All of us know that we need to be responsible with our natural resources and with our bank accounts. What does this look like? This might look like changing the light bulbs to LEDs (which are much more efficient and last significantly longer) or maybe turning off some of those unused lights... It might also look like setting up recycling for the company. Regardless, the big idea here is to start thinking about the impact of how we do business. The next two points are some ideas to hopefully get you started.
1. Go paperless: This is one of the things I say all the time and that’s because it has so many benefits. First, with no more paper and automatic backups set to run, critical files are never lost. So scan the important documents and setup a real-time automatic backup. Second, you’re helping the environment while saving money. Consider the following statistic: 39% of copies are thrown in the trash... so why not email that file? Or scan that document into the digital filing system (where everyone has access without printing) and recycle the paper.
This can also look like going paperless on bills. Most companies these days will send a digital version of an invoice (many encourage this) and many like receiving a digital version. When the bill is emailed, it's there immediately and there's no money spent on paper, postage, or envelopes. If you're a vendor, with a good accounting system, the invoicing process can be automated. Invoices could be processed and emailed out automatically without anybody getting involved other than the initial entry.
At a bare minimum, going paperless makes a company more efficient, but in the long road it can make a company more profitable and environmentally friendly.
2. Alternative energy: Solar Power. I know that solar can be a large upfront cost but, if the plan is to stay in the same location for a while, it can easily be looked at as an investment. First, we’re talking free energy. That means no longer paying the power company for electricity or at least not all of it. Second, with enough solar panels, the power company will start paying for the excess energy that is sent back onto the grid. This helps the bank account and the environment.
There are companies that will cover the roof in solar panels and even create covered parking with solar panels. Installing panels on the roof is pretty much permanent. Covered parking is fantastic, but that is definitely a much more permanent and costly solution. While these options are great for the companies that have the bank accounts to fund them, they're not always practical for everyone to implement. Let's say you're not planning on staying for a long time, maybe just a year or a couple of years. Smaller panels can be mounted on the outside of a building (much like hanging a sign) and used to power smaller setups. Think powering some computers and maybe the lights, but not necessarily a server room.
Again, the main point of this article is not about the above two points, but more so to get us thinking about the impact of how we do business. These ideas are just two ways of many that a company could be more efficient and environmentally friendly, while saving money.