Businesses can contribute to the improvement of our environment in many different ways. An initiative that has gained a lot of momentum in the media lately is sustainable business practices. And this move is not solely driven by the businesses but a byproduct of the growing demand for sustainable products.
Online searches for sustainable products have grown by over 70% in the past 5 years. The numbers come from a global report by Economist Intelligence Unit.
If we have learned anything from natural disasters, it’s that what happens in our city affects the people living on the other side of the world.
While it may not be realistic to think big businesses will implement upcycled products or solar power in their facilities, there are small changes each organization can make to contribute to creating this sustainable business environment.
Educate Your Employees
When it comes to sustainability in business, it is essential to educate your employees on the importance of these practices. This way, they can help incorporate these practices into the company’s operations.
If you think that they might not be interested, you are wrong. According to a survey from SHRM, 38% of employees will stay with a business longer if it prioritizes sustainability.
There are a few ways to educate your employees on sustainability in business. One way is to hold informational meetings or workshops on the topic.
This will allow employees to learn more about sustainability and ask questions. Another way to educate employees is through online resources. Several websites and articles can provide employees with information on how to make their business more sustainable.
It is also important to encourage employee engagement in sustainability initiatives. One way to do this is by incentivizing employees to participate in these initiatives.
For example, you could offer a prize for the employee or team that completes the most sustainable task or initiative. You could also create a competition between departments or teams to see who can be the most sustainable.
Did you know that American corporations spend over $120 billion on printed forms? Yes, that’s true. And these papers are manufactured by cutting down trees, leading to deforestation. Moreover, it is predicted that if the current rate of deforestation continues, we will lose all the rainforests within 100 years.
Going green is a great way to incorporate sustainability into your business operations, but it will not happen overnight. It takes time and effort to make changes that will stick.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite tips for making the most of your new paperless practices.
1. Switch to Digital Invoices
We’re not saying that you should stop sending invoices altogether—they’re still a necessary part of doing business—but if you can find a way to switch over to digital invoices (and if your clients are on board), then you’ll be able to save yourself some paper in the long run.
2. Use Electronic Signatures
You can avoid printing and signing documents manually by using digital signatures, saving time and paper. It is said that using an electronic signature can save around 10,000 pieces of paper manually for an enterprise.
Several different software programs can be used to create and manage digital signatures. Some of these programs are specifically designed for business users, while others are more general-purpose.
3. Invest in an Online Organizing System
Your company’s documents are probably scattered everywhere: emails, receipts, invoices, and so on! That’s why it pays off big time if you invest in an online organizing system that allows you to access all of these things from one central location.
4. Go Paperless With Filing Systems
Even if you don’t have an electronic filing system yet (which would be ideal), there are still ways for you to go paperless with your filing systems! One option is using binders with plastic sleeves instead of folders or manila folders; these will make it easier for you to find the documents you need without digging through piles of paper.
Partner With Non-Profit Organizations
Working towards sustainability can be new for you. Hence, you can partner with NGOs passionate about working for such causes. There are an estimated over 10 million NGOs globally.
You can find someone in your locality and partner with them. They can provide you with all the tools and resources you need to become more sustainable, reducing your carbon footprint and increasing your profits.
One way to partner with a non-profit organization is by donating money. A portion of the profit from your business can be donated to the non-profit organization, which will help them continue their efforts to improve sustainability in their community.
For example, suppose you own a company that sells environmentally friendly products like solar panels or wind turbines. In that case, you could donate some of your profits towards building more wind or solar panel farms.
Another way to partner with a non-profit organization is by hiring people who work for that organization as employees at your business.
This will allow them to continue working on improving sustainability while earning an income simultaneously! For example: If there’s an environmentalist who works for an environmentalist NGO (non-governmental organization), then you could hire him/her as an employee at your company so they can continue their
You May Also Check: 5 Reasons Why Employees Disengage in the Workplace
Install Solar Panels
One of the easiest ways to incorporate sustainability into your business operations is to install solar panels. Not only do they help reduce your reliance on fossil fuels, but they can also help you save money on your energy costs.
When it comes to solar panels, there are two main types: photovoltaic (PV) and thermal. PV solar panels convert sunlight into electrical energy. In contrast, thermal solar panels use the sun’s heat to generate thermal energy, powering water heaters and air conditioning units.
The good news is that installing solar panels has now become very affordable. Since 2014, the average cost of installing solar panels has been reduced by 70%. This has significantly impacted the adoption and solar capability in the USA. From only 0.34 gigawatts in 2008, the capacity has currently increased to over 97 gigawatts.
You can be a part of this change by installing solar panels on the roof of your office building. And this won’t be only for sustainability; you will also save money on utility bills.
According to data from the EnergySage survey, an average commercial property used to pay $1,950 as a utility bill, which was cut down to only $500 post using solar panels.
There are different ways to become sustainable; all you need to do is search for that. There will be no limit to where you can go when it comes to sustainability; the only thing that matters is how well you can implement sustainable ideas in your workplace so your business can prosper for many years.
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