultants Inc.
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3. Avoid Paper
It sounds simple, but avoid paper as much as possible. Our office has become entirely paperless. It’s not possible for all industries, but there are certain practices (or technology) that can be put into place to avoid the need to use paper. It also makes tracking documents and communications much easier and searchable—not to mention requires less physical storage space. – Mitra Ahouraian , Ahouraian Law
4. Expand Remote Work Protocols
By maintaining and expanding remote work protocols, emissions from commutes are greatly reduced. Also, choosing bamboo-based paper products is also a great way to lead by example and to demonstrate that sustainable products are a practical choice as well as one to be proud of. – Abigail Aboitiz, 247 Health Solutions
5. Buy Tokens In Green Projects
It may surprise many to know that the crypto world is working on solutions that actually help the environment. One way for companies to reduce their environmental footprint is to buy tokens in projects like Flow Carbon and Klima Dao that are equivalent to buying carbon emission offsets. – Gil Eyal, Starfund
6. Deploy Solar Powered EV Charging Stations
Solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations are easy because they require no permitting, no construction and no electrical work. You’ll never get a utility bill either. The organization reduces its carbon footprint associated with commuting, but the investment also goes toward the employees who save money on gas. – Desmond Wheatley, Beam Global
7. Eliminate Unnecessary Usage Of Space
One simple way for companies to reduce their energy output is to understand how their spaces are being utilized. A workplace experience platform aggregates usage data from all the areas of a given building and helps companies understand which spaces are being used less frequently and therefore require less energy. Eliminating this unnecessary usage will save money and reduce environmental impact. – Chase Garbarino, HqO
8. Create Paperless Workflows
Working for a 100% remote company, I haven’t used paper in years. You can save money on printers, ink, paper and more by creating a paperless workflow. It will cut out the travel time for the paper to make it around the office and allow for real-time tracking to take place. This has been especially beneficial for my manufacturing clients. – Alisha Raesz, Fourlane
9. Reduce The Number Of Printers In Your Office
Going paperless is an easy and highly effective way of going green. First, reduce the number of printers around the office and then track the number of employees’ printouts. Then, make the scorecard visible and reward employees who print less. Finally, reduce standard stationery items such as notepads, pens and promote digital diaries such as an iPad or Remarkable tablet. – Biju Chandrasekharan, ByteWave Digital Inc.
10. Start With An Audit
Breaking down the challenge into its component parts is helpful. Start with an audit—what resources do you use, and what are your firm’s current consumption and waste management practices? Think emissions and air quality, energy and water use, natural resources and land use. How can those be modified to better meet the changes needed? With an audit in hand, the task becomes more manageable. – Richard Steel, Parsec Ventures
11. Reevaluate Your Workflow
The natural progression of businesses has been to “go green” as a result of technological advancements. The changes aren’t automatic and it takes some strategic planning to reevaluate the workflow of your business to find areas that can be eliminated or made “green.” In our instance, this meant a dramatic reduction in what was printed, greater reliance on editing software and a virtual server. – Alex Argianas, Arginias & Associates
12. Adopt Green Supply Chain Partners
Adoption of supply chain partners in sourcing who are green and provide green products is a possible start. Moving towards switching to a partner who does this while your business is seeking to be more green helps your business as well as supports another supplier who is. You are directing resources that immediately help support the environment. Your brand becomes authentic to the Earth. – Paul L. Gunn, KUOG Corporation
13. Go Digital
It sounds like a simple solution, but make sure you offer everything from documentation to marketing materials in digital format and encourage employees to go digital when possible. That can include providing a QR code at conferences for easy downloads. Going digital saves trees, reduces the load at landfills and makes it easier to keep important documents accessible. – Ty Allen, SocialClimb
14. Incentivize Environmentally-Friendly Purchases
Our company encourages employees to go electric when choosing a new car. We incentivize employees to buy an electric car by providing them with a monthly voucher covering a portion of their lease or finance payment. We also encourage carpooling to and from the office. Additionally, we have switched to all LED lighting in our offices and have installed solar panels to offset our energy usage. – Ari Chazanas, Lotus West Properties
15. Identify What’s Driving Your Ecological Footprint
Start by identifying the real culprits driving your company’s ecological footprint. Is it the products you sell? Transportation? Your buildings and facilities? Attacking the problem in a more systematic way will yield more meaningful results than aimless one-off improvements. Of course, any incremental improvement is a win, but with all the tools out there, I’d challenge organizations to aim higher. – Kelly Pigeon, loopt