network for communicating with busi- ness stakeholders.
Operate a green office: Take office supplies, materials and space to the next green level by making eco-friendly choices, which may mean eliminat- ing some items entirely. For example, replace disposables with a durable or permanent equivalent.
Choose renewable energy: Power operations with renewable energy or invest in alternative options.
Choose green communications: Explore obtaining telephone and In- ternet services from a green or socially responsible company. Use teleconfer- encing or video calls to reduce trans- portation and explore the many free options available, such as Skype.
Implement paperless banking and billing: Choose electronic bank statements, invoices and billing for sup- pliers and utilities. Use the computer to send and receive faxes instead of producing printed copies.
Green the air: Clean indoor air by using live plants. Install an air
filtration system to protect employees and customers.
Clean green: Purchase eco-friend- ly alternatives for cleaning and maintaining the office and manufactur- ing sites; a greener alternative exists for just about any related need.
Build a culture that’s conducive to reusing and recycling: Making both the norm means such initiatives will flourish without having to continu- ally change people’s habits.
Encourage alternative transpor- tation: Give employees incen-
tives to carpool or ride bikes. Provide telecommuting options.
Source from green suppliers: Investigate sourcing options and
give more weight to green businesses. Purchasing from a green business doesn’t always mean extra cost, and might make more sense overall.
Use local materials and services: Local sourcing helps eliminate
excess transportation, while also sup- porting the community.
Find new materials: Investigate non-obvious alternatives. The
greener option may not have a much higher cost, and might also be used as a green marketing hook.
Conduct a life-cycle assessment: Current manufacturing processes might include unnecessary steps or materials; assessing product life cycles can identify cost or time savings.
Combine processes: Analyze how combining two or more
operations may save time, money and energy.
Maintain equipment at maxi- mum efficiency: Regularly clean equipment fans and filters and stick to a maintenance schedule. Well-main- tained equipment delivers increased efficiency and prolonged life.
Use waste: Can any waste be used in any way as a resource?
Make something green: Take an everyday item and create a
green version of it. New niches pop up all the time.
Collect rainwater: Install recy- cling equipment to irrigate land-
scaping. Find used, 55-gallon drums instead of purchasing new containers, and practice xeriscaping to decrease water requirements indoors and out.
Going green in business can go hand- in-hand with making more money, through cost savings, increased sales or both. Communicating your green messages also helps create compelling arguments for customers to choose to do business with you, and might just lead to opening up new markets for your products or services.
Derek Markham is a regular contributor to GreenMarketing.tv
, the basis for this piece. Connect through his website at NaturalPapa.com
natural awakenings October 2011 37
All is connected... no one thing can change by itself.
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