The awareness of our threatened environment and climate is nothing new. It seems with every passing day there is another green initiative, or eco-friendly alternative, out there catching people’s attention. Truth is that the fight for a cleaner environment with less greenhouse gas emissions and pollution is at the forefront of concerns faced not only in our country, but worldwide. Many of the choices that are made regarding the use of wasteful or harmful products aren’t necessarily up to us as individuals, but we can take small steps towards reducing our own carbon footprints.
Businesses have several unique opportunities to adopt more green standards. Many of these strategies don’t change how the company functions, rather, they make existing processes more efficient and environmentally friendly. Paper use, recycling and digital information strategies are places to start.
Lessening paper use is a primary method. Reducing the amount of paper your organization uses can slowly bring you closer to a digital/electronic business approach. This is something many companies are transitioning over to these days, not just for environmental reasons but because it’s an efficient way to run a business. However, adopting an electronic approach is not an easy feat nor is it an overnight process. Creating a digital office is a long-term project. But, it’s a valuable one. Implementing an electronic document management system drastically reduces a company’s dependence on paper and their carbon footprint. A paperless office also offers reduced operating costs, enhanced accessibility, improved collaborative efforts and better disaster recovery strategies.
Recycling is another common approach to a greener workplace, and there isn’t much effort required to make it easy and convenient. There is likely someone or a group of people in the office who are passionate about recycling. Perhaps this group takes the lead in developing a recycling initiative. This may mean distributing and collecting bins around the office, and dropping off paper at recycling receptacles. It’s important that there is method for document safety and security. Look into document destruction and retainer schedules, and use shredding services or locked recycling receptacles when necessary.
Another easy, free and worthwhile method for decreasing the amount of paper being wasted is to reduce the amount of junk mail you receive. We aren’t just talking about recycling the junk mail you receive in your mailbox. Take it a step further by going to the source to stop the production of the wasteful mail. Opting out or unsubscribing are some ways to stop junk paper mail, but there are even free services that allow you to permanently remove yourself from mailing lists.
For more information on how to begin your company’s new green initiative by going digital, contact ILM today.