Building a green business is an important goal – but it doesn’t have to be purely altruistic. On average, environmentally-friendly businesses save more money, are more productive and have better overall reputations. In fact, 88% of consumers say they want businesses to be more environmental and ethical. It’s actually the basis for most of their purchasing decisions, too.
Whether you want to go all-in on creating a sustainable business or simply make a few eco-conscious changes around the office, these IT choices are a good entry point.
88% of consumers say they want businesses to be more environmental and ethical.
Engage in environmental purchasing
Going green at work starts with making informed purchases and spending in line with your environmental values. By doing business with sustainable companies and prioritizing environmentally-focused IT equipment, individual companies can really move the needle on climate change.
The University of Queensland recommends this multi-step checklist when shoring up your purchasing options for sustainable electronics.
- Evaluate the sustainability of potential purchases through the EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) system.
- Choose products that are ENERGY STAR designated.
- Check that equipment complies with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) core framework.
- Purchase from companies who use recycled materials in their electronics and packaging.
- Extend preference to sellers who offer end-of-life take backs.
Leaning into digital tools and solutions is a green goal for many modern businesses.
For some, the easiest place to start is going paperless. Not only can it help your business save money and better safeguard your data, it also protects against dangerous deforestation.
The associated costs of using paper are estimated at 31 times the purchasing cost.
Considering that the associated costs of using paper are estimated at 31 times the purchasing cost, it also just makes good business sense. Looking to ease in? Start by signing up for ebills and investing in digital project management tools and document management systems. Nitro reports that 59% of organizations that do invest in paperless document management realize a complete ROI in less than a year.
Turning your brick and mortar business into an online store is another eco-conscious option. Not only does it reduce consumption of natural resources like water, electricity and natural gas, it also decreases vehicle emissions by lessening the number of drivers going back and forth to your storefront.
Before you know where to cut back on energy consumption, sometimes you need to know where you’re overusing. That’s where The Internet of Things (IoT) can help.
Using IoT sensors and devices can help businesses automate their green routine by continuously monitoring usage and flagging performance abnormalities as well as alerting users about maintenance issues.
Choose green web hosting
Feel like you’re doing a good job of keeping things sustainable in-office? What about the energy drain your business might be unknowingly contributing to with its web presence?
Over a billion websites are hosted on servers worldwide. Many of these run on fossil fuels and waste unthinkable amounts of energy. No wonder, Sustainable Business Toolkit reports that the internet produces almost as much pollution as the airline industry.
Choosing a green web hosting company can help counteract this overconsumption. How it works: “Green web hosting companies purchase renewable energy credits to offset the energy used by your website, making your website carbon-neutral or even carbon negative!”
Recycle your old tech
We’ve hit a new global milestone: 53.6 million metric tons (Mt) of electronic waste generated worldwide in 2019. According to the UN’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020, that’s a 21% jump in just the last five years. By 2030, that number is expected to double.
Businesses who want to do their part should work with a certified e-waste recycler. They ensure that as you phase out old equipment and invest in new technology, the usable components get repurposed for other machines or responsibly upcycled – and stay out of oceans and landfills.
Why not take it a step further and obtain an e-waste recycling certification from NSF International so you can do the recycling yourself?
These eco-strategies prove that greening your IT choices and products can lessen your business’ impact on the environment without increasing your operational costs. In fact, going green actually helps you save some green. Plus, being a good environmental steward is really the ultimate perk.