Anyone who behaves in an environmentally friendly manner in their own home has definitely already taken an important step. But then going to the office and leaving the printer or air conditioning running at full blast all day? Do you have a guilty conscience with every order from abroad that has to be wrapped in plastic packaging for its long journey? Of course that doesn’t make any sense! We show how companies can become more sustainable – and their customers happier!
Green company – where to start?
Great responsibility, great competitive advantage
“Corporate Social Responsibility” is the name given to the responsibility that companies assume for the environment and society. Basically, every company has this responsibility – the only question is whether you face it. Because sustainability is becoming more and more socially acceptable, which means that many consumers and organizations are examining companies with regard to their ecological orientation. Environmental awareness is therefore also relevant to marketing – and often saves a lot of money as well.
Even in the smallest of offices, you can make a start. Recycling paper can be used for internal communications and printouts, which is printed on both sides and, if possible, in black and white. Waste paper can be quickly cut up into scraps and notes. The ultimate would of course be a completely paper-free office, as there are now great digital alternatives. There should be opportunities for waste separation on the business premises for both customers and employees. You can also support this by having signs on the respective rubbish bins telling you what goes in where. Such can be tinkered quickly, for example with excerpts from old advertising brochures. However, batteries, company mobile phones and electronic devices do not belong in the garbage, but can simply be collected in the office and then returned together. Whether it’s coffee, tea or chocolate bars: during the afternoon lunch break, Fairtrade products make a small but subtle difference in taste – and a really big one for the workers in South America. At the end of the day, screens, laptops and printers should not only be switched to standby, but ideally they should be completely disconnected from the network. According to the German Energy Agency, the resulting extra costs can amount to more than €100 per year in an average household – this value must of course be extrapolated depending on the size of the company. Electricity can also be saved by using motion detectors in hallways and stairwells, so that no unnecessary lights are left on, especially at night. But you don’t always have to invest directly to become more efficient: When was the last time you cleaned the ventilation filters, for example? Or dusted off the cooling element at the back of the refrigerator?
In the meantime, there is the possibility to choose a green alternative with green electricity everywhere. For larger companies, it is also worth having a photovoltaic system on the roof in order to use the solar energy and also become a little less dependent on electricity prices. If that is too complicated for you, you can at least encourage your boss to replace light bulbs with LED lamps. Creative ideas such as rainwater to flush toilets and natural instead of chemical cleaning agents help to keep our groundwater clean. In addition, greening unused areas on the company premises not only contributes to increased environmental and air quality, but also leads to a better mood among colleagues – we speak from experience!
Customer focus – through motivated employees
You leave a particularly good impression on customers if, for example, you buy a beehive on the company premises in cooperation with local beekeepers (see NearBees). The employees can then enjoy the honey obtained during their lunch break or it can be given away to particularly long-standing customers. In general, when it comes to canteen food, you should make sure that there is always a vegan alternative and that mainly regional and seasonal products are used. In some canteens there is already a weekly veggie day to save some CO2. Organic food in the canteen kitchen not only testifies to the awareness of our planet, but also to the fact that the company cares about the well-being of its employees.
Communication & Conferences
Anyone who travels a lot for business is doing something good for the climate by opting for the bus or train instead of the plane. Staying in a climate hotel, the trip will be quite eco-friendly. Sometimes, however, business trips can also be replaced by video conferencing. However, if a meeting is really necessary, whiteboards and flipcharts can be replaced by digital presentation options. Instead of drinks in plastic bottles, the environmentally conscious company provides glass bottles and glasses for the guests. A drinking water dispenser with cooling function and carbon dioxide is a sustainable choice not only for conferences, but also for all employees: not only does packaging waste disappear, but also long transport routes and disposal costs. In addition, the water dispenser is also financially worthwhile – and our tap water is strictly tested anyway.
Even more sustainability
The idea of sustainability can be spun further and further, ultimately to the production processes of a company. Here in particular, the raw materials should have traveled the shortest possible transport routes and attention should be paid to efficient machines and processes. But that is beyond the scope of this story!
We help you with pleasure!
Do you want to make your company more sustainable, for example calculate the CO2 footprint or even become climate neutral? We at the Creativhotel are already supporting a number of companies in this regard. We would be happy to accompany you on your way and help you with our many years of experience to take the first step towards a greener future. Just talk to us!