Businesses need to be held accountable as much as consumers in terms of building a more sustainable planet. For example, according to a report by the World Economic Forum, businesses make building sustainable habits easier for consumers who may find it difficult and time-consuming to adjust to certain green practices. Even smaller companies can make a difference in encouraging people to be mindful of their habits.
Still, before they do this, businesses must apply these principles to themselves. To this end, here are some ways businesses can become more sustainable:
Reduce energy consumption
A business runs an office or building for their employees to do their tasks. As such, these establishments run on electricity to power equipment, computers, heating, and lighting. Bigger companies have buildings with many floors and a larger number of employees, thus multiplying energy consumption.
However, this can be reduced by encouraging and reminding employees and staff to turn off equipment and appliances that are not in use. After the workday, lights that are not needed for safety and security purposes should be turned off. Equipment should also be unplugged at night not only to save electricity but also to prevent overheating and fire risks.
Minimise paper use
Using paper cannot be eradicated completely since it is still needed for some transactions. What businesses can do though is to minimise their use through electronic alternatives. Instead of using sticky notes or bits of paper for task reminders, companies can utilise a work communication app like Slack.
Another is to permanently do away with physical company business cards. According to digital business card provider Doorway, six million trees are chopped down annually for card production. With a digital business card, no paper will be used. Employees can also make additions and corrections, and the edits will be applied instantly. They’re also easier to share via email, which is great for online networking events.
Encourage reusable items
Companies can provide beverage stations for their employees to use. These stations use disposable cups for convenience, which adds to waste. By encouraging them to bring reusable tumblers or mugs to the office, single-use items like paper or plastic cups will be decreased.
The same goes for food containers and utensils. If the company has a cafeteria, having employees bring their own containers will lower food waste. They can also keep their food for later instead of throwing it out when they have the proper containers.
Schedule maintenance checks
Offices have a lot of electronic devices that are used every day. These can get worn out due to their extended hours of use and therefore, may often need repairs or even a replacement. By having these electronics checked regularly, businesses can avoid purchasing new ones and contributing to electronic waste. Regular maintenance checks also lessen fire hazards due to overheating or faulty wires.
If certain electronics do need to be thrown out, businesses should ensure their proper disposal. Some electronic device retailers like Apple provide trade-in programs where old devices can be exchanged for a discount on a new device. Another way to discard electronics is to donate them to charities that can repair and give them away to those in need.
As the world suffers from the consequences of pollution and man-made destruction, people need to be more mindful of their practices. Businesses, most of all, should be aware of the sustainable habits they practice before encouraging their clients and consumers to do the same. Here at What Can YOU Do, we encourage everyone to make a difference for a better earth.