Top 7 Strategies Towards an Environmentally Friendly & Profitable Business
By Christian Arno
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For new businesses that are still finding their feet in a highly competitive marketplace, the size of their profit margin may be more of a concern than the size of their carbon footprint. So how can budding businesses ensure they stay in the green and out of the red?
Well, the advent of the internet era has enabled businesses to cut costs whilst also building an environmentally friendly philosophy across the organisation, whilst traditional energy-saving methods shouldn’t be ignored either.
- Keep travel to a minimum
One of the biggest expenses many companies have is transporting people for meetings. A lot of valuable time is wasted ‘in transit’ at airports and stations and ‘time’, as we all know, equals money.
But with internet technology, travel can be kept to a minimum. Using VoIP software, instant messaging, email and telephone conferencing services is much cheaper than flying a team of executives cross-country for a one-hour meeting.
- Use web-based technology
Companies that have clients or other offices across the world should use web-based technology to keep costs down. Documents can be stored remotely in a secure central hub in cyberspace, with passwords enabling only authorised people to gain access – no need to post, courier or fax any documents.
Remote storage saves on office space, furniture and staff time. With encryption it’s just as safe as physical storage, if not safer.
- Run a paperless office
Similarly, digital storage is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way of managing important documents. Anything from portable USB hard-drives to large, networked storage facilities can cater for companies of all sizes, which cuts out needless paper waste.
- When printing is unavoidable...
When printing is unavoidable, ensure a printer is compatible with refillable ink cartridges and has a duplex printing function. Many print shops will give significant discounts on fresh cartridges in exchange for your empties. And by printing on both sides of a piece of paper, this can halve the amount of paper you need to use.
- Online marketing
Marketing is central to the success of any business. Whilst hard copies of marketing material will always have a place, it’s important to optimise online operations. A company’s website is often the first port of call for customers – so make sure it’s informative, well presented and easy to navigate.
Target new customers on forums, make business listings in the online Yellow Pages and, most importantly, have electronic versions of information brochures – many customers like to be emailed information on your company. Having a strong online marketing strategy will boost sales, cut costs and also save a lot of money on printing.
- Turn off equipment
Many companies leave their computers on stand-by overnight and at weekends which is a massive waste of energy. Instil a company-wide policy that insists that everyone must turn their computers off if not in use. The same applies to coffee machines, heaters...anything that consumes power.
- Energy-saving light bulbs
Energy saving light bulbs are a must for all companies, as they are good for bank accounts and the environment. They use up to 80 per cent less electricity than a standard bulb, but produce the same amount of light.
Through a combination of internet technology and a genuine desire to make a difference, all businesses – new or otherwise – can adopt environmentally-friendly principles and cut needless financial waste at the same time.
Christian Arno is founder and Managing Director of UK-based global translation services provider Lingo24. Launched in 2001, Lingo24 now has a network of 4,000 translators and over 100 employees working in four continents. For more information on Lingo24 and its environmental policies, visit: http://www.lingo24.com.
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Article Submitted On: August 14, 2009