The new black is definitely green! With a greater focus on the environment, more and more companies are going green. As a result, businesses are conserving natural resources, reducing waste, and even creating a healthier workplace. If you’re an entrepreneur who owns a small business, or a business manager looking to implement some meaningful changes, going green may be easier than you think.
To help get you going, here are seven easy ways to become a greener company¬—from reusing mugs and silverware to choosing eco-friendly vendors.
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- Power down—or switch to laptops
Done for the day? Direct employees to save power by shutting down desktop computers—screens and all—instead of simply putting them to sleep. Even better: Switch to laptops. Featuring energy-saving batteries, LCD screens, and more, laptop computers use approximately 80% less energy and thus are more energy efficient than desktop computers,* making them a great choice for companies interested in going green.
Save landfill space, natural resources, and money by replacing paper, plastic, and Styrofoam cups with reusable mugs and glasses. The same goes for paper plates and plastic cutlery. Another easy way to go green? Instead of discarding old office furniture, donate it or reach out to your local Freecycle group to give it to someone looking for exactly what you’re giving away.
- Encourage public transit
Encouraging public transit use is an easy, effective way to reduce your employees’ carbon footprint. According to the American Public Transportation Association, an individual with a 20-mile round-trip commute can reduce his or her annual CO2 emissions by a whopping 4,800 pounds per year by switching to public transportation.† Most public transportation systems offer programs that enable employers to provide discounted or pre-tax fare cards to their employees.
- Recycle everything you can
Before throwing anything out, stop and think if it can be recycled. Recycling goes far beyond plastic, glass, cans, and paper. You’d be amazed how much can be recycled (drink pouches, snack wrappers, computers, ink cartridges, and much more). A little research can yield big results in terms of reducing your waste; and you’ll be pleasantly surprised just how easily employees jump on the bandwagon.
- Switch to green cleaning products
Conventional cleaning products are packed with chemicals that, when they enter our natural environment, are toxic to plant and animal life. They can also cause allergic reactions amongst employees. Green cleaners shine, disinfect, and deodorize as well as conventional cleaners and are gentler on the environment and the people who work for you. Save money by making your own green cleaners with household ingredients, such as vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and essential oils.
- Choose green partners and vendors
Once you’ve made the decision to become a green company and have started implementing eco-friendly changes, the next natural step is to select partners and vendors that share your environmental vision. From the fuels used to power delivery trucks to environmentally friendly workplace policies, more and more businesses are going green. Ask potential partners and vendors about what they’re doing to become more sustainable.
- Change your culture
Going green in the office starts with changing the culture of your workplace. In other words, get people to start thinking green. Start with small changes and encourage employees to think outside the box in terms of ways to go green. Recognize good ideas. Celebrate environmental achievements and milestones. Going green is an ongoing process that can be achieved through innovative leadership and enthusiastic teamwork.
When it comes to education, give yourself the green light!
From lowering your carbon footprint to implementing innovative eco-friendly workplace policies, the right education can equip you with the skills you need to lead your business in innovative new ways that can have a big impact on your community and the world.
Whether you decide to pursue your education online or on-campus, a master’s in leadership or a master’s in management can prepare you to effectively manage and motivate in a 21st-century global economy. Additionally, if you’re passionate about corporate social responsibility and honing your leadership skills, an MS in Management or an MS in Leadership online degree can provide you with the flexibility you need to earn your degree while still managing to juggle life’s other responsibilities.
Discover how Walden University’s online MS in Management and MS in Leadership degree programs are helping business owners become business leaders, at their own pace and on their own schedule.
*Stone, D., Laptop Vs. PC Power Consumption, Chron, on the internet at http://smallbusiness.chron.com/laptop-vs-pc-power-consumption-79347.html.
†American Public Transportation Association, Public Transportation Reduces Greenhouse Gases and Conserves Energy, on the internet as a PDF at http://www.apta.com/resources/reportsandpublications/Documents/greenhouse_brochure.pdf.