More and more companies are recognizing their responsibility towards the environment and are striving to keep their business practices clean and environmentally conscious. As with any business operation, it is important that it is given thought and the proper processes are in place. Let’s start with the basics- What is a Green Business? According to Wikipedia, “Sustainable business, or green business, is an enterprise that has minimal negative impact on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy—a business that strives to meet the triple bottom line. Often, sustainable businesses have progressive environmental and human rights policies.” Here are a couple of guidelines on how to set up a Green Business: 1. Prioritize and Create a Strategy: Take a look at the way your business functions, discover what the inefficiencies are and how they can be tackled. Make a list of utilities, amenities and resources that you use on a monthly, weekly and daily basis. Prioritize the ones that are truly essential and find alternatives or ways of cutting down on areas you think are wasteful or could do with improvement. Set goals and milestones of how and where your business can do better and create a realistic strategy on how you and your business can reach these goals. 2. Check Your Infrastructure & Product Use: Old or outdated infrastructure may be expensive to replace, but they could be costing your business and the environment. Check whether they are all functioning properly, how their energy consumption can be reduced and whether they need a round of maintenance to function better. Also take stock of the products you use in the office- from the computer toner to the cleaning products. Ensure that they are not harmful to the environment or your staff and follow the right instructions to properly recycle and reuse their containers. 3. Look for Items that can be reused: In a green business or any business, it is of importance that items whether in the form of technology or containers are reused. Reusing resources that you already posses makes good business sense financially, good environmental sense and also allows your staff to think innovatively about how they can reclaim and reuse a product. 4. Involve your Staff: The decision to become a green business may come from you, but for it to be truly successful; your staff has to be convinced and involved as well. Make them in charge of activities and find ways to innovate. Give credit where it’s due and set up a committee that involves all your staff on a rotational basis to find new areas where your business could be greener. Make the activities fun and maybe a little competitive to increase staff participation. 5. Always Keep Learning: As with any other area of your business, research is key to taking your endeavors to the next level. Sustainable practices especially evolve on a daily basis and it’s important that you keep abreast of the latest studies and methods. Set up a group or community with other entrepreneurs who would also like to pledge to make their businesses green, meet monthly and work on different ideas on how as a group you can continue to improve your green practices. Follow these simple guidelines and you will be well on your way to creating a well-functioning, realistic green business plan.
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