Establishing an environmentally conscious organization is about more than carpooling to work, using less paper, or changing the power settings on the office computers. Going green can actually go as deep as re-evaluating your company’s purchasing habits which can translate to savings.
There are many ways to make sure that your office stays current on the best ways to help the environment while saving money at the same time. Here are three specific approaches that can be used right now to help in accessing new opportunities and reducing expenses while also reducing your companies emissions:
Reduce, reduce, reduce – this term is pretty much a no-brainer when talking in terms of the environment, but when looked at in a different light, the term itself might take on a new value. Instead of only thinking about the amount of electricity used and the emissions involved, think of reducing the number of physical resources needed. If you can do this, you’ll not only lower emissions but your company’s overhead as well.
Take advantage of the technology that is being developed to its fullest; in other words, use your devices until they become obsolete and look into new options regularly. The first part of that statement is self-explanatory; the second just might be a step beyond what is already being done.
For example, options like virtualization and the cloud will definitely help in reducing the physical resources needed to get the job done. Virtualization is an excellent resource in that it utilizes the physical servers you already have to their full potential. Instead of purchasing multiple servers to run multiple applications, virtualization will streamline the power you currently have and allow for multiple applications to be run on the same server. This not only saves the money that would initially be spent on purchasing new servers but also saves emissions that come with physically manufacturing, shipping, and running them.
The cloud does something similar in terms of savings. With the cloud, your organization also doesn’t need to purchase or manage additional infrastructure like servers, operating systems and special programs, because a cloud provider can take care of it for you. Since operating costs for many organizations are consolidated in one location, cloud data centers are often more efficient than in-house data storage. With the cloud, you also pay only for the storage that you need, which will likely save you money in the long run.
Purchasing refurbished laptops or servers is one of the smartest ways to save money and help the environment. In essence, refurbished laptops are recycled laptops. That may sound unfavorable or cheap, but think of it this way; does recycled paper perform in any way less in comparison to non-recycled paper? Absolutely not! This is exactly the way that refurbished desktops, servers, and laptops should be viewed.
These computers go through rigorous testing processes to meet specifications just as the product new from the box; they sport the exact same technology and actually come 50 to 70% cheaper. In fact, refurbished computers often have fewer problems than their brand new counterparts, since they have been personally reviewed and inspected by a trained technician.
Aside from obvious company savings, purchasing refurbished desktops and servers is also an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint. It takes energy to build new tech appliances, this energy adds up over time. If more companies across the board would consider purchasing used or previously opened materials (that, in essence, are as good as new) the number of emissions emitted would drop drastically.
Making an effort to impress upon the organization that your expectation is to always recycle appropriate materials can be very effective in the long run. Recycling your used electronics cuts down on the carbon footprint created by your organization but also deepens the mindset and helps define the culture within. There are many advantages to the environment that come with recycling your company’s tech items.
When items like these are recycled, the raw materials used to make them—plastic, glass, metals, etc.—are able to be re-utilized instead of produced. When it’s time to update your technology, make sure your organization takes pride in donating or reusing the equipment you already have.
You would be surprised by how much your company can save and how much of a difference can be made by simply re-evaluating some simple processes. Be sure to follow the three Rs when looking to make a change for the better in saving time, money and the environment.
What environmentally conscious initiatives is your business implementing?