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3 ways companies can lower carbon footprint – Al Woods
As a company looking to go green, setting an environmentally friendly standard for your employees and consumers to support requires making changes to lessen your carbon footprint.
In the long run, these changes will not only impact the environment in a positive way, but also reduce your company’s utility bills and demand for energy. Here are three ways companies can begin to lower carbon footprint and adopt a green mindset.
Make the Switch to Green Materials
Switching to green materials is going to mean something slightly different for each company. For manufacturing companies, this means switching to eco-friendly packaging, as in avoiding plastic and Styrofoam, and packaging in bulk whenever possible. Switching to sustainable packaging and green products means following the criteria set out by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, which describes packaging as sourced, manufactured, transported and recycled using renewable energy made from materials that are healthy throughout their life cycle, and physically designed to optimize materials and energy among many other factors.
For others, switching to green materials means considering bio-engineered materials such as solar-thermal cladding, synthetic spider thread and bio-plastics. Reevaluate how your company and its vehicles are fueled and switch to alternative or renewable energy sources when possible. Biofuels, a renewable energy source that converts biomass directly into liquid fuels, is a great alternative to standard petroleum, and can power cars, trucks, buses, trains and even airplanes that your company utilizes. Not only is biodiesel environmentally friendly, it’s also easier to remediate in case of a spill, Problem Solving Products, Inc. says. If your company is considering switching to biofuel, be sure to properly evaluate storage conditions and switch to materials such as Viton that are compatible with biofuel.
Choose Providers Wisely
When choosing utility providers, choose companies that are choosing a sustainable energy source like wind, bioenergy, geothermal energy, solar power or hydroelectric power, instead of coal, oil or nuclear sources. When looking for water utilities, choose a provider that has made water conservation and public education their No. 1 priority. Look for companies that offer incentives for customers who conserve water and save electricity. Overall, do your research, and be sure you’re making the green choice that supports the environment, rather than continuing to harm it.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Although extremely cliche, lowering a company’s carbon footprint is a team effort that starts with every employee reevaluating their work habits and making a pledge to reduce, reuse and recycle whenever possible. Take a look in the kitchen, replace any styrofoam and plastic products with compostable and biodegradable options. There are lots of ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in our day to day activities. Set up a recycling system in the kitchen for plastic, glass and aluminum, and have separate recycling containers throughout the office for paper. Look into recycling electronics, batteries, ink cartridges, toner and shredded paper, Recyclebank suggests.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, powering down computers at the end of the day could save a substantial amount of energy, cutting the company’s electric bill by up to $30 per computer each year. If you want to take it a step further, consider use of standby power, or the energy used by electronics when they’re powered down or on standby but still plugged in. Employees should keep their electronics plugged into a power strip at their desk that can be switched off completely to reduce the amount of standby power wasted by the computer, printer, cell phone chargers, Energy.gov says.