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Going green

09 Nov 2011

With so many things to think of when launching a business, ticking the ‘green’ box is easy to forget, especially if the field is not obviously a green one.

However, taking your city-based, office-bound business down the green path doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, for most businesses it is merely a case of setting some ground rules on day one and following them. 

Start by choosing energy-efficient equipment. Laptops, for example, use around 70% less energy than desktops. Remind your staff to turn them off at the end of the day.

Make sure your office is well-insulated in winter and well-ventilated in summer, to cut down on heating and cooling costs.

You can also provide your staff with recycling bins at their desks, and encourage them to use both sides of a sheet of paper. Such moves might seem overly simplistic but can go a long way to lessening your carbon footprint. 

Don’t just confine your thinking to staff members either. Use electronic quotes, invoices and statements rather than hard copies - and use internet banking rather than cheques. 

Putting some thought in to your ‘green’ policy early in the business isn’t just good for the planet. Many people actively search for environmentally aware companies with which to do business and it can be hard to get their attention if you are ‘switching horses mid-race’. 

Going green can also be good for your bottom line. Apart from the material savings to be made by recycling and reusing where possible, simple energy strategies can save you hundreds of dollars a year in overheads - money you can put to better use ensuring your business moves beyond start up stage.

Check out this guide from the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development (NZBCSD) for more tips.