According to Bradley Du Chenne, spokesperson for ibuyeco Insurance, “There has never been a better time to start running your business in a more environmentally friendly way.”
The good news is that it is quite simple to make changes that will positively impact both the environment and the business’s bottom line.
ibuyeco Insurance points out a number of easily implementable ideas for running a "green" business, which can be put into practice immediately:
*Switch off office equipment when it is not being used. This can reduce electricity usage by a quarter. Switching off computers at the end of the working day can save an additional 50% on electricity usage, driving down energy costs.
*Opt not to print. Encourage employees not to print e-mail messages unless it is absolutely necessary.
*Print double-sided documents. If employees have to print, do so using both sides of a sheet of paper. Set the printer to print double-sided documents as a default, or reuse old pages printed on one side only.
*Use a fax-modem. Eliminate fax-related paper wastage by using a fax-modem, which allows documents to be sent directly to a computer without requiring a printed version of the document.
*Aim to hold more events via teleconference and webconference. This saves petrol and wear and tear on employees’ cars, and may also result in an increase in productivity.
*Ensure taps are closed tightly after use. Research shows that one drop wasted per second wastes 10,000 litres per year.
*Recycle ink cartridges, glass and paper. Many suburbs have recycling depots, making it easy to recycle goods.
*Find a supply of paper with maximum recycled content. One ton of 100% recycled paper saves 17 trees and enough electricity to power an average home for six months. *Look for the recycling symbol (a circle of three arrows) on the packaging.
*Shop around for suppliers who take back paper and packaging for reuse.
*Change to "green" cleaning products as far as possible in the office.
*Investigate "greener" products and services within the immediate area. The less the providers need to travel to deliver supplies, the more environmentally friendly the relationship.
*Consider refurbishing before replacing. Assess if office chairs and desks can be refurbished rather than replaced. This is a less expensive exercise and is better for the environment.
“Whether you run a home-based business, a retail business or an off-site enterprise, it is clear that there are basic tools you can put into practice to aid in protecting the environment,” concludes Du Chenne.