Apart from Captain Planet villains, nobody wants to ruin our environment. Unfortunately, people often see going green as an expensive process that will fundamentally alter how businesses work. You can’t possibly be environmentally friendly without sinking tens of thousands of dollars into alternative energy and brand new trucks, right? Wrong. Those might be the ways you can make the biggest impact, but there are still things you can do to start turning your business around without losing money. Many will even save your company cash.
If you use a lot of raw materials, recycling can save your company a lot of money and keep the Earth in good shape. If you can’t use the scraps, collect them and sell them to a recycling center. Instead of paying to have it hauled away, a scrapyard will pay you for it. Set out recycling bins for employees to use, too. Your company won’t make much money from recycling soda cans and Gatorade bottles, but you can encourage your employees to start beneficial routines.
Turn Out the Lights
It seems like a simple idea that everyone already uses, but how normal is it? Most businesses leave their lights on all day, every day; many leave them on overnight. Running your lights 24/7 uses a lot of power and puts unnecessary strain on your light bulbs, forcing you to replace them frequently. If you’re worried about security, turn off two-thirds of your lights—that will leave enough light to maintain visibility, but still reduce your power usage. If your office or warehouse is secure, turn off all the lights when nobody’s working.
Reduce Your Fleet’s Fuel Cost
This one will take a lot of tweaking. If you’re still using paper logs, ditch them. Switch to an EOBR for your fleet management and logging. Using the EOBR’s GPS, you can keep your drivers on the most efficient routes. The automatic logging makes it easier to keep up on routine maintenance, ensuring that your vehicles get the best fuel mileage possible. Plus, when you know where each vehicle is, it’s easier to dispatch them more efficiently, preventing someone from driving 20 miles for a pickup when you have a truck 10 miles away sitting idle.
Perform Regular Maintenance
Keep all of your equipment in good working condition by performing regular maintenance. Have your copiers, fax machines and computers cleaned and checked regularly to prevent expensive breakdowns. Do the same with the appliances in your break room. If you have industrial equipment, don’t wait until something breaks to call in a technician. It’s always easier and less expensive to prevent a problem than to fix one. Plus, you’ll prevent those items from being thrown away. Any time you can keep using something you have rather than buying new, you’re doing the planet a favor.
Buying local doesn’t seem like it would help the Earth or your pocketbook, but take a closer look. When you buy from a company in your area, you don’t have to ship your goods across the country in a truck or on a train, reducing the fuel burned and, consequently, the pollution put into the atmosphere. Also, local companies will be more likely to partner with you or give you reduced rates because you’re saving them the money they’d be spending to ship their items.
Many people think that being environmentally friendly is expensive and difficult, but you don’t have to have a $50,000 solar array on your roof to be green. Make a few simple changes to your business and you can see both environmental and financial benefits. Those are two types of green everyone can get behind.