Rikki Keenan Schmeeckle
Green Team Coordinator Digital Marketing Manager,
Membership Services & IT Administrator
Office-based businesses spend too much on paper and toners. If you must print try non-branded toners. Private-label and re-manufactured toners are often 70 percent cheaper and work just as well, a savings of hundreds or thousands of dollars, with no upfront costs.
Set a policy to make all copies double-sided, and work with suppliers to switch all office paper to chlorine-free, 30-100 percent post-consumer recycled. The EDF has a paper cost calculator on its website to quantify the benefits of better paper choices (PaperCalculator.org).
An even better bet is to go paperless. One of the easiest ways for a small business to go green is to turn off the paper they receive from their financial institutions and shift to electronic methods of payment with customers, suppliers and billers. In addition to saving trees, going paperless also improves security. Most small-business fraud is still perpetrated using paper. A check or statement in the mail, or a discarded invoice, provides an opportunity for someone to collect your account information.
Use incoming cardboard boxes and fiber-padded envelopes, as well as popcorn and shredded newspaper for outgoing mail and packages. Designate a reuse or exchange area. Encourage your employees to check this center before ordering new supplies.
Urge business owners and employees to turn off all the computer equipment at night. Owners should install PC and monitor energy-management software to track the impact.
Get an energy audit from a professional engineer, especially if the business is located in an older building. Professional engineers who are familiar with lighting, heating and cooling systems can optimize their energy consumption while not compromising productivity. Once all systems are running efficiently, often you will get paid for the energy reduction. Certain markets and geographies will pay energy users for smart energy management. Those payments can fund energy audits and equipment upgrades.
Once sustainable measures are implemented, they can be used as leverage with current and potential clients. According to The Hartman Group’s report on sustainability, more than 88 percent of consumers surveyed said they engage in what the researchers described as sustainable behavior.
It shows a company is not only serious about doing the right thing for the environment, but also has the vision and innovation to realize that being green is the right thing for their business.
For more information contact Rikki Keenan at 209.577.5757 or at RKeenan@ModChamber.org