Many large corporate entities are touting their new green data centers and energy-efficient offices of the future. Small to midsize businesses (SMBs) may feel that their own carbon footprint doesn’t even compare to that size enterprise. However, going green does more than just help the environment—it can also save your SMB time and money.
Better Office Systems identified several ways on its blog that SMBs can increase their green business processes. Of course, tops on its list is getting serious with paper recycling, but several other tips can even help your company save money, including:
- Urging employees to print only what they need.
- Printing pages double-sided to save on paper usage.
- Using the cloud to store and share documents digitally instead of printing copies.
- Updating office machines to those that are Energy Star approved and possibly use non-toxic inks, recycled paper and recyclable packaging.
Energy Digital reiterates many of these green suggestions and adds that proper disposal of old and unwanted hardware should also be part of your plan. Old computers, printers and POS systems can contain hazardous elements with mercury or cadmium that can pollute landfills. Finding a reputable e-waste center or recycling center that knows how to properly remove deadly chemicals and recycle or dispose of the other parts may take time, but they are out there. Some cities have a designated place to take such equipment and other services provide pick-up at your place of business.
One more important way that SMBs can help employees become greener is to set up a program for telecommuting. This helps eliminate vehicle gas emissions that have been a large contributor to global climate change. Though managers may not want to allow this every day, setting aside telecommuting days specifically each week or allowing them for parents with sick children or during inclement weather will also save on energy use in the office. Not to mention, it can be a big boost for employee morale.