Sustainability is more than a matter of remaining competitive these days, with recent research by Futerra indicating that 88% of consumers in the U.S. and U.K. want the companies they support to help them make a difference to the planet. L’Oreal’s recent For the Future sustainability report, meanwhile, shows that 66% of consumers might actually sacrifice results in order to support a sustainable product, 65% are willing to stop using a favorite product if it isn’t sustainable, and 76% prefer sustainable to standard packaging. If your business has already taken steps to reduce its carbon footprint, the following green practices may be worthy additions to your eco-friendly strategy.

Making A Commitment To Green Cleaning
Clean and tidy offices boost employee productivity and make a good impression on clients. However, the efforts required to keep your interiors gleaming may have a negative environmental impact. The Environmental Protection Agency has found that indoor spaces have up to five times worse air quality than outdoors spaces, owing to various factors – including the use of toxic cleaning products. Aim to reduce indoor pollution by using natural cleaning methods at your office. Instead of using bleach and other harsh products, switch to steam vacuuming. Use green cleaning products that contain no toxins. Products made with natural ingredients such as essential oils, baking soda, and natural acids can be efficient at cleaning surfaces and eliminating bacteria, without having effects on your employees’ and client’s health and wellbeing.
Reducing Waste
Take a good look at the supplies you purchase with a view to reducing the amount of waste your office produces. Opt for products with little or no packaging, and avoid purchasing items with non-returnable or non-recyclable packaging. Use refillable containers for as many supplies as possible, and reduce paper wastage by communicating via e-mail. Finally, establish a recycling system at work that involves separating items such as paper, cardboard, batteries and organic waste. Check out each suppliers’ sustainability policy, supporting companies that share your passion for sustainability. Negotiate with other companies to see if they have use for the waste products you may produce if you are involved in a specific industry or if you undertake manufacturing processes. Many fashion companies, for instance, recycle materials such as fish nets and plastic bottles into clothing: see if any local companies have a use for items you may otherwise simply throw away.
Relying On Renewable Energies
Bill and Melinda Gates once stated that “If we’re going to solve climate change, we need to get to near-zero emissions on all the things that drive it — agriculture, electricity, manufacturing, transportation, and buildings.” If you have a building capable of supporting a solar energy installation, consider making the switch. Doing so will enable you to save on utility bills, boost your reputation as a green company, and potentially enable you to obtain LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification. The initial outlay involved may be significant, but solar energy always provides a return on investment in the long-term. It will also entitle you to significant tax savings.
If you already back sustainable companies and take part in practices such as recycling, there is always more you can do to boost your reputation as a caring company. Consumers are willing to put their money behind sustainable businesses, so considering investing in areas like solar energy and water saving strategies will be worth your while if you plan on remaining in business in the long-term. Creating new partnerships, networking with like-minded companies, and including employees in your efforts can also help enlighten you on practices that can help reduce your carbon footprint while establishing your company as one that authentically cares about the planet.

By Chakraborty

Dr Chakrabarty is the Chief Innovation Officer of IntuiComp TeraScience. Earlier she was Assistant Professor of Delhi University, a QS ranked university in India. Before that she has held research positions in IIT Mumbai, IIT Chennai and IISc Bangalore. She holds 2 patents and over 20 research publications in her name which are highly cited. Her area of research is in smart technologies, integrated devices and communications. She also has a penchant for blogging and is an editor of Business Fundas.