Wednesday, November 14, 2007

As green as the money used to be

Corporate social responsibility is an ever growing task for companies, and with today’s “green” movement, this concept takes on a whole new dynamic. No longer is it a passing grade for a company to just make a donation or attend a fund raising event for the environment. Companies must now do their part and take direct affirmative actions to support the “green” movement as part of their daily operations. That being said, if you, as a business owner, have not instituted a “green” policy in your office, here are a few tips and resources to help you get started.

The obvious – make every effort to purchase and utilize recycled and/or eco-friendly office products and consumables.
Eliminate Styrofoam cups from amenity areas – convert to paper cups, and preferably ones made from recycled paper.
Provide personalized glasses and mugs for each employee, and have extras for guests.
Provide a simple statement on your e-mail footer such as “Think Before You Print.”
Install appliances in kitchens and pantry areas that have high “Energy-Star” ratings.
Install energy saving light bulbs and fixtures.
Have employees turn off computers and other electronic devices before leaving each day, and especially before leaving for the weekend.
Install motion sensors in conference rooms and public areas so that people do not have to remember to shut off the lights.
In addition to these few basic tips, there are a host of on-line resources that can provide further ideas and/or insight for businesses seeking to implement a “green” policy in the work place. Here are just a few examples:
While we all agree that a “green” policy in and of itself is good, but the real important question is how do you make it work?

The key to any “green” policy is ownership and engagement. One of the most effective ways of making sure that each individual/department/office/floor believes in the policy and runs with it, is to appoint an “environmental champion” for each physical area in a work location. They can push the policy and also filter best practice solutions back up the chain. You will be surprised at some of the ideas that will be presented, and which may not have been obvious to you or someone else who does not work in direct proximity to the areas for which a green initiative has been developed.

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