Operating an eco-friendly business is by no means easy, but neither does it have to be particularly difficult to make decisions that green up the works at every step of the way, allowing you to market your products and services to the environmentally-conscious demographic without fear of public crucifixion under their intense scrutiny. Certainly you have to take some extra time to figure out the impact certain decisions will have, which is something other companies might not do. But the upside is that you may save quite a bit of money in the process (going green often means cutting waste) and you’ll nab a share of the growing consumer market seeking vendors that are doing more to protect the planet. You’ll just have to determine which practices can be amended to make your green business even more eco-friendly. Here are a few you might want to try.
- Faronics. The core software created by this company is designed to help businesses monitor and control the many computer workstations in their operation. If you’re looking for a way to have centralized visibility into energy usage and waste where your company’s computer network is concerned, Faronics Core offers you (or more likely your IT department) the ability to turn off computers that aren’t in use (after first saving open docs and other files), create custom workgroups, and remotely manage computer usage in general for better overall energy efficiency. There are other programs that offer similar functionality, but this one does most of the hard work for you.
- Perform waste assessments. Knowing where waste is occurring is essential to reducing the amount, so you should probably schedule regular waste assessments to uncover problem areas. Depending on the type of assessment you perform, you could find that you’re overpaying for heating or cooling during hours when your facilities are vacant. Or employees may be leaving computer terminals powered on overnight (see item 1 for solution). Perhaps you’ll discover that hard copies of documents are an unnecessary redundancy and opt to go paperless. The point is that performing this essential audit can help you to greenify your operation in a variety of ways, and probably end up saving you money in the process, as well.
- Eco-outreach. If you want to gain some recognition within your community for your green efforts, as well as participate in eco-friendly events at the local level, there’s no reason you shouldn’t devote your resources (manpower, money, etc.) to environmental initiatives. Whether you decide to plant trees on Arbor Day, walk to work on Earth Day, or trade in your fleet vehicles for electric cars so that employees are spewing fewer hydrocarbons into the local air supply, there is no shortage of ways to make your mark locally with eco-outreach efforts.
- Recycled and sustainable materials. Not every product or service can benefit from subbing in recycled or sustainable materials; it depends entirely upon your business and what is available. But you can certainly take the time to look into manufacturing alternatives. Perhaps you can opt for locally-sourced materials to at least cut back on the pollution caused by shipping. And you can always find recycled options for packaging, if not for your products themselves.
- Alternative energy. Some companies can go green by purchasing high-efficiency oil water separators for their operation while others will go all out by building LEED certified facilities that practically run themselves. However, these options may not apply to your business for one reason or another. But there is one way that nearly every business can opt to go green these days: by using alternative energy. Even if you can’t afford to install solar panels or a wind turbine (or the owner of the building you lease won’t allow it), you can buy renewable energy credits to offset your carbon footprint through the creation of renewable energy that’s being used somewhere in place of planet-polluting sources.