A study conducted by environmental economist and Professor Magali Delmas of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability was the first to investigate the effects of a firm’s environmental practices on the performance of its employees. Delmas reported that the study revealed that “Employees in such green firms are more motivated, receive more training, and benefit from better interpersonal relationships. The employees at green companies are therefore more productive than employees in more conventional firms.
Not only are employees that work for environmentally conscious companies happier and more productive, but those companies are also more profitable. Just as employees feel better about working for such companies, customers feel better doing business with them as well. In addition to the increase in business, environmentally conscious practices also save money on operating expenses. To remain competitive, many companies are adopting money-saving strategies that offer the additional benefit of more effectively utilizing increasingly precious natural resources, including human resources.
Eco-Friendly Office Products and Services
There are a number of office products available that can help your business become more eco-friendly. For example, a hand-powered shredder can both save electricity and avoid potentially irritating office noise pollution. Personalized seven-year pens can raise morale while cutting the monthly bill for office supplies. Bamboo dry erase boards are reusable and made from organic natural materials.
Replacing synthetic materials with natural materials can make the workplace healthier and reduce allergy-related illnesses. Using organic, non-chemical cleaning products can also help ensure a healthier environment and many cleaning services now offer non-toxic alternatives.
Smart Landscaping and Water Conservation
As water becomes more scarce, its cost continues to rise. Landscaping is one way businesses are cutting costs and conserving water. Many are replacing lawns with trees that provide shade, or even nutritious fruit, and which also help retain moisture in the earth. Rock gardens have also become popular. Hidden plumbing leaks are often responsible for wasting water and increasing costs. Regularly planned plumbing inspections are well worth the investment.
Reducing Energy Costs
Two products that can significantly reduce energy costs are skylights, which increase the use of natural light, and solar panels, which use the warmth of the sun to provide heat. Business owners who rent space and aren’t able to initiate structural changes can employ other cost-saving strategies. For example, purchasing laptops rather than desktops for employee use provides them with greater flexibility as well as consuming far less energy.
According to Energy Star, buying computers that meet environmental standards could reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to 2 million cars and save $2 billion dollars each year. An organization called EPEAT (Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool), rates computers gold, silver or bronze based on environmental criteria that includes raw materials, packaging, energy conservation capability and the environmental effects of their disposal.
Making your office paperless can save money, and the environment in a number of ways. It can potentially reduce the cost of rent because it eliminates the need to maintain space to store physical files. Files require paper, which requires cutting down trees that provide the very oxygen for the air we breathe.
Glen Walton from Brisbane based arborist company decided going paperless is not enough, instead his company also participates in a reforestation program. For every tree they remove for a customer, they donate one as a gift to the environment and a form of thanks to the community.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP)
VOIP technology such as Skype and several of their competitors has made it possible for businesses, employees and consumers alike to save time and money as well as reduce their carbon footprints. Business meetings and even international conferences can be attended from multiple locations, with no need for anyone to travel. It also a great way to share information. Features include screen-sharing, which allows users to give presentations. Many apps are also available for use with these services that provide additional business collaboration tools, such as call recording.
Whether it’s reducing greenhouse gases through less travel, harnessing the power of nature to reduce energy costs, or purchasing eco-friendly products, environmentally conscious choices are as good for business and profitability as they are for people and the planet we all call home.
I’d like to thank Brisbane Tree Experts for inspiring this article.