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Environmental practices for business owners

As a business, you need to understand and manage the risks your business activities may pose to human health and the environment.

Promoting your environmentally friendly methods can set your business apart from your competitors and attract new customers who want to buy products and services from an environmentally friendly business.

Not sure what practices will work best for your business? Here are some environmental practices for business owners that are good for both the planet and your profits.

Conduct an environmental audit

The best way to understand your current state is to conduct an environmental audit. Once you know your energy consumption patterns, you’ll be able to identify problems, set achievable goals, and choose the environmental practices that work best for you.

Use the services or products of green suppliers

This involves sourcing companies that use alternative power, fund or run green initiatives, among others rather than using or supporting non-green businesses.

This promotes the reputation and image, especially with eco-aware consumers, and it boosts staff morale and productivity.

Use energy-efficient light bulbs

This is a low cost and high-impact practice that will help you save money and reduce maintenance. Led light bulbs use about 25 to 85% less energy than traditional bulbs, and can last 3 to 25 times longer.

Work with Others

There are many organizations trying to improve or that have already improved practices to make their organisations more environmentally friendly. Use your connections by talking to friends and colleagues in other companies and get them to share their tips on the steps they’ve taken to become more environmentally friendly. You can reach out to companies like savingearthafrica.org, who specialise in creating environmental policies and helping companies go green.

Education

It is important that your employees follow in your footsteps by promoting green practices. Talking to you employees on a regular basis, sharing statistics about your company’s influence on the environment, and taking onboard possible organisational improvements will ensure your employees are involved as much as possible and soon become green advocates themselves.

Invest in eco-friendly dishwashers and laundry systems

All residential properties should have fully equipped bathrooms and kitchens. To help reduce your impact on the environment and cut operational costs, replace old washing machines and dishwashers with energy and water saving models. Find low consumption machines that are made of recyclable materials and are built to last.

Spread the word

Whatever environmental improvement your company takes part in, be proud of it and don’t be shy to brag. If you have taken time and resources to help the environment, you deserve it. Company giants such as Apple and Google have been recognized for their contribution to the environment. Apple has installed 485 megawatts of wind and solar energy in China so its data centers can run on 100 percent renewable power, whereas Google has also invested its time and money in renewable energy projects. With these sustainable practices they have earned consumer respect.

Promote a paperless environment

Technology makes it easy for property owners to reduce their paper consumption. With a cloud based building management system, you can manage all aspects of your property in one central location with no printing required. 

Share Your Green Successes

Whether your organisation has launched a green initiative or cut energy costs, companies should celebrate their clean growth achievements. Businesses can promote their stories through social media, using the hashtags #GreenEnvironment or #Savingearth and tagging environmental organizations like @SavingEarthAfrica.

Adopt a green purchasing policy

Adopting a green purchasing policy means taking environmental, social, and ethical considerations into account for every decision you make. It involves choosing products and services that have a reduced impact on the environment. Businesses should avoid products containing toxic substances, and consider whether the products can be recycled, and choose energy efficient products.

Build a waste management and recycling program

Tenants of large residential properties and hotel guests generate massive amounts of waste. Developing a strong waste management and recycling program is thus one of the top environmental practices for property owners. To get your tenants or guests involved, provide recycling instructions in rooms and place recycling bins in convenient locations throughout your property.

Provide employee training on green initiatives

The more aware and involved your employees are, the easier it will be to manage your green initiatives. Have your staff attend courses on green management and environmentally friendly practices so they can appreciate the crucial role they play.  

Companies can take part in green activities in the community, sponsor events, contribute to green research projects, promote Earth Day, and encourage staff to use lift schemes, public transport, or other forms of green transport.

Reducing the environmental impact of your business will improve the sustainability of your business. If you are less dependent on natural resources than your competitors and have ways to deal with rising costs due to climate change, your business will have a greater chance of long-term success.

It is everyone’s responsibility to save the environment!

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