The global economic crisis hasn’t made business any easier and going green hasn’t gotten any cheaper. Yet, the ramifications for not greening our planet aren’t going to be any less costly. We already know the simple changes to make: use recyclable paper products, print less, turn off the lights, etc. Yet not enough businesses are actually implementing these practices thoroughly says “That is where the problem lies,” says Baren. “Telling your office to do five green things half-assed isn’t going to get you an impact. The greening and social responsibility has to be the core DNA of their business. You have to go all the way.” • Electronic Files=More Crawl Space
So here are a few business owners who have gone “all the way” when platinum LEED certification (the status given to denote Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), isn’t an immediate option.
Ultimately, the best way to be entrepreneurially responsible is to take your business online. Why not make up for years of global social irresponsibility by simply booting up your computer to conduct business? (So long as you completely shut down your computer, however, at the end of the day.)
• Hold Daily, Weekly, Local Meetings Online And Over the Phone
Chances are you get more done and more efficiently this way anyway. Use a web conferencing tool like iLinc and take your meetings online. “Even when I have meetings around town I take it online,” says John Jantsch founder of Duct Tape Marketing. “Instead of jumping in my car, I hold online meetings and webinars. Then everyone attending saves on time and gas whether it’s by car or flight.” Apply that same thinking to vendors, too. Using local businesses for your goods and services and ordering online or over the phone reduces the environments impact gas and shipping causes as well as lowers costs.
Law offices are notorious for printing and keeping paper files. Create an online storage system that eliminates files and reduces your physical space demands. “Figure out ways not to print,” says Jantsch.
While you grow your online storage space and minimize your concrete storage space, you’ll notice other ways to save in your space. Using light timers and motion sensors shows remarkable savings after three months, says Baren. “Imagine the savings a warehouse has when it switch out those giant light bulbs for energy efficient ones. It’s easily in the thousands.”
• Rethink Annual Conferences, Fairs, Retreats
Taking on a social media platform like Twitter and conducting conferences online is a productive option for cutting out yearly obligations where you might not want to see and hear certain people for hours on end anyway. “Most conferences don’t create the visibility they once had,” says Baren. “I ask my clients what they get out of going to a conference and then look at how their business can create an online presence that helps them to be an authority in their market place.” Realistically, a huge online conference can create more exposure and brand equity than a booth at a conference can these days. It requires a lot less expenditure too.
• If You Must Travel, Cluster Your Trips
Model and author, Summer Rayne Oakes projected her carbon footprint for the next six months because she knew she would be traveling more than usual to promote her book Style, Naturally. So she tried to cluster her trips. “I am aware of what I am expending. I figured out its about 17 tons of carbon,” she said. So she is heading to Mozambique for a few months to offset the damage by joining a reforestation project. “I need to plant about 126 trees,” she says.
We already know the simple changes to make: use recyclable paper products, print less, turn off the lights, etc. Yet not enough businesses are actually implementing these practices thoroughly saysBill Baren, a green business coach.
“That is where the problem lies,” says Baren. “Telling your office to do five green things half-assed isn’t going to get you an impact. The greening and social responsibility has to be the core DNA of their business. You have to go all the way.”
• Electronic Files=More Crawl Space