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ENVIRONMENTAL PRACTICES

SAVE MONEY BY REDUCING YOUR IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT

Every business, whether it is small, medium or large, can help solving today's environmental challenges! Many companies hesitate to take the practical measures necessary to reduce their impact on the environment, because they are not aware of their legislative and environmental obligations, or they have simply not enough resources to implement changes.

Reducing inefficient resource use does not mean any compromise in service or product standards. The fact is that the amount of resources used to provide similar products and services can become more resource efficient and will result in substantial cost savings.

Today the environmental awareness is rising up both on the public and corporate agenda. Environmental quality supply chains are increasing, as the green trend sweeps over the continents requiring supply-chain partners to adopt ecologically sound practices. Businesses without the green consciousness, going for what they believe are the cheapest options rather than the environmental friendly ones, might one day discover that they are no longer part of a supply chain.

In every market there is a manufacturer, converter, grocery shop, bakery, or dry cleaner with green awareness. How come some companies contribute more than others in protecting the environment? The answer is that they have understood that increased awareness of environmental issues will not only help their business to save financial costs, - with improved environment performance they will also stay ahead of competition!

All business sectors face many resource efficiency issues and opportunities. SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) in particular have barely scratched their potential. Try imagining all the million tons of waste the office-based businesses produce each year. And not to forget something that concerns us all - how much energy are being wasted every day when people forget to turn the lights off when they leave a room.

What about your company, just how green is it? Do you always do what is best for the environment? Take a look around your office and try to identify things that can help you capture the environmentally conscious market.

MAKE YOUR OFFICE MORE RESOURCE EFFICIENT

What can you do to make your office more resource efficient, which also will lead to substantial cost savings? Start with defining your company's new environment policy.

Reduce energy waste and costs

As expertise in energy-efficient operations may not exist in most SMEs, then managing energy may seem like one more task on a long list of to-do's for you. But it is not difficult to get started! You can easily improve your company's financial performance by reducing energy waste and energy costs. A company's typical energy needs are light, heat, air condition, power for office equipment, and other energy service for staying in business, right! Ok, let us take a closer look at this particular issue.

Your Energy Saving Plan

  • Start with looking closely at the use of energy in the facilities
  • Measure and track the use of energy
  • Make an Energy Saving Plan with reasonable saving goals
  • Involve your employees
  • Employee behavior has a huge impact on the use of energy
  • Train and engage your employees in environmental issues
  • Gather with your employees, involve and encourage them in the work with the energy saving plan

Check and Correct

  • Examine the current lighting systems for efficiency, levels, and controls.
  • Consider upgrading equipment
  • Start using energy-saving products and services
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs
  • Consider the use of wall-mounted occupancy sensors
  • When possible, use the natural daylight
  • Turn off lightening when it is not in use
  • Turn off outdoor lightening during the daytime
  • Turn off equipment when not in use
  • Turn off computers when not in use
  • Change your printer settings to economy mode
  • Recover heat from equipment if necessary
  • Make a regular light maintenance schedule to replace all bulbs when they have reached 70% of estimated life. It will in fact reduce the maintenance lightening costs with as much as 25%, in addition to ensure the light levels.
  • Monitor, act and improve the results of your energy saving plan

Let us continue with reducing the use of consumables; paper, utilities, etc

Small businesses can reduce waste and carve 5% out of their operating budgets by changing their office-management practices, just by to saving documents digitally and not print out of paper copies. And they can save even more, so:

  • Create a paper-free office
  • Reduce your carbon prints by saving documents digitally
  • Use renewable materials
  • Use recycled paper for packaging
  • Practice the best environmental solutions for waste management by sorting out white paper, magazines, plastics, metal, and other materials for recycling

Make your supply-chain more environmental friendly

Can you identify which of your suppliers have the highest environmental impacts – in consuming natural resources, or in polluting the environment? Yes? Great!

  • Tell your suppliers to comply with all relevant local and national environmental regulations and to have programs in place for improving environmental performance.
  • Establish environmental alliances
  • Act locally!

What about your traveling?

Do you think you can manage without using the car to and from the office every day?

  • If possible, leave the car at home a couple of days per week and use public transportation
  • When you reach the office, save electricity by using the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • In the office you can also encourage each other to pick up some colleagues on the way to the office.
  • You can also reduce traveling by starting to use phone conferences. A phone conference is easy to manage, makes you save working and travel time, hotel costs and fuel - and definitely contribute to prevent pollution

Encourage your managers and staff

Be aware that you can meet difficulties in implementation of new ideas and changes in your company, not only on the management level, but also among your employees. Even though many companies recognize the benefits of waste minimization strategies and resource efficiency, you might need professional help to overcome barriers as lack of senior management support, staff support, resources, or simply because the communications break down. It is important that you encourage the whole organization with training and engagement in environmental issues before involving them all from the start of the project.

Tell others about your improved environmental performance

Encourage other companies to develop more environmentally consciousness by telling them what you have achieved.

Where can you place your company today on a scale from Low - Moderate - High - environmental impact?