Eco-friendly changes that could save your small business money
In lean economic times it’s understandable that making your small business eco-friendly might not be at the top of your to-do list. However, over the course of a year, going green can save you quite a bit of money. In the long term, you could end up with more cash to spend on all the important things that keep your business thriving, such as marketing and customer service.
The good news is it only takes a few small changes to start seeing a real difference. If you’re not sure where you could start making changes in your business, take a look below for some top money-saving tips.
Reduce your energy consumption
The Carbon Trust found that although over 90% of employees think about saving energy costs at home, less than 50% think about it in their workplace. It stands to reason then that one of the most effective changes you can make is by getting your employees fully involved in the energy saving process.
Encourage the habit of turning off lights, heating and office equipment when not in use and you’ll soon see the savings mount up. If you add energy saving lighting and heating solutions into the mix, you’re well on the way to having a cost-effective eco-office.
Another top tip is to ask your supplier about whether you can get a smart meter installed. Not only will this put an end to estimated bills, but you can also monitor your energy usage in pounds and pence in near-real time. This will help you to spot where you’re wasting energy and curb additional expenditure.
Cut down on printing
Research by Xerox found that around 40% of office paper is thrown away within a day of it being printed out. It’s worth having a think about how many printed items you really need, as the fewer items you print the less toner, paper and electricity you’ll use. It’s also an idea to get into the habit of using the blank backs of discarded papers for your working notes and scribbles.
Review your document storage
Office space can be expensive, as can the cost of resources such as documents and files. Storing work online in the cloud can save you the additional cost that comes with filing-cabinet space and archiving, as well as making a huge difference to the environment. In fact, just cutting down on your paper usage in a small way can be greatly beneficial.
Many online document sharing platforms such as Dropbox have competitive rates suitable for smaller businesses, so they’re well worth researching. It’s also a good idea to review what paper documents you’re currently storing.
Consider buying used office furniture and equipment
Using recycled office furniture doesn’t mean you’ll end up with a shabby looking workspace. There are several online retailers offering good quality, used office furniture such as high-spec chairs, desks and sofas at a fraction of the original cost. It’s also possible to source high quality recycled office equipment such as computers and printers to make some big savings.
Stock will vary and you may not want to go this route every time, but it’s definitely worth having a look before buying something brand new.
The prospect of making your small business more eco-friendly may draw up visions of high investment, yet there are a number of ways to contribute towards saving the environment while also saving yourself some money.