Moving your organization green

by Barry on October 20, 2010

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There are many benefits to going green. You are making a statement that the environment is important and that you want it to be around for our children and grand-children. Going green can save money and time and it is contagious. Your staff is more likely to emulate the behavior in their homes and you will attract others who believe that going green is the only way to go. And you can use this as a marketing advantage in attracting new clients.

The following tips help your organization go green. While you may not be able to apply them all, the more that you can do will make the world that much of a better place.

Conduct virtual meetings and video conferences instead of traveling to meetings, as much as feasible. Traveling to meetings burns carbon fossils and other natural resources. This is true whether you are traveling by car or flying across the country. Travel is also expensive and time consuming. Although in-person meetings can be crucial when first establishing relationships or during important meetings, as much as possible, promote the use of virtual meetings using conference bridges and video conferencing.

Allow your team to work from home. Allowing your team to work from home lowers their carbon footprint as they don’t have to drive or use mass transit. This also lowers your costs as you don’t need a physical office, or can suffice with a much smaller office.

Become an expert working with disperse teams. This allows you to hire people from anywhere in the country (or beyond), which lets you find people with the exact experience that you need plus it lowers costs. For example, I know of a small agency in NYC that finds that using people who live in other parts of the country allows them to lower their costs by 20% compared to NYC resources. To successfully work with disperse teams means that you need the proper infrastructure and a standardized process so that everyone knows what to do in what order.

If you must meet in-person or need to maintain a physical office, do so in places where people can easily take mass transit. This means that if given a choice, you should locate meetings in major cities where the proper city infrastructure exists.

Use collaboration tools instead of printing documents. This allows teams to work on documents without everyone having to print out the documents.

Empower your staff to go green. Institute an award program for people who submit the best tips and for the person who lowers their carbon footprint the most.

There are also many things that you can do in your office such as:

  • Promote the use of electric cars by providing charging stations in your office.
  • Install enclosed bicycle lockers so that people can bike to work. Making them enclosed (or indoors) protects the bike from bad weather and theft.
  • Get rid of disposable coffee cups. Give everyone a reusable coffee mug to use instead.
  • Replace paper towels in your bathrooms with air blowers.
  • Replace regular light bulbs with CFLs.
  • Install motion detectors in your conference rooms that controls the lights so that they turn on/off automatically.
  • Use power strips to turn off the power to computers and monitors when they are not in use.
  • Purchase recycled paper for your printers and encourage people to print on both sides of the sheet.

Would love to hear your success stories and any tips that you have.


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