Minicast: Sustainability Is a Win Win for Business and Planet Earth
Updated: Jul 7
The theme for Earth Day 2022, is ‘Invest in Our Planet.’ This theme supports the notion that as consumers, we can choose how to spend money and make intentional purchases that ‘preserve and protect our health, our families, and our livelihoods.’ The call was sent out from Earthday.org to challenge business climates, political climates, and to take action for our climate.
This has us thinking. On Earth Day, we shared three actionable items from the Nature Conservancy. These three items propel us to make decisions regarding the purchases we make and how they impact our plant. The three actionable items are: to purchase reef sensitive sunscreens, to share a vegetarian recipe, and to brush up on the UN Climate Change report.
In this Minicast, we are putting the call out to those in our entrepreneurial community - to begin to think green-er.
Small Changes, Big Impact for Businesses
One of the call-outs from EarthDay.org was for businesses to incorporate sustainability into daily practices. It was also mentioned that through innovation, keys to quicker climate change could truly be found. Think of the rate at which technology has grown in the last twenty years? Apply that to climate change via increased methods for reducing single use plastics, increasing composting, or electric vehicles, and viola, you have the making of something beautiful. Putting small changes within our own homes and businesses will make lasting impacts. We have some ideas for you.
Three Actions for Businesses to Increase Sustainability Today
Beyond placing a recycling bin in your office, there are simple ways that businesses can increase sustainability starting today.
Encourage Paperless Activities - Most of what our society relies upon can be done paperless. From signing documents to filling out forms, encourage your office to utilize a docusign and Google Forms to collect information from employees. Both of these methods have safety features that can be utilized across various business practices, as well. Agendas and powerpoints can be sent via email (everyone has a device to read along) and most people will throw these papers away immediately following meetings.
Save and Conserve Water - If it is not already implemented at the office, remove throw-away cups from water coolers and coffee/tea making areas. Provide mugs or reusable cups for employees and guests. Encourage employees to bring their own mugs or water cups. At the same time, you can remove plastic/reusable silverware from kitchen areas, ridding the environment from the waste of single-use plastic items. Again, have a stash of silverware handy, or encourage employees to bring their own.
Save Energy - Whenever possible, utilize natural lighting throughout the day. In our small offices we are able to turn lights off around noon, and they can stay this way throughout the day. Is there a way that you can position your workspaces so that you can be near to natural light? If so, your energy bill and your health will thank you. Turning off computers at the end of the day can save a lot. The University of Hawaii reported:
A desktop personal computer with LCD monitor uses about 1080 kWh per year if left on 24/7 and would cost UH $225* to run. (*Energy rates are expected to increase.) Turning off the computer when you leave for the day, would save about 65%. UH could save $1.57 million a year in energy costs (based on 10,000 units at $0.23 per kWh). Energy estimates depend on computer specifications, duration of use, as well as type of use.”
Impact of Sustainability for Profits
There is a noted correlation between green business practices and increased profits, but going green reaches farther. When you make company-wide decisions impacting the health of the planet, these decisions have been shown to increase happiness within employees and resilience in stock performance. When a company chooses to take the welfare of the environment into consideration, conscientious investors seek them out.
If you work at home, our friends over at Energy Star have an article dedicated to small/at home businesses and saving energy. These things are actionable items that can have far reaching savings for you and your company.
We are grateful to live in a time when things are improving for our planet. We are consciously choosing to make decisions that affect people beyond our generation. These steps create space for your company, and the planet to succeed.