Every year, thousands of business owners host events, donate and give back to mother earth to celebrate earth day. But, what about the other 364 days of the year? What actions do business owners take to go green throughout the year? Being eco-friendly isn’t as hard as most think. And, you don’t have to be a certified b-corporation, to be more sustainable. A few earth-friendly actions goes a long way. Read on and discover how these nine small business owners amazing efforts reduce their eco-footprint all year round.
Go Green: Create a company-wide initiative
“At DaVita, we keep it green all year long with our “12 Months of Green” program. We engage our teammates on one topic per month and empower them to be more sustainable at work and at home with simple tips. For example, in March, we ask teammates to consider reducing their “Carbon Footprint” by taking alternative transportation and eating less meat. In addition to these monthly goals, we have compost and recycling bins on every floor in our headquarters, which also happens to be a certified LEED Gold building.
“We also celebrate Earth Day the entire month of April across our global village. In 2014, we created Earth Day Service Days, encouraging teammates to have earth-friendly service projects. Since 2014, teammates have contributed 39,000 volunteer hours to cleaning up beaches, planting trees and building community gardens. We anticipate 2019 to be our biggest and most impactful year yet.”— Casey Stock, LEED AP O+M and Sustainability Manager, DaVita
Go Green: Sustainability Conscience Business Owner
“Business sustainability practices are inherent in our company culture. We strive each day to reduce the company’s negative impact on the triple bottom line – people, planet, and profit. Whether it’s volunteering on Earth Day or diverting waste from the local landfill via recycling and composting efforts, we do it all. Thanks to Xcel Energy’s wind source program, we’re 100% powered by renewable wind energy. Also, we provide all employees with an Eco Pass to encourage the use of public transportation.” — Kym Wootton, VP of Operations, E Source
Go Green: No driving policy and remote work
“My web design firm is in central Oxford. It was easy to implement a do not drive policy. So all of our employees ride a bike to work, some walk, (if it’s raining they might take a bus). No one drives a car to work.” — Jean H. Paldan, Founder & CEO, Rare Form New Media
“We love to socialize and meet at our friendly office, but we are also welcomed to work from home once per week. So, that’s one day times the number of all our employees per week less traveling.”— Kuba Koziej, CEO & Co-Founder, Zety
Just because you have a car and you can literally go anywhere you want, doesn’t mean you should. Fast Company reports that more people in cities are communicating longer distances from where they work. What’s their reason? Well, since all the jobs are moving, so must they. Although the situation is understandable, it’s not eco-friendly. As a business owner, find out if your employees live close to work and encourage them walk, bike, or even take public transport, do it!
Go Green: Compostable trash cans
“We installed a five-gallon mini compostable garbage can into our break room. Coffee grinds, unwanted or old food, tea bags, and food waste such as banana peels mostly avoid the regular garbage can and end up in the compostable garbage can. Also, the kitchen waste tremendously benefits the garden’s soil in all respects. It’s free, it decreases the garbage going to the landfill, and it gives a little more awareness to the employees of the possibilities.” — Anthony Smith, Owner, Nursery Enterprises
Go Green: Solar panels
“Starting in 2017, we changed how we operate. OxygenPlus Medical Inc now operates 100% off of sunshine. We are fully solar powered. In the summer months, our 125 solar panel array makes approximately 225 kilowatts of power per day. Also, we source all our shipping boxes locally and they are 40% recycled material and adopted driving Battery-Electric Cars, and using Battery-Electric Forklifts, which are charged off of the solar array at our location.”— Jeff Moriarty, Marketing Manager, OxygenPlus Medical Inc.
Solar panels can be great for the environment and for your business, depending on business location. If you live in Seattle, Washington where it’s mostly cloudy/rainy all year long, solar panels would be a waste. And, it’s not a cheap investment either. Many business owners may not want to invest in solar panels due to its high pricing. According to a 2019 report from Energy Sage, solar panels have a national average cost of $3.05/watt. An average solar panel system would cost $12,810 after tax credits. Use Google’s solar savings estimator to learn how much you can save on your electric bill with rooftop solar.
Go Green: Outsource in the U.S.
“Our business stays eco-friendly by manufacturing our products in the United States. This allows us to cut out the carbon emissions associated with shipping overseas. Not to mention, factories outside the U.S. tend to see less government regulation in terms of environmental impact. Keeping our manufacturing close means adhering to the Clean Air Act –– something we care a lot about!”— Donna Chambers, Founder & CEO,SensaCalm
Go Green: Social Responsibility
“Power is a major part of providing cloud services. We have to keep our data center infrastructure running all the time. We added efficiency in cooling the data center by installing an evaporative cooling system. This is an effort to affect social change positively. We’re grateful to be a part of that.”— Adnan Raja, Vice President of Marketing,Atlantic.Net
Go Green: Environmentally safe pest control
“We go green with integrated pest management, a method that employs a minimal use of chemicals to control pests. While we can easily control pests by applying a thick layer of chemicals around a property, that’s simply not the mission of our company. We are licensed as reduced-impact providers by the state of Texas, as well as NPMA GreenPro certified, and hold special certifications that allow us to apply low-impact, green chemicals that other companies are not certified to use.” — Steve Durham, President, EnviroCon Termite & Pest