The fact that the business industry is trending towards actively incorporating more sustainable business practices is no secret. Consumer interest and the possibility of increased profit margins are demanding it. Making an effort to reduce harmful emissions, curb energy consumption, and eliminate waste has turned out to be excellent opportunities for small businesses to build customer loyalty and lower operating costs at the same time.
Start measuring. Start saving
One way to dramatically decrease the carbon footprint your business will develop over time is to get serious about your energy consumption from the start. One way to effectively maintain low operating costs is to effectively manage how much energy your business consumes regularly.
Fortunately there are energy monitoring systems available that provide in-depth tracking of how much electricity your home or office consumes daily and can provide you with actionable data, accessible from anywhere, that helps you make smart business decisions concerning your energy needs.
Cut costs by using less paper
If a typical office worker uses approximately 10,000 sheets of paper each year then going paperless will naturally help lower your operating costs and improve your environmental standing. So before you go out and purchase tons of paper or start printing invoices and customer data consider one of the many paperless options available that make retrieving, sharing ,and transferring files and information more convenient and also boosts employee productivity and the overall efficiency of your business in the process.
Is “work from anywhere” right for your business?
There is an increasing trend of companies that are promoting a “work from anywhere” culture in to their structure. With the help of technology, accomplishing work-related tasks from a mobile location is not just easy, it’s pretty commonplace. Employees can easily participate in video conference calls, respond to emails, and complete sales on the go. All of these options make it possible for savvy business owners to lower the expense of maintaining office space and at the same time allow more flexibility with employee schedules.
Take advantage of Software as a Service (SaaS)
Taking advantage of internet-based software and cloud applications can also greatly reduce the impact your startup has on the environment. For example, using Quickbooks online for your accounting needs and Adobe Creative Cloud for your design needs eliminates the need the need to purchase multiple software licenses in order to grow your business.
Many businesses are finding value in software as a service (SaaS) products, and not just because they can significantly reduce operating costs. Many small business owners are jumping on the bandwagon because these platforms can significantly reduce carbon footprints by all but eliminating IT support costs since hardware and software maintenance for your business applications is outsourced to the vendor.
Buy recycled and reuse often
Taking advantage of recycled office supplies is another highly effective way to launch a more sustainable business. Items like ink toner, cartridges, and most paper products can be recycled at no cost to you. Even outdated electronics can be recycled, regardless of brand or condition.
Because the materials used don’t have to be harvested or refined a second time adopting a policy of reusing items like binders, paper clips and bubble mailers and also purchasing office supplies made from recycled materials will definitely have an appreciative impact on your bottom line.
Although many of the carbon offsetting initiatives in use today undoubtedly require a financial investment upfront, they will nevertheless pay for themselves in a relatively short amount of time and increase the flexibility and productivity of your business along with it.
Zoe Maldonado is a blogger for TechBreach and enjoys writing about all things mobile and electronic and spending time with her very active twin boys.