How can my company become more sustainable?

Published: April 30, 2021 | Last updated: April 5, 2023
Everybody has one: the ecological footprint. This also applies to companies. That's why sustainability is increasingly being established as a corporate goal. After all, the topic also plays a major role in consumer awareness. Eco-friendly actions can be seen as an opportunity and incorporated into a company's strategy and mission statement. In most cases, it even pays off financially. We have compiled a few practical ideas that help to reduce the ecological footprint.

Check and apply for funding

Whether it's electromobility, construction subsidies, or energy grants - many government and non-government organizations and other institutions pay out subsidies. Depending on where you are located, you may receive aid if you convert your fleet to electric cars or install solar cells on your roof. It's worth checking with your local government, banks, and NGOs whether such programs exist and how you can apply for them.


Paperless thanks to digitization

The paperless office is a real lifesaver for our forests and helps you get organized, too. If you wish, you can receive most invoices and bank documents exclusively in digital form. The digital office saves space and even has another advantage: all documents are always available, even when you're on the move.

If you can't live entirely without paper, don't despair: there are great providers of sustainable office supplies, like The Green Office (based in the UK) and Office Depots GreenerOffice (based in the US). They sell more than just recycled paper but also recycled plastic products that have a better environmental balance. Those who do need to print something out: Change the default setting in the printer and have your documents printed on both sides.

Green mobility 

Does your business rely on motor vehicles, for example to transport work equipment? An electric car is an environmentally friendly alternative. If it doesn't have to be a car, a company bicycle will do. If we've learned anything in the past year, it's that many meetings and customer consultations can take place online. Save money and the environment and move meetings online if you can.

Saving electricity pays off twice

Electricity consumption by companies in particular drives up emissions. Saving electricity saves money and helps the environment. It's also worth comparing electricity providers. Eco-power is better for the planet and usually doesn't cost more than conventional providers. The common electricity-saving measures are familiar to most: Turn off lights when no one is in the room, use multi-sockets, and flip the switch when not needed. Many electronic devices have an energy-saving mode that does not limit their performance. This is an unusual tip that works wonders: Bright walls and furniture ensure that you need less electric light. The room is then automatically brighter. Encourage your employees, too: If everyone turns down the heating in their office in the evening during the winter and turns off the appliances, it will soon show in your lower operating costs.

Hold the water!

Not only can electricity be easily saved, but water consumption can also be managed. Although our earth is commonly referred to as the "blue planet," water resources are not infinite - especially when it comes to drinking water. That's why there are faucets that have an automatic stop function built in. Instead of letting the water run freely, a button has to be pressed again and again to restart the flow. Meters also make it easy to control hot water consumption.
Water pollution is hardly avoidable, but it can be kept in check by using environmentally friendly cleaning agents and ecological soaps that smell wonderful and are great for the skin.

Speaking of furniture: Second hand is just as comfy

Office furniture is often offered for sale second-hand online. This helps to avoid waste and reusing perfectly good items instead of boosting the production of new furniture is great to the environment. This way you can also get rid of old furniture. The kicker: If you buy used, you save money, and if you sell furniture that you no longer need, you even earn money directly from protecting the environment!

Environmental protection in the coffee kitchen

If you want to provide your employees with snacks in the office, you can opt for seasonal fruit. Tap water is cheaper than bottles, and with a sparkling water dispenser, no one has to go without carbonation. Once again, the environmentally friendly alternative is less expensive. Waste separation is just as easy in the office as it is at home, and those who can provide a small cooking area or microwave save on takeout containers! Coffee grounds can be used as fertilizer for office plants - a practical alternative given the often high coffee consumption in offices. Those who don't like to drink their coffee black can turn to cow's milk alternatives and try vegan substitutes like soy milk or oat milk.

For the sake of the planet and the budget

Sustainable measures are always a good thing for our planet and its future, that's for sure. But in many cases, they also help to save costs and increase the well-being and health of employees. Of course, not every company can take up all the ideas, but it's worth taking a look the next time you walk through the office or crunch the monthly numbers to see where a change in thinking is worthwhile: for the earth and the budget.

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