Seven Green Business Initiatives to Reduce Your Corporate Carbon Footprint

March 10, 2015

By: Craig Seager, Sales & Channel Director EMEA & APAC

Going green. Recycling. Reducing waste. These are terms that have been top of mind for us as individuals for many years. But many businesses still haven’t jumped on the “green initiative” bandwagon. The upside to the environment, however, of any green business initiative, is huge.

For example, for every one million pages of paper consumed by your organisation (that’s just 200 cases) more than 12 tonnes of carbon is emitted into the atmosphere? Imagine a simple step like reducing the amount of paper your organisation uses – and the dramatic impact it can have on the environment.

Here are seven cost-effective ways to super-charge your green business initiatives, reduce the environmental impact you have on the world and lower your operating costs.

  1. Let Employees Work from Wherever
    Our vehicles are one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet, so cars are the first thing you should look to when considering a green business initiative. Enabling employees to work at home – and avoid commuting to the office five days a week – will significantly reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint. Consider how the IT services your organisation provides can assist with this goal. Video conferencing and collaboration solutions, electronic data transfers, and remote access to corporate assets and information will enable employees to do their work from just about any location. This may have an effect on your office space and how you are utilising your real estate. Consider an office hoteling programme to get the most out of your space.
  1. Adopt Cloud Solutions
    As businesses look to reduce operational costs and their impact on the environment, leaders frequently turn to the Cloud or Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. SaaS-based solutions can improve your organisation’s collaboration efforts, allowing you to lower expenses, meet regulatory compliance objectives, and achieve your green business goals reducing paper consumption, shipping costs, and minimising the amount of travel employees must do to conduct business. In fact, smart cloud-based applications may lower your organisation’s carbon footprint by 30 percent.
  1. Purchase Renewable Energy
    Powering your company is a must. But why not purchase renewable energy to make your organisation more environmentally friendly? Contact your power company providers and ask for competitive electricity rates, favourable contract terms and reports on how the provider strives to offer renewable energy options. Clean energy and cutting power consumption (in watts and BTUs) by even a little bit can save your business money and give you a competitive advantage.
  1. Recycle Electronics
    The computers and other technology devices your employees use consist of extremely toxic materials. A laptop’s plastic case, for example, contains halogens in addition to other things like lead, mercury, cadmium and chromium, which should not just be placed in the trash. Ask your supplier if they have a “take-back and recycle” programme before you buy devices to ensure that recycling is part of your green business equation. And, look for ways to reduce the need for new devices through Cloud solutions to minimise all forms of e-waste.
  1. Utilizing Occupancy Detection Technology
    Every day conference rooms and workspaces go unused but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t consuming energy. Unused workspaces and conference rooms contribute to your organisation’s energy consumption even when you aren’t using them. This is why utilising occupancy detection technology can assist your organisation in reducing energy consumption. By understanding how and when your space is being used your organisation can begin to make decisions to reduce or repurpose your workspace resulting in reduced energy consumption.
  1. Analyse the data you already have
    Using the sensors, metres, and monitors you already have, can help you develop a Smart Buildings programme—without investing capital in new systems. You just need to add a layer on top of your current systems that will enable you to gather—and most importantly, analyse—the data that’s there.
  1. Save energy and reduce carbon emissions
    The opportunity for energy savings and emissions reductions is huge. With commercial buildings consuming 40 percent of the world’s energy and contributing 20 percent of the carbon emissions, using Smart Buildings programmes to cut those numbers by 20-25 percent will make a big difference.

There you have it! It’s not all that complicated to have a productive green business strategy that you can be proud of. Your efforts might even win you a new client.