Cost-Effective Ways to Make Your Business Environmentally Friendly

It seems like cost-effective, green focused business initiatives and solutions are just about everywhere nowadays. With global warming and its consequences coloring so much of the federal and global political agenda, it only makes sense that those ideas would spill over into the economy and business ownership.

On top of there being a list of benefits to both profitability and the environment, many of the health practices that can be initiated are quite simple and cost effective to act upon. When considering all that against the fact that business makes up a significant percentage of those consequences environmentally, there is a weight of further responsibility that falls upon industry leaders.

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that in 2021 industrial practices made up for around 23% of all U.S. greenhouse gas contributions. As things stand, there really tend to be more reasons for moving toward adopting sustainable business practices than not.

Here are some cost-effective, easy to help make your business more environmentally sustainable and friendly.

Environmentally Friendly Solutions for Business


Start with the Lights

Electricity production and usage — both commercial and residential — makes up about 25% of the total United States greenhouse gas emissions levels. There are plenty of ways that businesses can cut back on electricity usage.

Sunlight is not only cheaper to use in light spaces, but also healthier for humans in a host of ways: it contributes to better sleep, managing weight, helping to possibly reduce blood pressure, and even boosting mood and productivity. Happier, healthier employees means more efficiency, more productivity, and less sick days.

What's a good way to get more sunlight to employees? Finding or relocating to office spaces that have more sources of natural light built is one way to do it, but that can be hard for larger operations that are well established. In that sense, considering the cost benefits of installing more roof lights is one step, but another way is just to take the time to ensure that the lightbulbs being used are more energy efficient.

Outdated models have a drastic energy output difference from newer LED models, some of which can last for years without having to be replaced.

Paperless Software

Computers have made people's lives a lot more efficient in some ways, one of those is that there is far less paper to keep track of. However, there are still plenty of businesses that are reliant on more analog means of doing business, and while that is fine, and sometimes even necessary, opting for a fully cloud-based system, or just a hybrid of the two, can help in a variety of ways.

First, there is the benefit of always being able to know where to find a particular document or presentation. Online storage systems are not only a bit more navigable and customizable, but they are more protected. A fire can wipe out paper, but a cloud-based storage system is backed up on servers in other places.

Secondly, using less paper can be more cost effective in that money can be saved on not having to regularly buy office supplies like filing cabinets, dividers, and another set of sharpies. Finally, there are plenty of third-party businesses that offer affordable services and a “paperless” option for things like invoices, billing, and the now popular “green accounting” or sustainable reporting.

Send Workers Home 

The world learned a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic, but a couple of those lessons can be rolled into one theme: people don't necessarily need (or want) to work at the office. Technology has made remote work a far more feasible and accessible option for many businesses and their employees. Less meetings, less sitting around chatting by the water cooler, and happier employees because they have more time for their family not having to commute.

While those are a bit more emotionally rounded benefits, monetarily and environmentally, it just makes more sense to encourage people to work from home. Not only are there far fewer carbon emissions being produced from people having to commute, less people in the office means that the electricity and water usage goes down significantly month to month. Computers don’t run as much, less offices need to be lit, and (bringing it back around to a previous point) less paper is being printed.

Companies that may start by implementing even a half week work from home program may find that owning an office space may be entirely irrelevant altogether.