Establishing and maintaining an environmentally friendly business has many advantages. Businesses that acknowledge and take action to improve their environmental impact receive economic and public relations benefits. Incorporating just a few of these ideas positively impacts the environment and saves your company money.

Make it Fun

Create a team dedicated to improving the company’s environmental impact. Peers implementing these programs increase employee participation. Develop a suggestion box for employees to present their ideas. Encourage participation by designing contests where employees win prizes based on their suggestions.

Recycle Your Waste

Recycle everything. Some office supply stores offer discounts or rebates to companies that return used ink cartridges. Shredding companies provide locked bins that are gathered and the contents shredded on-site before being taken to a recycler.

Plant Your Office

Donate the plastic plants and invest in easy-to-maintain live plants. Bamboo, aloe vera and spider plants thrive in office settings with minimal windows. Not only do plants boost employees’ moods, they clean toxins from the air.

Incorporate Flex Time

Allowing employees to work staggered shifts helps your employees and the environment. Reducing commute time can have a significant benefit to the environment. Combining work-from-home and desk-sharing options may allow you to move to a smaller building. This minimizes your footprint on the environment and can save on real estate.

Choose Office Supplies

Take the time to find office supplies that are made from recycled products or easier to recycle. Purchase recycled ink cartridges or biodegradable pens. Support a local vendor that has invested in eco-friendly delivery vehicles. Insist on non-toxic cleaners for your maintenance crew to minimize toxic vapors.

Provide Dishes

Install a dishwasher and provide dishes and utensils for employees to use in the lunchroom. Running even a partial load of dishes saves a significant amount of water. Waste from disposable plates and utensils is minimized. The initial investment pays for itself in the cost savings from replacing disposable plates.

Let Them Drink

Purchase everyone a company-themed water bottle and invest in a water cooler as opposed to single-use plastic bottles. Coffee and tea can lead to an abundance of single-use packaging being thrown away. Eliminating single-use creamer and sugar packets can make a huge impact on your waste. Many single-use containers are more costly in the long run.

The world around us has expanded beyond the reduce-reuse-recycle triangle. Business owners are now expected to incorporate eco-friendly business practices into their day-to-day operations.