Whether you are ready to take small steps or build an overall plan to go green, sustainable business practices make for a better earth and a better bottom line.
1: Green Your Supply Line
Do now: From eco-friendly cleaning products to staple-free staplers, consider incorporating green supplies into your office. Check out the EPA's Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Guide.
Plan for the Future: Consider the entire life cycle of products. Even "green" products can have a negative footprint if they are produced or transported in ways that negatively impact the environment.
2: Save Energy
Do now: Turn off computers and lights at the end of the day. Keep offices at an agreed-upon, environmentally-friendly temperature appropriate for the season. Get more tips from Ameren.
Plan for the Future: Use motion sensors to reduce use of overhead lights in empty rooms and hallways. Buy Energy Star electronics - even eco-friendly vending machines are available.
3: Reduce Waste
Do now: Don't print this. Forms and even receipts can be submitted and issued online. Encourage use of reusable mugs, plates and silverware in the office and make recycling easy.
Plan for the Future: Even though it seems eco-friendly compared to printing, storing electronic data taxes natural resources as well. Consider a green IT plan that purges unneeded data and encourages sharing documents.
4: Embrace Natural Resources
Do now: Ditch the fluorescent lights during the day and take advantage of natural light. Bring greenery into the office, especially into meeting and common areas.
Plan for the Future: Consider a long-term investment in sustainable architecture and technology through a green roof or solar energy panels.
5: Encourage Eco-Friendly Transportation
Do now: Promote carpooling and use of public transportation. Make it easier by designating a spot for bike storage and setting aside locker room space, if possible. Find out more about regional alternative transportation.
Plan for the Future: Consider allowing employees to telecommuting part of the time and offer incentives for employees who live locally.