Do you want to align with sustainable values but are worried as a business owner about the costs involved? Good news, because making a business sustainable proves that you can also save money!
As a business owner, you want to save money, not waste it. Many people view sustainability and going green as costly investments that make no difference to the productivity or expenses of your company. However, this is far from the truth.
There are a lot of measures that you can take to make your business more sustainable, and save money at the same time. When you make these changes your employees will be happier, healthier, and more productive. Not to mention, the environment will be thanking you too.
If you want to go greener with your company and save money at the same time, here are some helpful suggestions for how you can do it.
Go Paperless Where You Can
As of January 2022, the United States uses about 31.5 million tons of paper each year, coming to about 660 pounds per person. That means that over 535 million trees and 12 billion gallons of oil are being used for paper production each year. One of the best ways your company’s practices can be more sustainable is to go as paperless as possible.
Utilizing paperless methods to communicate, keep records, and more will save a ton of trees from being cut down to make paper, and it saves money as well. It is estimated that the average business in the United States spends $80 annually per employee on paper for the office. Do some quick math and you’ll see that if you have 50 employees, that’s $4,000 a year on paper alone.
Digital documents make things a lot easier. It will save your employees a ton of time sharing information when it can all be done by email. Especially if you work with people who are not in the same office, you need quick and easy ways to share documents and collaborate on them. Going paperless is a win for your employees, the company budget, and the environment. Also, you’ll want tips on how to redesign your business into a sustainable office.
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In the wake of covid, virtual employment has become increasingly popular. Forbes predicts that by the end of 2022, 25 percent of all professional jobs in North America will be remote. This is expected to continue through 2023, and many job seekers young and old are looking for remote work. If you do work that can be done remotely, or at least some employees who can work from home it is a great way to save money and help the planet.
Remote work is also helping the environment, mostly because people aren’t driving to work anymore. New Delhi, India has been considered one of the most polluted cities in the world. However, with the introduction of remote work their air pollution levels dropped by 42 percent in 2021. Similarly, in Los Angeles, there has been a 25 percent improvement in air quality since 2021.
The environment isn’t the only thing benefiting from remote work, many companies are as well for several reasons. Firstly, remote work boosts productivity. According to a study by researchers at Stanford University, workers at a Chinese travel agency who worked from home had 13% higher performance than those who were in the office. They attributed this to the fact that employees don’t have to waste time traveling, and are not taking long lunches and socializing with coworkers.
Additionally, resignations fall by 50% when companies allow their employees to work from home. The increase in productivity also means that fewer people need to be hired, and less time and money are wasted finding new employees all the time. You can also avoid accidents and the resulting cost of worker’s compensation because there is less of a risk that employees will get injured at the workplace if they are staying home.
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When employees don’t come into the office you also don’t need to worry about the expenses of an office building such as rent, utilities, company events, and more. According to Ohio University, even allowing just one employee to telecommute can save the company $10,000 a year. Global Workplace Analytics estimates that this number is even higher, citing that an employee who stays home 50 percent of the time will save the company $11,000 a year.
Get Energy Audit and Make Improvements
An energy audit can help your business determine how efficiently its building is using energy. This is a great opportunity to learn where you can make improvements to become more energy efficient. For example, an auditor may find that there is a lot of air leaking out of your windows and doors. Now that you know this information you can add weatherproofing strips or repair any damage so that less air can leak out.
Trying to heat or cool an office space is difficult enough without losing a fraction of that air through the windows and walls. An energy audit can show you where the air is escaping, and fixing it will save you money because the heating and cooling system will not have to work as hard to keep the space comfortable.
Making your office building more energy efficient is great for the environment as well. It is also often offered for free by local utilities to encourage businesses to make their commercial properties better for the environment.
Adding landscaping to the exterior of your company’s office building will help the environment by decreasing the levels of carbon dioxide in the air. It is important to choose native plants to add to the sustainability of your landscaping project because they are well suited to the temperature, weather, and soil conditions of your area. This means they’ll require less watering and maintenance in order to survive, reducing the extra time and money you’ll need to spend caring for them.
Trees are essential to helping the environment remain livable, and the more trees that are planted the cleaner the air will be. Not only do trees reduce carbon dioxide levels, but they also give off oxygen. They also help facilitate a successful ecosystem by providing protection and food to local wildlife as well as reducing erosion and pollution in the waterways. Even planting a few trees around your office can greatly improve air quality. It will also create an inviting environment that your employees can enjoy during lunch or breaks, in turn increasing their productivity.