Turn your business green
Most people have a tendency to think in very drastic and narrow terms when the environment is discussed. They assume that any effort to be more environmentally conscious or ‘green’ in their lives and their business requires a massive and inconvenient disruption. Even when the market makes a Green choice easy, the change is often regarded as huge, as when someone trades in their old car for a hybrid or electric vehicle, and imagines they must now rework their entire schedule and lifestyle. The fact is, though, that ‘going green’ in your business doesn’t have to be … well, anything in particular. Every business is different, every business-owner is different, and the Green opportunities you have in yours depend a great deal on you, your employees, and your customers.
Go energy efficient your way
Sometimes making your business more Green has nothing to do with changing procedures or the way you do business, it just requires new equipment. Replacing appliances in a company kitchen, a bakeshop, or even the corporate break room with energy efficient appliances means nothing changes in your day-to-day workflow, but your business just got a little bit greener. Even something as simple as installing a standby power switch between the wall outlet and your equipment so you can turn it off at the wall every night for a true stop to your power consumption when your business is closed up can make a huge difference.
Only you know the opportunities that your business has, and the level of investment in both time and money you’re capable of making into the effort to Go Green. Instead of assuming that all these choices are difficult or expensive, think about the simple, inexpensive and even free things you can do in your individual business to reduce your power consumption.
Motivations to become an energy efficient business
The most obvious reasons for you to pursue Green policies in your business are economic in nature: the financial savings that using less power and capitalising on new ideas to eliminate standby power can create. But another reason is close at hand: your employees.
People around the world and especially in Australia are increasingly environmentally aware. Gas price crises and the mounting evidence of climate change has made everyone into an activist, and people seek employers who offer not just friendly workplaces, but workplaces they can be proud of. Demonstrating a commitment to a sustainable business model and Green policies will make your business the sort of place that people want to work.
It will also invite your employees to take more ownership of their work and view their employer as a partner instead of simply a source of income. The best employees, with training and experience, can choose where they work. The modern day employee wants an employer they can feel proud of, and offering simple ways to attain energy efficiency in your office or store makes people feel like you are partners in being good global citizens.
Partnering with employees
One great strategy for developing realistic energy saving policies for your business that don’t harm your bottom line is to draw on the resource that your employees represent. You know your business, but most likely from a higher point of view. Your employees are in the trenches, using the equipment, driving the company vehicles, sitting in the office bullpen. You will more than likely be given a dozen fantastic, low-cost ideas that can have a real impact on your ‘Green Bottom Line’ simply by having a casual meeting with your employees and asking for their feedback.
Even better, form a small committee of employee volunteers to do some research and brainstorm ideas. This will further underscore the concept of partnership between you and these valuable assets, while at the same time ensuring that every possible place you can improve your energy efficiency has been examined. You don’t have to implement every idea, but everyone will feel like they’re part of something bigger through this process.
In the end, only you know what can be done with the resources at hand, and what won’t adversely affect your business. The key is to be flexible and use your imagination and not assume that only dramatic and costly efforts have any impact. Every little bit helps.