Does your business have a corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy? If not, now is the time to put one in place.
Here are 7 ways your CSR strategy can help the environment! Also, save money with the special discount below!
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CSR Strategy Definition
A CSR strategy is your company’s way of demonstrating to stakeholders, such as customers, employees, investors, and the public, that you are responsible and accountable for your actions.
Your business activities affect those around you, so you must create policies to ensure minimal impact.
7 Ways Your CSR Strategy Can Help the Environment
1. Plant a Tree for Every Product/Service Sold via “One Tree Planted”
Small businesses can partner with “One Tree Planted” to plant a tree for every product/service sold.
One Tree Planted is a non-profit organization focused on reforestation. They plant trees around the world and make it easy for people to help. It only takes 1 dollar to plant one tree!
This is an easy CSR strategy that you can implement today and post on your website or social media!
2. Reduce Paper and Plastic Waste
Did you know that the average office worker generates about 2 pounds of waste every day? Fortunately, today's technology can help us waste less. Below are CSR strategies to reduce waste.
Use Recycled Printing Paper
Using recycled printing paper will immediately reduce your carbon footprint. It looks and feels like normal printer paper. However, it is made from recycled food and beverage containers.
Print Double Sided
Make sure your computer and printer are automatically set to print double-sided. According to the EPA, printing double-sided can reduce your paper waste by 10 - 40%.
Implement Follow-Me Printing
Follow-me printing, also known as “pull-printing”, sends each print job to a server and the documents print when the user scans a badge or inputs an access code at the printer. The user must request the documents at the printer instead of them printing automatically.
A lot of documents are left in the printer tray and never retrieved. Follow-me printing helps reduce waste, save money, and protect sensitive documents.
Share Documents Electronically Whenever Possible
Share materials electronically whenever possible via email, Dropbox, etc. When signing documents, use apps such as Adobe Fill & Sign or Docusign.
Use Paperless Notebooks
Use paperless notebooks to take notes at work or school.
Our readers love the Rocketbook Notebook. It is the most popular ecofriendly product and has tons of positive reviews on Amazon.
People rave about this wired notebook that is erasable and reusable. It looks and feels like a regular notebook but is an environmentally friendly alternative!
It can even store your notes in Google Drive, One Note, and Drop Box. Rocketbook is available on Amazon. There are a ton of success stories and it is one of our favorite products.
Remove Paper Cups and Plastic Water Bottles
Finally, remove paper cups and plastic water bottles from your facilities. Employees and customers will bring mugs, thermoses, and water bottles rather than go thirsty.
3. Decrease Electricity Use
Take Advantage of Natural Light
If your office or warehouse has windows, then be sure to optimize natural light. Avoid turning on light bulbs during the day by keeping curtains, shades, and blinds open.
Install Energy Efficient Lights
Furthermore, install energy efficient lights that turn off automatically when no one is in the room. Or replace your current lightbulbs with low-cost LED light bulbs.
Use Smart Plugs to Turn Off Electronics Automatically
Additionally, you can buy smart plugs that turn off electronics automatically. Smart plugs turn off lights, fans, and appliances automatically either through a timer or on an app through your phone
Decrease the Brightness on Your Computer Monitors
According to a Harvard University professor, reducing your computer monitor’s brightness from 100% to 70% can save up to 20% of the monitor's energy.
Most people will not notice the difference from making this adjustment, so it is a quick and easy csr strategy.
4. Decrease Water Use
Decreasing water use saves resources and helps the environment.
Start with making small changes with your faucets and bathroom facilities.
Use Faucet Sensors
For example, you can install sensors on your faucets that automatically turn the water off when someone pulls their hands away, resulting in up to 70% water savings!
The sensor below fits on any sized faucet, and you can install it yourself without a plumber.
5. Decrease Use of Fossil Fuels
Hold Virtual Meetings Whenever Possible
Limit unnecessary travel and hold virtual meetings or calls whenever possible.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Additionally, adjusting your thermostat 2 degrees up in the summer and 2 degrees down in the winter can save up to 2,000lbs of carbon dioxide per year!
Alternatively, you could use an energy efficient thermostat that conserves energy by itself.
For example, the Nest Thermostat programs itself to save energy. It learns the temperatures you like and creates a schedule that saves electricity and money.
Implement Shipping and Distribution Policies
If your small business is involved in shipping or distribution, implementing relevant policies can increase efficiency and help the environment.
For example, implementing speed management policies typically reduces fuel consumption. Understand your vehicles’ optimal range and provide clear guidelines for how fast they can go.
Similarly, implementing engine shutdown polices also has a positive impact. Businesses can balance the trade-offs between an idling truck and a silent engine. This way, drivers aren't left guessing when the best time is for shutting it down.
6. Buy Carbon Offsets to Increase Clean Energy
When it comes to clean energy, most people think of solar panels and wind turbines. However, some business owners don’t have the space and capital necessary to use them. Instead, businesses can purchase carbon offsets to reduce their carbon footprint!
For instance, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation sells wind and solar energy credits to help businesses offset their energy use.
You can buy them for as little as $10 and have peace of mind knowing you are helping the planet. They do the leg work by coordinating the clean energy projects, and you reap the benefits!
7. Use Eco-Friendly Materials or Vendors
Lastly, you can use eco-friendly materials and sustainability-focused vendors. Some examples are below.
Biodegradable Packaging Materials
Eco-Friendly Web Providers
GreenGeeks will host your website for as little as $2.95 per month and purchase wind energy credits to offset the energy used. Go 300% green with the click of a button!
A robust CSR strategy helps the environment and creates other benefits.
1. Save Money
Implementing eco-friendly CSR initiatives saves money. Using less electricity and water will decrease your monthly bills and relying less on fossil fuels will decrease your operating costs.
2. Increase Customer Loyalty
Additionally, using eco-friendly products and practices can attract and retain customers. Studies have shown that 50 percent of consumers rank sustainability as a top five value driver. This number is higher for younger generations like Millennials and Generation Z.
In our opinion, companies that make sustainability a core value will continue to grow and increase market share, while those that don’t will fall behind.
3. Create Efficiencies
Finally, most eco-friendly solutions create efficiencies. A more efficient operation leads to increased productivity, happier employees, and greater energy savings.
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