9 Easy Steps To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint & Save Money

earth

Every year, we see more and more people beginning to understand the importance of going green and the impact it can have long term. This same mentality is starting to extend into the business environment as well. Today, businesses and products are marketing their efforts in reducing the impact they have on our great home – The Earth. One of the latest, and more prominent is the new BMW i3 commercial touting their all electric carbon fiber car, built in a factory that has power supplemented by wind generators.

As MotherG’s self-proclaimed environmentalist, I appreciate the attention to this need in sustaining. But it can also be pretty confusing to try to understand what an organization can do to be “greener”. Matrixes, charts, and calculators are readily available, but unless you have a regulatory commitment, a “carbon target” or going for a Green Certification, this may be pretty extreme. Sense and understanding are usually better first steps. Doing something is the best first step.

One other important point before we move further, no matter what your stance is on our environment, global warming and climate change, these ideas at least stand the chance of saving you money.

Here are 9 Easy Steps to Save Your Company Money (and reduce its impact on our planet)!

1. Reduce Paper Consumption

Very few emails really need to be printed at all. However, if it does need to be printed, identify just the pages you need. In some cases, you may only need 1-page or 1-paragraph of a multi-page document.

  • Saves paper, toner, electric costs, maintenance, employee time
  • Reduces Manufacturing and electricity production emissions, forest benefits and reforestation emissions.

2. Use Electronic Fax

Older analog paper faxes use tons of paper and toner. Consider making the change to electronic faxes which “turn” faxes into email attachments. No more paper and ink. Easier to distribute and save. It also provides a higher level of confidentiality and security.

  • Saves paper, toner, electric costs, maintenance, employee time
  • Reduces Manufacturing and electricity production emissions, forest benefits and reforestation emissions.

3. Replace Old Computers

Newer or smaller computers use less power. A typical desktop computer uses between 65 to 250 watts of power. Laptops use 15 to 60 watts. The newest tiny format computers, as well as many thin client computers, use about 9 watts. When it’s time to retire computers, going from a standard 120 watt PC to a tiny format can save nearly 90% on that electricity use. Figure that over your entire enterprise.

  • Saves electric costs, office cooling
  • Reduces electricity production emissions

4. Unplug Power Cords

Unplug power cords like chargers when not in use. They still draw energy, regardless of whether there’s anything plugged into them. While your IT Company may ask you to always keep your PC on, shut your monitors and printers off.

  • Saves electric costs, office cooling, wear and tear
  • Reduces electricity production emissions

5. Paperless Options

Move toward paperless. Applications such as Adobe Acrobat Professional allows you to sign PDF files digitally, as well as create PDF documents with signature fields for clients to sign. Or you could use software such as DocuSign or e-signature to securely sign documents and get signatures from clients and vendors.

  • Saves paper, toner, electric costs, maintenance, employee time
  • Reduces Manufacturing and electricity production emissions, forest benefits and reforestation emissions.

6. Occupancy Sensors

Shut off lights in unused rooms like storerooms and bathrooms.  Better yet, get your building to install occupancy sensors.

  • Saves electric costs, office cooling, wear and tear on bulbs and fixtures
  • Reduces electricity production emissions

7. Recycle Old Equipment

In addition to paper, cans, and bottle recycling, e-waste (electronic device disposal) is prevalent in businesses and very toxic to the environment. Computers, printers, monitors and phones should not be thrown away. Make it company policy to recycle everything you can.

Contact your IT company for the names of quality electronic recycling facilities (Yes, they grind the hard drives). Check out your area for charities who may take in these old devices to be recycled. They get the proceeds from your recycled electronics and you get them off your site!

8. Work From Home Options

Employees are an organizations greatest asset. With that statement and assumption said and behind us, we Employees also are huge consumers and contributors to emissions and overall impact to the Earth. We need lights, heat and electricity to work, hot coffee in the morning, the microwave in the afternoon and we need to get to and from the office.

Thanks to high-speed broadband, tight and secure ’home-to-office’ connections, seamless phone (office or home) collaboration tools and even easy, out of the box video, it’s now easier than ever to work from home. Of course, it’s not always suitable, but if you give each of your employees one day a month to work remotely, the amount of emissions saved from less transportation alone is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.

  • Saves electric costs, office cooling, reduces consumables
  • Reduces combustible engine output and related transportation effects

9. Spread The Word

Remember to promote your efforts. Put up signs, do PR, send a message out. Clients / consumers like to know you’re making a conscience effort to do your part in keeping our friend, The Earth, in good shape.

Within our lifetime, will the suggestions above make a noticeable difference in the longevity of our planet, or the quality of life we can expect here on Earth? Possibly not, but it is a real necessity from a long term and common sense standpoint plus, you’ll reap the benefits in bottom line hard dollars.
* Carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by a person, organization or population over a certain period of time. More gas – BAD. Less gas – GOOD! How has your organization reduced their carbon footprint? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

 

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