Funding gaps, dodgy marketing campaigns and ever-increasing budgets – there are probably lots of concerns interrupting your well-earned beauty sleep as your business launch draws closer. But there’s one question you need to be asking yourself: is my startup eco-friendly?

Besides doing your bit for the planet, all evidence shows that sustainability is profitable. The traditional view is that being environmentally friendly requires big expenditure for little financial return. Recent results indicate otherwise, with DuPont, for example, reporting savings of $2.2bn per year thanks to energy efficient measures.

The giants of the commercial market are already cottoning onto the economic benefits of environmentally friendly approaches to business, and you should be too.

Being eco-friendly is more than just talking the talk. Building your business with green practises in mind from the very beginning will set you on the right path, and could give you that extra selling point you need to curry favour with consumers.

Launch your startup with an environmentally friendly bang, and secure yourself a successful future by adopting the following eight policies and measures.

Embrace paper-free working

In an increasingly digital age, running a paperless office is more achievable than ever. Using cloud storage will help clear space and reduce the need for paper, as will ensuring that all communication is done via email or telephone.

Take care with waste

Attempting to reduce waste is always admirable, but in certain medical professions proper waste disposal is far more important. Having an approved sharps container and carefully handling toxic materials will help, but hiring in the professionals to implement and look after your waste disposal is a wise and cost-efficient green measure.

Use public transport

Reduce your carbon footprint and make it a rule that any work-related travel must use public transport. Lead by example on this one, and offer staff who stick it to reimbursements for tickets and related costs. If you implement this one from the very beginning, it’ll soon become second nature for employees.

Work with green suppliers

There are green options for most office materials nowadays, from ink to recyclable stationary. Taking the time to source these from suppliers who also have an eco-friendly outlook is also a simple way of encouraging a useful and friendly network of green businesses in your area.

Power up with renewable energy

Solar panels, biomass boilers, heat pumps – there are lots of eco-friendly ways to power your business. Embracing renewable energy might cost you now, but it’s a worthwhile green investment that’ll significantly reduce your energy bills in the future.

Boost natural light

Energy efficient light bulbs will quickly cut down your electricity usage. Increasing the amount of natural light is a sustainable lighting solution that will also make your new workplace more attractive – installing skylights is the easiest way of accomplishing this.

Get rid of harmful cleaning chemicals

Non-toxic cleaning products work just as well as their conventional counterparts, but have the added bonus of being good for the environment. There are lots of guides on natural, eco-friendly remedies available online. You can also buy green alternatives in specialist stores, but they tend to be pricier.

Ensure all equipment is powered down

Leaving computers and other technology switched on overnight and through the weekends is a big waste of electricity. Turning off all equipment should be the responsibility of every employee, but also check that automatic sleep mode is enabled in case mistakes are made.

Do you have any tips or ideas about any green business practises we haven’t included? Feel free to leave a comment – we’d love to hear from you!

By Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science. Professionally a professor in one of the top B-Schools of Asia and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a regular contributor of Business Fundas and a frequent author in research platforms. He is widely cited as a researcher. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.

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