Monday, March 11, 2013

How Your Office Can Benefit Financially from Going Green

A lot of companies are getting on the green bandwagon, but some are trailing behind. This can be extremely frustrating if you’re green-conscious in a traditional, paper-devouring office. If you’re up for the challenge, you can help lead your company into a more sustainable future.

You don’t need to be a VP or director to get this ball rolling. In fact, the people with the most impressive titles at your work will likely be happy to have one less thing to worry about. There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re ready to take tackle this task that will benefit your office financially as well as environmentally. The most important tool to have in your arsenal is determination.

Slow and Steady
Start with something seemingly minor that’s easy to implement and low-cost (or free). This could be starting a recycling program if one doesn’t exist or it’s sub-par. If you’re lucky, your outreach will connect you with others in the company who are on the same page as you. Get started by asking your immediate supervisor and volunteering to take on the role of green leader.

Your boss will likely want to know that you can still perform your other tasks, so be prepared. Map out exactly how much time it will take to work this volunteer position into your current job description. Request a meeting with your supervisor at Renewal by Andersen or wherever you work, and come armed with facts and statistics on what you’d like to do. Think of how it will benefit the company, such as the positive PR and marketing that comes with going green.

Taking it Further
There are many ways to be more sustainable in the office, such as going paperless and switching to cloud storage. If you’re in a small company, that’s guaranteed to save you money. Put on your supervisor’s shoes, and think of the bottom line. What are some green alternatives that can save money and increase performance?

Let’s say every customer’s profile at your company is stored in an old school filing cabinet. They’re rarely updated, never looked at and each profile is many pages long. If any changes need to be made to a document, Sally in accounting might have a copy from 2001 while Bob at the front desk has the latest information from 2012. Showing your supervisor that moving to cloud storage allows for instant sharing and no copy costs can boost your proposal.

Expect the Worst
Don’t give up if you don’t immediately have support. There’s a chance you’re the only green-conscious person in the company. Think of this as an opportunity to educate others. You know the facts and the benefits of going green, so why not share that with your colleagues?

Someone needs to be the driving force behind a more sustainable office, and why shouldn’t that be you? Besides helping the environment and saving costs, you’re also showing that you’re a leader and care about your office. That kind of attitude might just be the springboard toward a raise or promotion down the road.
Carly is a green-conscious freelance writer who used to live the office life.

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