Smart Ways to Make Your Business Environmentally Sustainable

Published: Oct 12, 2020

If you’re a business owner, you’ll find adopting eco-friendly practices is great for your business as well as the environment. In fact, employees at eco-friendly companies have been proven to be 16% more productive than average, as they’re more likely to be motivated, better trained, and communicative, a study by UCLA and the University of Paris-Dauphine reveals.

In addition to improving employee wellbeing, sustainable practices are crucial for reducing your overall expenses, lowering carbon emissions, and preserving the planet for future generations to come. 

Inspections and certifications

Get your business inspected by a third-party verifier to ensure it’s as eco-friendly as possible. For example, a LEED certification rates your workspace’s design, construction, operation, and maintenance. It showcases your commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency to both employees and customers. Other types of inspection or certification depend on your specific industry. For example, plant air pollution control equipment can be tested on-site for compliance with annual safety codes, PolSys Systems explains. As a result, you can rest assured your plant meets industry standards, promotes safe air quality, and is environmentally friendly. Annual inspections also test the condition and performance of equipment and function as a preventative measure against future potential equipment malfunctions and breakdowns.

Natural light

Installing glass skylights is a simple yet effective way to make your workspace more sustainable. With skylights flooding the office with natural light, there’s less need to turn on the overhead fluorescent lighting and task lamps, which means your office electricity bill goes down. Additionally, skylights and natural light decrease light bulb usage and waste; mercury-containing light bulbs are disposed of in landfills where the mercury can seep into the groundwater and eventually contaminate our drinking supply. Natural light is also better for the health and wellbeing of employees.

In fact, a study at Cornell University recently found employees working with plenty of natural light experienced a 51% reduction in the incidence of eyestrain, a 56% drop in drowsiness, and a 63% decline in the incidence of headaches.

Green days

Green days are select days when employees are encouraged to work from home, therefore cutting down on the amount they commute to and from work. Each commuting individual wastes 21 gallons of gas every year due to traffic delays, the 2019 Urban Mobility Report reveals. This in turn contributes significantly to the overall carbon footprint of every business.

In fact, the transportation sector as a whole accounts for roughly 29% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US — of which business commuting plays a huge role. Remote work on green days decreases carbon emissions, while employees can also be encouraged or incentivized to commute via public transport and use video conferencing technology to hold interoffice meetings throughout the year.

Incorporating green practices should be a top priority for any business. Eco-friendly inspections and certifications, natural lighting, and green days are simple steps that can significantly boost the sustainability of your business.