Alerted by scientists and researchers from all over the world, public opinion is paying more and more attention to environmental problems, trying to get better information and defend what is left of natural resources.
The first message to generalize is that environmental protection is no longer an expense, but will at best be a smart investment in the future. Just as stopping obesity does not mean higher costs, on the contrary, it reduces costs in the pantry and health at the same time, being ecologically compatible can also represent savings, both in terms of resources and energy, and simply in economic terms.
There are hundreds of examples of attempts that work, but to name only a few that are more symbolic and obvious, we can mention turning off lights when not necessary or excessive, recycling materials and objects (paper, glass, metal, plastic, printer cartridges, parts, oil, rubber etc., etc.), saving water, properly regulating the climate control system and much more.
More sophisticated ways of saving can be using a GPS navigator and planning trips, as well as canceling these trips, without missing communication and contact. This is possible thanks to new communication and information technologies that enable orders and payments via the Internet (e-business), conducting virtual trainings (e-learning), organizing video conferences, etc.
The larger and more active the companies and organizations are, the more they can save by investing in the “Green” policy of concrete measures and procedures. In annual budgets with many zeros, a small percentage obtained will surely mean thousands or even millions of euros in the drawer.
Leaner and greener companies
Now, let’s take a closer look at ten ways to help the environment, without harming the company’s accounts, on the contrary, improving them.
artificial lighting – Lighting accounts for 44 percent of the electricity bills of certain companies. In addition to buildings and facilities where natural lighting can contribute more effectively to meeting basic needs, companies must choose the time when such solar lighting is available. Furthermore. In artificial lighting systems, the most energy-efficient solutions must be selected. Lights that turn off automatically when the compartments are empty, automatic regulation of light intensity, light sources without filament, etc. An important detail is also in the lighting, natural and artificial: the windows through which the light enters must be completely clean, so that the lighting can be efficient, without leaving out the aesthetic interest of cleaning.
efficient computers – Computers are designed to exponentially increase the productivity and economy of companies, but they can generate unnecessary consumption if used incorrectly. Computers with modern hardware and operating systems turn on and off very quickly and it is wasteful to keep them on when they are not working. Screens must also be energy efficient (LCD), as well as peripheral systems. At the end of the day, the transformers must be disconnected from the network, so as not to create useless resistance. In addition, computers need maintenance as they can become slow or even fail if they are not serviced periodically. On the other hand, the company must invest in the policy of replacing outdated equipment, investing in the most modern technologies.
Printing with discretion – Much of the information currently received by companies is available in a virtual format and can be manipulated in that format, with fewer situations where it is actually necessary to print the data. Another way to reduce paper usage is to print on both sides of the sheet, as well as to take advantage of sheets that are already printed on one side for receiving faxes, making calculations, drawings or notes. Color printing should be avoided when not necessary and “sketch” printing should be used to save ink. Speaking of ink, used print cartridges must be sent for recycling and purchased again after recycling. They are cheaper, and a lot of materials and energy are saved. According to statistics, a recycled print cartridge saves about 115 g of metal and plastic, as well as almost two liters of oil. It is also a good policy to prefer to buy chlorine-free bleached paper and paper with a high recycled content. Buying thinner paper is another good idea.
Avoid paper when possible – A lot of information and a lot of content can be conveniently read and manipulated in digital format, and it is preferable to store this data on external hard drives and other data storage devices. Many things that appear on the computer that are not of interest (advertisements, catalogs, newsletters, newspapers, magazines, etc.) should be sent to the computer’s trash can and quickly eliminated, so that they do not occupy the computer’s memory. All corporate texts, such as manuals, accompanying texts and other information must be stored in a digital format, easier to view and cheaper. They are also easier to update.
Recycle everything according to principle – Everything that enters the company and becomes unusable must be recycled, starting with all types of paper that are no longer usable. On the other hand, unused batteries, light bulbs, mobile phones, computers and their useless peripherals, furniture, empty packaging and other useless items must be sent for recycling, because they represent a dangerous form of pollution if left in an undifferentiated place. time. All glass, cans and plastic must also be placed in the appropriate recycling bins.
Do not leave cycles open – The ideal production model is nature in which cycles are kept closed because everything that is produced at the end of the life cycle is transformed into new materials from which new forms are created. In human activities, this model has been neglected for a long time, promoting the unrestrained consumption of resources and energy, on the one hand, and pollution and waste, on the other. The sustainability of human activities therefore depends on the reuse of materials at the end of the product’s life cycle and on the reduction of energy consumption, since energy cannot be recovered.
save on meals – Permanent indiscriminate use of disposable products (cups, plates, bowls, packaging, cutlery, etc.) represents an unnecessary expense, which should be avoided whenever possible. Although these materials can be recycled, the energy used to produce them is never recovered, which contributes to the depletion of energy sources. If glass, crockery and metal cutlery and crockery are used, they can be washed and pay for themselves in the long run due to their long service life. On the other hand, if food and drinks of organic and local origin are used, soil pollution with chemical fertilizers and toxic insecticides, whose long decomposition cycle inevitably leads to consumption, is avoided. Another way to avoid excessive water consumption and waste is to use filtered water instead of bottled mineral water.
rethink mobility – Currently, mobility is one of the main costs, both for companies and their employees, and above all for the environment. In this logic, anything that can be done to make mobility sustainable is a way of contributing to the ecological balance of the planet we live on. In places where there are public transport networks, they should be given priority, not forgetting that there are situations in which communication can take place by telephone or via the Internet, avoiding unnecessary trips. The company’s fleet must use hybrid or electric vehicles, depending on the situations and the use of the vehicle, as this will significantly reduce the company’s costs and impact on the environment. Additionally, there are many employees who would be willing to bike or run to your company, provided you provide them with lockers and showers. They would reciprocate that effort with the vitality and energy of athletes, as well as the absence of sick leave. Another way to reduce unnecessary costs and emissions is to encourage employees to travel together. A practical way to facilitate this transportation system is to install a board at the entrance of the company, where employees with seats in their cars (many travel alone) can indicate the elevator number and their destination. Conversely, people who wanted transportation would indicate their destination and possible ways to share the cost of the trip.
Good environment in the company – The first thing to do is to avoid using cleaning products with toxic substances. On the other hand, furniture, plastic coverings for carpets and paints must not contain VOCs and other chemicals that emit toxic emissions. Another way to improve the environment in companies is to plant plants, both inside and outside (in cases where there are uncovered spaces). Plants absorb CO2, because they retain carbon, releasing oxygen, thanks to the function of photosynthesis, which converts carbon (dioxide) from the atmosphere into compounds of carbon and hydrogen (biomass). This is possible thanks to sunlight and the chemical transformations that occur in the plant as a result of its influence.