Idea Exchange: Reducing Your Business's Carbon Footprint
by ChristineL, Former Moderator
- Created: May 6, 2010, 7:47 am
- Updated: April 15, 2011, 1:50 pm
Last mont;s Earth Day reminded us to consider strategic and long-term investments in our environment and businesses. Small businesses across the country are measuring greenhouse gas emissions, setting goals, and reducing emissions. In the Idea Exchange this past month, we asked members in the Community,-Wha-s one step you've taken to reduce your busines's carbon footprint?
Her's what our members say about how they reduced their carbon footprint:
- Use Technology, Go Paperless - moneyandrisk suggests taking advantage of online technology to reduce the amount of printing. Accessing information through a portal or a secure site can allow multiple people to view documents without printing multiple hard-copies. Barbwired also uses electronic billing to reduce paper waste. dgoldie converted all paper files to electronic documents, making filing and searching much easier. She recommends a good scanner, document management program, and a reliable storage system to effectively go virtual. Read about how to use paper efficiently and save money by going paperless at Business.gov.
- Work Remotely teamextension recommends working remotely instead of traveling to and from the office. Keep in touch with the rest of your team by using virtual desktop technology. If teleworking is't an option for your business, you can still help reduce emissions - learn more about green commuting options in our blog.
- Switch to Environmentally-Friendly Air Systems - HotelNewYorker reduced the carbon footprint of his hotel business by switching from wall AC units to central AC units. So far, energy usage for heating and air conditional has decreased 30%-40%. Learn about energy-efficient heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning in our Green Business Guide.
- Reduce Lighting Usage - Barbwired switched to energy efficient lights to reduce the amount of wasted energy and money on electricity bills. She also suggests turning off lights, which has a side benefit of improved security since it allows security patrols to spot intruders with flashlights more easily. Learn more about energy-efficient lighting in our Green Business Guide.
- Limit Car Idling Time - lucy limits the time her car engine is on to reduce the amount of energy waste and pollution. She says,'I see people eating their lunches in parking lots of food stores with their engines running and people having long conversations with their engines running. There seems to be no awareness of what that does to the atmosphere and to people around them who have to breathe the fumes'
- Reuse Office Supplies - thacker reuses boxes to ship items. Customers appreciate that his company is recycling and is environmentally conscious. Learn more about waste reduction practices at Business.gov.
We hope that these ideas motivate you to make your business more energy efficient or inspire you to start a green business. If you would like to read all the responses or see past idea exchanges, visit the Past Idea Exchange board.
More Resources on Greening Your Business
- Green Business Guide
- EP's Climate Leade's Partnership
- When it Comes to Green Business - Entrepreneurs are the Mother of all Invention
- Become an Environmental Leader - EPA Helps Small Business Reduce their Carbon Footprint
- Greening Your Small Business: Go Beyond the Hype with a Plan that Works for You
What's Next for the Idea Exchange?
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