Wednesday 22 May 2013

Green Is The New Black

Green Business
Throughout the past decade, one of the most important new words which has worked its way into our business vocabulary is "green". This term, used to refer to companies and organizations which were socially and environmentally friendly, has become a mainstay in the business world. Even more importantly, it has become a metric by which firms are judged in the social arena.

Social recognition and a sense of moral responsibility are not the only things pushing these companies towards being considered green - in many circumstances this recognition is also associated with fiscal profits. By taking a look at green companies and some of the decisions they make, you will easily be able to see how a few changes can help your business to become more responsible and add to your bottom line at the same time.

Big Companies to Take Notes From

While being green has caught on across firms in all industries of business, it is a mindset that some companies take to heart more so than others. By taking a look at a few of the green leaders in the business world, you can see that being socially responsible can also mean operating a very successful corporation.

  • S.C. Johnson - This business' sustainable roots can be traced back to 1935 when its founder, H.F. Johnson Jr., traveled 15,000 miles to Brazil in order to find a sustainable source of wax Today, S.C. Johnson is constantly trying to reduce the environment impact of chemicals it uses in its products, and its widely considered one of the greenest firms in the industry.

  • Goldman Sachs - While the news has run countless stories about financial giant Goldman Sachs over the previous few years, the company has had solid "green standard" policies in place since 2005. In addition, this investment bank has been funneling billions in recent history towards the development of green technologies.

  • Hewlett-Packard - As one of the largest players in the consumer computing business, Hewlett-Packard understands the impact that our reliance on technology has on the environment. Because of this, the computer giant is an industry leader in pushing for the recycling of used computer parts which often time can contain environmentally harmful chemicals such as mercury.

How Can Your Company Turn Green?

Understanding the importance of developing of a green culture within your organization is the first step in implement a successful green initiative. Here are a few easy ways in which your business can not only aid the environment, but also trim expenses along the way.

  • For non-crucial and internal paperwork, set up printers to print on both sides of the paper. This simple change can cut paper consumption and costs in half.

  • Turning off unused equipment, especially at night, can save over 25% on energy use in some cases.

  • Explore the options that your business has on sourcing materials locally which will cut down on transportation costs and emissions.

  • Consider reducing commuter costs through virtual and shared offices. These services provide all of the features of a traditional office, but allow employees to effectively work from anywhere. Shared offices even have meeting and office space available, for the situations in which telecommuting is not always ideal.

  • Focus on getting green certified through one of the certifying organizations for your industry.

  • Encourage employees to communicate electronically, and reduce the number of unneeded documents which are printed.

  • Taking a look at non-hazardous and environmentally friendly alternatives to toxic chemicals used in your business can be the biggest step many companies take towards becoming green.

  • Ensure consistency with your business practices in order to foster a green culture among your employees.

No matter what steps your business takes towards becoming socially responsibility, the key is to take action. Major changes are rarely ever successfully implemented overnight, and persistence is the key. By conveying the benefits of change throughout your company, employees will embrace the new culture and your firm will be on its way to becoming green.

About The Author: Mike Gardener is a founding partner of The Office Providers, where he assists both small and large companies with their office space needs.

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