Going green has always been an important initiative for many businesses to consider, however with climate change deadlines and the supply of nonrenewable resources being depleted at an alarming rate it is quickly becoming a responsible decision to make.
While many organizations have been intimidated by the idea of going green due to the common misconception that it is complicated or requires numerous changes, which can be overwhelming. However, the good news for many businesses is that going green within your workplace can be accomplished in many ways and receive numerous benefits in the process.
What is a green initiative?
A green initiative, eco-friendly, environmentally sustainable are words that have thrown around frequently however what is the concept of going green. Going green refers to a business that is environmentally aware of their processes, ensures efficient use of resources, and practices social responsibility. These businesses employ sustainable strategies that are aimed at being more sustainable, efficient, and benefit the environment.
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What are the benefits of going green?
When a company decides to reduce its environmental impact they will gain a number of benefits in the process, we will now unpack some of those that can be gained:
Maintaining legal compliance
All countries have laws that regulate environmental laws, therefore businesses have a legal obligation to ensure they are environmentally compliant. Organizations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) have the authority to issue a citation or financial penalty to a business that does not employ environmentally friendly practices. A company that goes green will often benefit by not having to pay for violating environmental legislation and find they will have an easier time adjusting to the new environmental laws that are being introduced due to their strong environmentally aware culture already found within their worksite.
Going green saves money
Reducing costs is a common motivator for going green from reusing byproducts, upcycling existing material to implementing smart transportation methods, there is money to be saved in becoming environmentally aware. A company that reduces it’s waste and energy usage will inevitably reduce their costs and save money that can later be invested in other projects.
It is important to note that while it does cost a company to implement green strategies the return on investment will amount to much more and continue to increase over time.
Going green improves your businesses reputation
It is no secret that environmental awareness is starting to become a status symbol coveted by many businesses, but why is this the case. Going green improves the reputation of a business in the eyes of their customers and in turn increases their customer base. People care and they want to support a business that shares the same values as they do. Going green will create more opportunities for a business by opening them up to a new customer base, strengthening the relationship with their current customers who share their beliefs, and ensure customer loyalty.
Going green can improve your workplace culture
Implementing environmentally aware protocols can assist in achieving efficient operations, reduces waste, provides employees with an opportunity to create synergy, and improve the standard of living for employees, surrounding businesses, and those in contact with the business. Employees who work for an environmentally aware company understand that their company cares about the environment and in turn, feel the company cares about them too, this understanding establishes a positive feeling throughout the business.
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How to go green?
After establishing the many benefits derived from going green your business will now be wondering what sort of strategies can be implemented in order to achieve these goals and reap the benefits. A focus must be placed on implementing eco-friendly strategies that are easy to implement, efficient, and do not require a large amount of time and money. The following are strategies that a variety of businesses can implement:
Update your workplaces lighting
One of the most cited eco-friendly strategies, replacing the light bulbs within your workplace for a more eco-friendly option available such as LED’s, which are longer lasting and more energy-efficient, can provide great results. Once a business makes the initial investment the savings to be made from a smaller electricity bill will ensure it is worth the initial investment.
Improve your packaging
Waste reduction is a common theme found when beginning the process of going green and this idea can also be implemented when looking for environmentally aware solutions to the packaging issue. The packaging is found in all sectors and using less of it cuts down on waste, however, this is not the only benefit. A reduction in packaging means a reduction in waste. While reducing the amount of packaging used makes a considerable difference a business should also look at the material used in packaging, if a biodegradable material can be used then a company should look into replacing the current packaging material.
Implement smart technology
Technology when leveraged in a smart manner can be a useful tool for going green, from the LED lights previously mentioned to motion sensors that can be implemented to ensure the lights are only when there is a movement taking place, technology can enhance the impact of energy-saving solutions.
Installing a Facility Management Application is another form of technology that enables green strategies of being implemented. The mobile and cloud-based capabilities of the software allow work sites to reduce their reliance on paper or even go paperless. Features such as Maintenance Management allow employees to access checklists and ensure equipment is running at optimum efficiency thereby reducing waste.
A simple change can make all the difference, providing containers for plastics, papers and other recyclable materials throughout the worksite that collects the waste for it to be later sent to a recycling facility can make a huge difference.
Going green should not be considered a nuisance but a necessary change as the impact will not only be felt by the company. With the benefits stated and the tips that can easily be implemented there has never been a greater time to go green.