Four easy and innovative ways for your company to keep going green

25 May 2016 | Rabin Ram

We’re all familiar with the three Rs of sustainability, we’ve been chanting the mantra since time immemorial – reduce, reuse and recycle. It’s catchy and easy to remember, but not quite as easy to practice. Environmental consciousness is fantastic in theory and absolutely necessary given the state of our planet, but some sustainability practices aren’t easily achievable, especially when you’re a business owner with a bottom line to protect.


But going green doesn’t actually have to be that hard and it helps you deliver your triple bottom line (people, planet and profit), because a well-implemented environmental sustainability plan should boost your revenue. So forget the misconception that going green is a chore and read our four easy and creative tips to make sure your business is following the green brick road.

Measure your impact

A good place to start your going green crusade is to assess your current energy consumption and quantify the impact your business has on the environment’s resources. This way, you’ll know exactly where you stand and what steps you need to take to cut back on your consumption.

fAn energy audit is a great way to get this done. Energy audits are detailed analyses of electricity use in businesses and, sometimes, homes. They provide a clear picture of how much electricity is being consumed by the business with recommendations regarding energy-conserving light fixtures and devices that your business can implement to cut back.

Another, more comprehensive way of measuring your organisation’s impact on the environment is by calculating your business’ carbon footprint. There are thousands of free tools for this online that give a broad view of your business’ carbon footprint, however, for a detailed and more granular calculation you’d have to pay a little bit extra. It’s worth it though because, unlike energy audits, carbon footprint calculations take into account your business’ other utilities such as water and it factors in mileage on company cars and time spent travelling by air, rail and public transport.

Embrace the virtual office

Speaking of travelling, why not scrap the carpooling entirely and let some of your employees work from home. We live in the era of cloud computing and video conferences, so telecommuting is not a new concept. Businesses all over the world are embracing virtual offices and only demanding that the employees who physically have to be in the office come in.

Just imagine the benefits. The office’s resources are automatically relieved when fewer people are present and you also save fuel and other travelling costs. Employees, despite popular opinion, are actually more productive when they work from home. So unless it’s an unmissable annual general meeting, give some of your employees the opportunity to work from home. It’s for the planet.


People keep fantasising about a paperless world, and although that would be great for the environment, we’re still decades away from realising that dream. In the meantime, we shouldn’t be aiming for “paperless” but rather “less paper” and one way to do that is by digitising our paper-based office processes.

But how? Well, you can start by implementing a document management solution like managed print services or centralising all office output into one device in the form of multifunction printer. Printers are getting smarter every day and are now being designed to include technology that helps your business stay green.

For example, Xerox’s MFPs are equipped with ConnectKey technology which intelligently reduces the amount of paper used by the device as you use it. It includes features such as automatic duplex printing, streamlined digitisation and distribution of documents, print drivers that default to two-sided printing, Earth Smart and support for Cisco Energy Wise. You’d be amazed at how a simple measure like changing your output fleet could reduce your business’ carbon footprint.

Literally go green

This is not a new suggestion, but planting more trees and growing more plants in and around your business will always be a great way to offset your carbon emissions.

Businesses with more greenery inside as well as around the business report better productivity because the staff are inhaling cleaner and fresher air. Plants also add an element of modern design to your business, further setting you apart from the competition and giving your employees as well as the clients you interact with a pleasant environment in which to do business.

Image credit: Softpedia