My colleague, Gary Barzel, recently posted the “Definitive Guide to Turning Your Business Green”. Although it would be nice if we were all inspired to “go green” for the pure motivation of saving the environment – many of us are more motivated by the other type of green: MONEY. I’d like to expand on a few points Gary brought up, with the goal of showing that often times the two types of green are synonymous. What do I mean? Well, many of the tips Gary gave can actually save your business money.
Gary’s content is blue, my notes are green.
Many of Gary’s suggestions require some sort of initial investment. Check with your accountant to see which of these you can get special tax benefits for instituting in your business.
Operating in the Green
1. Reduce waste:
- Look for ways to reduce the use of paper in your business’ internal and external communications by, for example, setting your printer to automatically print double-sided, switching from a fax machine to a fax modem to send and receive paperless documents, using electronic forms whenever possible, and emailing letters and documents to be read online rather than printed out. Also make sure to review your company’s mailing lists. This saves money on paper, toner, filing space, etc.
- Recycle or refill the ink cartridges in your printer. Many stores, such as Office Max or Staples, will either recycle your old cartridges or refill them. Refilling cartridges can save a ton of money on ink. Some people even refill their own cartridges with a special syringe.
- Provide washable china and utensils for your employees so they do not have to use plasticware or styrofoam cups. I would actually recommend non-breakable dishes. Mugs would be the exception. Many companies spend lot’s of money on disposable cups and cutlery to keep their kitchen area stocked. The challenge here is getting your employees to clean up after themselves! Encourage your employees to bring lunch from home in reusable containers This is a great way for your employees to save money; food from home is a lot cheaper than food from a restaurant. or frequent restaurants that offer green packaging.
2. Conserve resources:
All the tips Gary gave in this section all will save you money on your energy bill each month. Each tip might save a little, but added together it makes a good sized chunk
The only exception was this one:
- Save on water with faucets that automatically shut off as well as water conserving toilets. This will save you on your water bill AND you might be able get help from your government in switching to water conserving toilets.
3. Dispose of waste responsibly.
Establish a recycling program in your business. Set up bins to collect scrap paper for reuse. Recycle aluminum cans, glass, Don’t forget to collect the deposits on these. cardboard, office paper and newsprint. Make sure to also dispose of your old equipment responsibly. You could bring these items to an E-Waste facility or take advantage of manufacturer take-back programs. You can also donate old equipment to Goodwill and get a tax deduction.
Don’t forget to exploit your “Greenness” for full marketing benefit. You can have an “Environmental Awareness Statement” or an “Environmentally Friendly” notice in the corner of company literterature. This will help others feel good about frequenting your business, and is great PR.
Get the best of both worlds: Get Some Green by Going Green