Earth Day, which occurs every year on April 22, presents an opportunity for individuals and businesses alike to look for ways to be environmentally responsible.

Businesses that use “green” practices not only demonstrate good corporate citizenship, but may actually cut operational costs and help their bottom line.

Little things add up when it comes to greening a business. Here are some simple tips you can employ to save money, lower business costs, and do something good for the environment.

1. Make “green” a business priority.  Make sure employees know that your company wants to help reduce its power and water usage, and incorporate energy-saving techniques into your orientation and training programs.  Make sure employees turn off equipment, lights, machinery and other energy-sucking devices when not in use. You’ll be amazed at just how much your business can save just by throwing the OFF switch.

To simplify energy management, invest in inexpensive timers to shut down equipment automatically when not in use. Add motion detectors to turn lights on and off. Empty spaces that remain lit throughout the day waste energy and cost your business cash.

Swap out your old thermostats with programmable thermostats. These high-tech monitors can keep temperatures comfortable during working hours, turn down the heating or cooling system during off-hours, and bring temperatures back to normal before the team checks in for the day.

2. Conduct an energy audit. Many utilities will conduct a free audit of your facility to find ways to cut energy costs.  Then follow their recommendations on ways to make your building more energy efficient, such as caulking windows, adding weather stripping to exterior doorways, and replacing outdated equipment.

3. Look for the ENERGY STAR.  Equipment and appliances that are certified by the federal government’s ENERGY STAR program – from computers to the refrigerator in the break room – make it easier to green up your business and lower daily costs of operation.

You may pay a little extra for energy-efficient equipment, but in the long run, you’ll use less electricity, and that translates into higher profits.

4. Create a telecommuting system. Cut down on carbon emissions by enabling some employees to work from home. Your staff will use less gas, release fewer emissions into the environment, and will probably enjoy working in the comfort of home.

If your business employs remote-site service technicians, or a sales team that’s on the road, consider replacing your older vehicles with hybrids that use both gas and electricity to get from here to there.

5. Eliminate unnecessary travel. It costs money to get your marketing manager to a business conference. It also wastes energy.

Use the latest in online collaboration tools to work side-by-side without the expense of driving or flying for a face-to-face visit. You’ll get more done, you’ll cut down on travel costs, and you’ll use less energy.

6. Swap out desktops for laptops.  Laptops are much more energy-efficient than desktops, and today’s laptops are easy to use. Replace some work stations that don’t need energy-gulping desktop computers with more energy efficient laptops and tablets.

7. Choose green vendors. Your company can purchase products and materials from a number of sources. Choose vendors who share your commitment to improving our environment by using less energy.

Vendors who are close by don’t have to use as much energy getting product to your plant, so start looking locally first.

Specify your terms: no hazardous chemicals, a percentage of recycled paper content, no plastic containers – it’s your business, your policy, so vendors will comply, spreading the greening ofNevada’s business community.

A few “green” changes can deliver more green into your company account, so start on Earth Day, and continue all year long.

For more information about energy conservation, visit www.energystar.gov, maintained by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

 


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.