mBox Blog

5 Ways to Go Green in Your SME

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The desire to ‘go green’ has become the norm in society these days. For businesses, environmentally-sustainable practices can save money, and even be a marketing plus as well as being good for the planet.

Here are just some of the advantages of going green in business, and five suggestions and ideas for making it happen.

Benefits of going green

Going green:

  • Provides an opportunity to promote your business as an environmentally responsible one, which can in turn set it apart from other similar enterprises in the marketplace.
  • Can result in reduced costs in the areas of travel, purchasing, and energy use. 
  • Provides an opportunity to reduce your business’s impact on the environment and contribution to global warming.
  • Can reduce your reliance on natural resources, in turn improving your business’s ongoing sustainability.

Ideas for going green

Here are five ways that you can go green in your SME:

  1. Practice the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). For example, to reduce your use of paper, make use of online file storage for documents rather than printing out hard copies (which can also save on ink and energy use) and print double-sided wherever possible. Encourage your staff to use scrap paper for note-taking and printing rather than new stationery. Provide a recycling receptacle for scrap paper, as well as for other materials such as glass and plastic.
  2. Reduce your reliance on equipment. For example rather than using separate machines for printing, photocopying, and scanning, install a multifunction printer that can perform all these tasks. You can also replace your fax machine with a cloud-based email to fax service, which can reduce energy costs and paper use.
  3. Reduce your energy use where possible. For example, when purchasing appliances choose those that are as energy efficient as you can afford, and turn off equipment and lighting when not in use. For heating and cooling, it’s important to set your thermostat at the recommended temperatures for the season, to use good shading outside the building to reduce solar heat gains, and to avoid the use of small electric heaters which can be big energy guzzlers! Also, if your HVAC system is over ten years old, consider replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.
  4. Reduce your water use where you can. This can be done by using water efficient or mixer taps, fixing tap leaks, installing an efficient dishwasher, and replacing single-flush toilets with dual-flush.
  5. Make use of the internet for connecting with others. For example, instead of driving long distances or flying interstate or overseas for a meeting, consider whether you could instead use Skype or virtual meeting software and save on travel and accommodation costs and fuel use.

Going green in your business can provide multiple benefits, including reducing your carbon footprint, saving on costs, differentiating your business from others in your industry, and in some cases even improving comfort inside your building. Why not consider the ways that you could go green in your SME? There is certainly nothing to lose!

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