Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
You’re probably already familiar with the impact these three R’s can have on the environment, but did you know they can also positively influence your bottom line?
From increasing your productivity and savings to reducing waste and building customer loyalty, green initiatives help Mother Nature and your business—and they’re quickly becoming popular strategies for organizations. A recent McKinsey survey showed that 63% of companies surveyed are already taking actions to reduce energy use in their operations, and with almost three-out-of-four millennials willing to pay more for sustainable offerings, businesses that are not actively pursuing a sustainability agenda could face consumer backlash.
Access is committed to helping businesses protect their information while also reducing their global footprint. In honor of Earth Day, we’re sharing our tips for creating a healthier, more sustainable workplace.
1. Conduct a company-wide audit to assess how energy resources are used and where improvements can be made.
Knowing how much energy your organization uses is the first step to identifying where you can make changes to ensure more efficient use of electricity, fuel and water. Through regular monitoring of our branches, we were able to determine that light timers and motion sensors could greatly minimize our electricity usage in our records centers. We now equip all new branches with these green upgrades, and we’ve switched to high-efficiency, longer-lasting bulbs for all our lighting. Additionally, we maximize fuel efficiency by monitoring our delivery vehicles, performing regular maintenance checks and scheduling deliveries and pickups strategically to maintain low emissions and maximize fuel efficiency on each route. Some of our branches even use smaller hybrid vehicles for rush deliveries. We also offer Scan-on-Demand services to our clients, allowing them to access their information as needed without the need for physical delivery.
Often seemingly small changes can make a big impact on energy costs. McDonald’s was able to cut its energy wastage by 25% after making the switch to energy-efficient appliances in its restaurants. Consider replacing all light bulbs with LED bulbs or allowing your employees to work remotely to cut down on lighting, heating or air conditioning usage in the office.
2. Create a healthier work environment.
A sustainable workplace not only helps protect the earth, but a green environment can have a positive impact on people as well. It’s no secret that healthy employees are an asset to a company. They take less sick days and are 3.1 times more productive—saving employers on health care costs. Encouraging healthy habits and clean eating allows employees to live happier, healthier lives, and it can help cut back on food waste, which currently amounts to about 30 to 40% of America’s food supply.
Organizations can also create healthier work environments by reducing or eliminating toxic products. Choose eco-friendly cleaning products that are made without harmful chemicals and provide reusable drinking containers and filtered water for employees to cut back on waste.
3. Make recycling simple.
With the average American throwing 4.4 pounds of trash away every single day, the U.S. population could fill 63,000 garbage trucks every 24 hours. Help reduce the number of items added to landfills by making recycling paper, plastic and other products the easy option for your employees. Place recycling or shred bins throughout the office and include a sign where team members can reference exactly what can and cannot be recycled or shredded.
Shredding documents that have met their retention requirements is a great way to eliminate paperwork that is no longer needed from your office while also ensuring compliance and reducing your risk of data exposure. Make sure your shred provider recycles all materials once destroyed.
4. Invest in digital solutions and go “paper-less.”
While it may seem a bit cliché to use Earth Day as the catalyst for your digital transformation, there’s really no easier way to reduce your global footprint while also protecting your sensitive information. Plus, it can save you some serious money. Lockheed Martin saved eight million sheets of paper and $250,000 by simply putting a 100-page manual online, while General Electric estimated up to $10 billion in savings from digitizing many of their business processes.
With employees spending an average of 1.8 hours each day searching for and gathering information, which doesn’t even include time wasted making copies or mailing forms, organizations can increase productivity by going paperless. Investing in a digital document management system helps businesses better organize and manage their critical information while also ensuring compliance with new and changing regulations. And, when employees use a digital system to securely share documents for review and acquiring signatures, businesses eliminate money spent on printer ink, stamps, envelopes, physical storage space, shipping and paper costs.
This Earth Day, invest in your business through sustainable practices. Learn how Access can help today!