At a time when consumers are looking for companies that support green and sustainable business practices the team from the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce put our heads together and came up with a list of 15 simple and affordable ideas for greening your business in 2015. Get ready to renew your business and make it more environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable.
- Evaluate your energy and water usage. Studies have shown that the act of engaging in the evaluation process itself brings on an immediate drop in usage. It also allows you to start seeing opportunities that you wouldn’t have recognized without an evaluation.
- Turn off lights when not in use. As a reminder, hang a sign next to all light switches to ‘Please Turn Off the Lights’. In addition, make sure all unnecessary lights are turned off each night.
- Turn the thermostat to the highest comfortable temperature in summer and lowest comfortable temperature in the winter. Program the evening temperatures higher/lower for even more savings.
- Use natural light when available. Most offices have natural light that can be used as a replacement or as a supplement to regular lighting.
- Use your window shades to save energy. Lower shades on the sunny side of the office during hot summer months and raise them to provide more heat during cooler months.
- Each night unplug all cords or power strips for computers/monitors, as ‘Vampire Power’ can cost you dearly. ‘Vampire Power is energy that is being used even when an appliance is in ‘off’ mode or a charger is still plugged into the wall.
- Use half of your of your existing garbage cans as ‘Recycle Receptacles’ and hang signs on each asking people to ‘Please Recycle’.
- Make telecommuting available to your employees one day or more a week.
- Provide Flex-time options for employees, allowing them to start and stop their work day within
a range of time as opposed to a regular set time. Employees who have busy family schedules prefer this to more regimented office hours. Businesses that use flextime attract and retain quality employees.
- Develop a carpooling list for employees.
- Encourage employees to use public transportation and provide schedules and suggestions for easy adoption. You can even take this one step further by subsidizing the cost of transportation.
- Encourage employees to walk or bicycle to work. Healthy employees are productive employees.
- Keep drinking water in the refrigerator to avoid having to run the water to cool it.
- Develop, or reignite, your ‘Code of Ethics’ policies/procedures to include green and sustainable business practices. This will show your customers and employees that you value integrity and that you have defined ethical behavior in the office that is directly related to green and sustainable business practices.
- Create a ‘Green Committee’ of interested employees who want to help your company become more sustainable. The first thing on the list? Come up with a 15 additional FREE practices the company can take which will not require an extra outlay of costs. Then share them with the U.S.
- Green Chamber of Commerce so we can share them with all of our members.