Many of the largest companies in the world have made huge strides in recent years to go green. Not only are they leading the way in sustainable practices to protect the environment, but they’re also saving money on their bottom line. Any business can learn some lessons by looking at the green practices of major companies.
Fortune 500 Businesses are Going Green
Sprint-Nextel: The phone company’s buyback program, a form of electronic recycling, has significantly reduced consumer waste of electronic devices—and many discarded phones can actually be reused. Sprint-Nextel also made more environmentally friendly paper bills, with the mailing envelope doubling as the envelope for customers to use when mailing back the check.
Hewlett-Packard: This computing giant cut its carbon emissions in half between 2005 and 2013. In addition, the company is choosing green products; for example, HP refuses to work with paper companies that use environmentally unsustainable processes.
Dell: In recent years, Dell has switched from packaging products in cardboard to using bamboo, which is more sustainable because it grows faster than trees. In addition, the company recycles or reuses an astonishing 98 percent of its nonhazardous waste.
CA Technologies: A full 30 percent of the employees at this large company work from home, which reduces pollution from commuting. Plus, employees who work from home are often happier because they save time and money by not having to commute.
Waste Management: Although this company is known for collecting trash—not the greenest practice—it has been working to develop technology that converts some types of waste into energy. In addition, it was a leader in developing single-stream recycling to make the practice more accessible for everyone.
Small Businesses: The above leaders made it onto the list largely because they’re huge companies with the potential to be innovators in the movement toward green business practices. However, small businesses around the world are using strategies that have just as much of an impact, relative to the size of the business. Businesses that want to incorporate green practices can try these methods:
Create a paperless office by storing important documents electronically and backing them up so paper copies aren’t needed.
Stock up on energy-efficient replacement bulbs and plug all electronics into smart power strips to reduce the electric bill—and carbon footprint—for the office.
Business Owners Can Lead the Way to Sustainability
The changes businesses make to go green will add up to a major impact on the environment. Plus, by leading the way into green practices, businesses are setting examples for consumers to follow. Every business owner should consider how to start implementing green practices in the office.