Reducing the carbon footprint in business can be difficult.
I know this personally from working in a business I didn’t own.
Your options are limited to both budget and board members both!
Change Company Mindset!
Firstly, let’s be honest. Most companies are not in the business of being Eco friendly.
Secondly, the last thing talked about in most companies is getting the job done quickly and on budget.
With this mindset employees are thinking about the cheapest, the fastest, to get the job done.
As a result, lowering the carbon footprint is aforethought in this process.
Most importantly, the mindset has to change.
The culture and thinking behind literally every decision has to be focused on reducing the carbon footprint.
I will walk you through a personal story.
One of my past jobs was working in the automotive industry.
It was a supplier job. We would make a product that would later be pressed into anti-vibration parts for vehicles.
Poor planning from a particular customer put them behind schedule on a product.
As a result, we literally made the product, bought suitcases to put the product in.
We then bought plane tickets for an employee to take the product and fly it to the customer.
All to meet a deadline from poor planning!
How’s that for reducing carbon footprint in business?
Sadly, this was not a one-off occurrence.
We would also sometimes schedule weekly FedEx & UPS trucks to take products to suppliers.
While they were picking up packages we would be loading a semi going to the same place beside it.
The list of travel also included:
- Driving to training events
- Employees running to Walmart, hardware stores, and other places for items we ran out of.
- Employees flying around the country to other plants.
- GMs flying to meetings they had to attend.
- Managers flying to other countries to help fix issues in person.
The list is endless of things you could do over the phone, through Skype, and with better planning!
The most common things wasted in a company are:
- Too many purchases in departments
- Prioritizing Price Over Quality
In a world of technology would you believe that some managers still prefer you to hand them reports in paper form?
You did the report on the computer that can be sent and viewed anyplace.
They still want a paper copy! STOP
Some managers I’ve done reports for then emailed the report to them.
They would still print the report out!
Find any way possible to minimize electricity.
- Change to solar if possible.
- Switch to LED light bulbs.
- Use motion sensors to turn lights off if no one is in the room.
- Switch to more energy-efficient equipment
- Have an energy audit done!
- Insulate your business and warehouse.
To see more ways you can visit constellation.com.
- Install water-saving devices
- Have a water conservation policy
- Check for water leaks in your process
- Conduct a water audit
4.) Too many purchases in departments
Simple, have one central person or department that handles purchasing.
Firstly, as a business, you need to monitor products especially things that have to do with the environment.
Secondly, you can not do this effectively when anyone can bring things into your business.
Do not give out company credit cards to handfuls of people.
Most importantly, monitor the spending and make sure you are not buying multiple things in multiple different departments.
5.) Prioritizing Price Over Quality
I think I have seen this hundred of times in the company I use to work in.
A manager would buy a broom for instance.
Cheap! It would break or not hold up.
The said manager would buy more…..and more……and more…..
This is a small example but this happened with almost everything the manager bought.
Instead of spending the money once to get quality items, he would repeatedly buy more of the same.
Yes, cheap might make your boss happy but repeating the same purchase will not benefit anyone.
Especially not the landfills and carbon footprint you’re trying to reduce!
Repair or Upgrade Equipment
Firstly, this can be expensive.
Secondly, there are plenty of things not taken into consideration with this.
Not doing either of things lead to a high carbon footprint.
- Poor and worn out parts leak
- They leak oil, hydraulic fluid, water, air, etc
- Sudden breakdown of obsolete equipment means custom making parts.
- Flying, boating, or rush deliver on the part to fix the issue.
- Downtime caused means more employees driving in for overtime
- Higher energy consumption on older equipment
- Cause scrap and rework to go up.
- Set goals to reduce emissions
This includes normal maintains on HVAC units. A great resource to read is the gridpoint.com article by clicking here.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
Firstly, to reduce is the first step.
Secondly, if you reduced everything you can then focus on reusing things.
Most importantly, recycle anything you can not reuse.
- Order in bulk for high demand items to save on packaging and shipping.
- Can packaging be reused multiple times? or every time from suppliers.
- Find companies that could use your waste for their products.
- Use refillable items like soap, ink cartridges for pens, and tape.
- Look for suppliers that offer supplies made from recycled products. Click here for examples!
A creative use for pallets for example could be finding someone making furniture from the wood.
There are plenty of companies just taking pallets to landfills to be burnt that could be repurposed into products someone else would love to have!
A creative use for scrap cloth ends or samples is to get ahold of a company that can repurpose them into products.
For ideas of what companies do this see our other article on Eco Clothing For Men.
The possibilities are endless if you and your team put their creative minds together!
This is not the be-all of lowering your carbon footprint.
This article is a place to start for you and your business.
All lists can be improved and I challenge you to do so!
Get a head start in your business by picking one of these ideas for you and your team to work on!
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