How Can You Make Your Business Green?

Green BusinessFinding ways to make your business green improves the environment, but it also enhances a company’s reputation in an increasingly socially conscious marketplace. Also, many environmentally friendly initiatives are cost saving efforts that tend to make good financial sense anyway. With these benefits in mind, it is not a matter of if a company should go green, but it is of concern how a company can become more eco-friendly while staying within their organizational budgets and without disrupting critical operations. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, many small businesses are going green and even their small steps toward a cleaner environment are significant. These businesses often center their efforts around the eco-friendly standards for waste handling, purchasing and transportation. Here are some examples of low-cost ways that even small businesses can go green.

Waste Handling: Reduce and Recycle

Traditional office environments typically use a lot of paper products, and an easy way for small businesses to adopt more sustainable practices is to reduce the reliance on paper through updated company policies and information technology tools. For example, a company can implement a policy that administrative activities like time sheet completion and approval be done electronically. Also, employees can print using the front and back of the paper for items that require hard copies. Facility managers can place recycling bins strategically around companies for paper, plastic and metal waste products.

Purchasing: Sourcing Eco-Friendly Replacements

When contracts end, facility managers find it an ideal time to partner with eco-friendly businesses to source green products and services. These products and services range from purchasing eco-friendly cleaning supplies and housekeeping services to buying local produce from a nearby farm to fill restaurant refrigerators. Since these purchases usually require businesses to enter into contracts, environmental champions look upon them as positive steps toward long-term sustainability strategies. One time product replacements like the purchase of low flow toilets and hybrid company vehicles are also examples of advantageous and sustainable purchasing decisions.

Transportation: Unconventional Commuting Options

Adopting more sustainable transportation policies and practices can deliver big benefits to a company’s profits and boost workforce morale while reducing harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Providing incentives for employees to carpool helps them to save money on gasoline, reduces the stress of maneuvering through rush hour traffic and lowers the amount of pollution released into the atmosphere. For example, commuters in San Mateo County in California get a free $60 gas card for all passengers who carpool together every two months, according to Commute. California employers do not pay for the gas cards; the funding for the program comes from government and private sources. Employers who encourage employees to bike to work also gain benefits of a fit employee whose carbon emissions are limited to the exhalations of a good workout. This is an especially good option for employers whose leased spaces include shower facilities. Also, telecommuting is one of the best ways that companies can realize cost savings, reduce environmental impacts associated with transportation and provide employees with more flexible work options.

Related Resource: Urban Planner


Businesses who are serious about taking a more environmentally friendly stance should incorporate their eco-friendly initiatives into the company’s strategic plans to ensure that sustainability efforts remain viable and funded in the long term. These businesses may also decide to hire a sustainability consultant to professionally guide their efforts. Implementing ways to make your business green with a limited budget can be as easy as checking the tax codes; eco-friendly efforts that have associated tax credits are great places to begin to make your business green.