Despite recent news that the hole in the ozone layer is finally beginning to close, there’s plenty more work to be done; businesses can and should be doing more to ensure that they’re not harming the planet while they’re operating.
But why should your business be green, and how green is green enough?
Why should your business be green?
Well, the first and most pressing reason for ensuring that your business is green is that doing so will help the planet. Using resources in a sustainable manner and ensuring that you’re not emitting harmful pollutants and other chemicals is good news for everyone, and is essential when considering what the world might look like for future generations.
But there are also great business incentives for being ‘green’.
For one thing, green practices are generally cheaper and tend to save businesses money in the long run – processes are improved by becoming more effective and efficient.
Second, good environmental practices can see businesses awarded with an ISO 14001 environmental certificate – something that is now prerequisite for public sector and many private sector tenders.
And finally, an ISO 14001 certificate can encourage clients to work with you, and even persuades some eco-minded customers to buy from a ‘green’ company like yours. So, it really does pay to be green!
Is your business green enough?
There’s no easy way to evaluate this from afar – you’ll need to conduct proper investigations into your business practices and see if you’re complying with legislation and recommendations set down by the government and regulatory bodies.
To give you a rough idea of where your company stands on its green credentials, start by taking a look around your factory, warehouse, offices or manufacturing plants.
Do your energy bills seem large? If you’re not working around the clock, are appliances turned off? Do you use renewable energy, or is your business creating a huge carbon footprint?
Next, consider your processes.
If your business generates waste, what is your process for disposing of it? Is anything recyclable? If it isn’t, how are you storing it, transporting it and disposing of it?
This is a particularly large concern for industries that generate toxic substances, but it’s still a consideration for every business.
Equally, have you thought about where you’re sourcing your materials and equipment from? Do you use resources that have already been recycled? And how are they transported to you?
Finally, think about the way your administrative team work.
Do you use a lot of paper or travel a lot for face to face meetings, inspections and briefings? Eco friendly offices digitise their processes as much as possible, storing files online and using technology to communicate with teams in far-away locations.
If you’d like to ensure that your business is green as can be, use health, safety and environmental (HSE) software (the likes of which is available from reliable providers such as airsweb), to measure and manage your environmental footprint.
You can capture data and generate reports, and also use it to demonstrate compliance and get great feedback from regulatory bodies.
Going green will save you money, boost your reputation and open up the possibility of new contracts with potential partners, so give it some proper thought.
Our staff writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them - their passion for sustainability.