Improve Environmental Impact In Business Operations by Jessica Hodges
Below are some environmental practices that you may want to consider, in order to reduce the environmental impact of your daily operataions. This is part III of our series of green guides. Here is Part I, Reduce Carbon Footprint, and Part II, Greening Office Product Line.
A. Resource Conservation and Pollution Prevention
(Check all that currently apply or interests you)
- Drinking Water. Use filtered tap water instead of bottled water. It takes approximately 17 million barrels of oil to make all the plastic bottles used for the bottled water consumed by Americans each year.
- Reusable Utensils. Use durable plates, cups, glasses, and utensils in the kitchen and conference rooms
- Printer Cartridges. Recycle printer cartridges and buy recycled cartridges.
- Recyclables. Recycle the following to the extent practicable:
- Glass bottles
- Aluminum cans
- Plastic bags
- Tyvek envelopes
- Reuse Center. Establish a re-use center for binders, file folders, and other items.
- External Reuse. Sell or donate old office equipment, furniture, and supplies that can’t be reused internally.
- Doormats. Use good doormats or entryway track-off systems to prevent people from tracking dirt into the building. Less dirt means fewer resources used for cleaning.
- Grounds Management. Conserve the use of water for grounds watering, where applicable and to the extent that can be decided or influenced by the organization. Use natural landscaping and minimize the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, to the extent lawn maintenance is within the control of the organization.
- LEED Building Features. Adopt “green building” features and practices, such as those encouraged under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program of the US Green Building Council, to the extent that can be decided or influenced by the organization. See http://www.usgbc.org/ . Every day, over $464 million worth of construction projects are registered with LEED.
B. Reducing Supply Chain Impacts
- Orders and Deliveries. Use supplier e-systems to order and pay for products and services. Consolidate multiple sources and deliveries of products and services to reduce environmental impacts.
- Product Recycling, Take-back Programs. Arrange with product manufacturers, the Link 360 Program ( http://www.link360recycling.com/ ) , E-Cycle Environmental (http://www.ecycleenvironmental.com/ ) or other reputable firms to take back customer products after use.
- Caterers. Use caterers that minimize disposables.
- Inks. Specify the use of soy inks and paper with recycled content for all print jobs
- Landlord. If the office is leased, work with the landlord and office building manager to help minimize the adverse environmental impacts and risks of the operations and maximize the beneficial ones.
- Facility Improvements. Incorporate environmental criteria in the design and construction of office and other facility improvements.
- Green Hotels. Select hotels with “green” practices for conference sites or regular use. See the CERES Green Hotel Initiative for best practice checklists and other tools: http://www.ceres.org/ then search for hotel.