Earth Week is almost here! While Staples Business Advantage is passionate about business sustainability year-round, we love the time of year when everyone's on the same page, thinking and talking about the things they can do in the office and at home to help improve the planet and reduce negative impact on our environment and resources. But let's take a second and be real: for most of the year, many people are so busy in their jobs that they are focused on how they can get more done and how they can spend less money, and the planet takes a backseat to that. It's just a reality of business! That's why it's easy to forget that in so many ways, making the eco-friendly choice is also the smarter choice for your business.
So what things can you do that not only benefit the planet, but benefit your bottom line, as well?
Recycling: more than just paper – The recycling bin is just as much a fixture in today's copy and mail rooms as coffee is in the breakroom. But recycling—especially recycling that can have a real effect on your business—is about more than just paper. From office furniture to office technology, much of what you use in your office can be recycled in a sustainable way. When's the last time you dared to peek in that conference room full of old computers and scanners no one uses? (We know you've got your tech graveyard hiding somewhere!) These repositories of outdated tech are more than just a waste of your space—they're also a huge security risk. Responsible recycling of your old tech isn't just good for the environment; with the right provider, it also ensures your data is disposed of properly and securely, saving your company from huge liability later down the line. (Read more about recycling options here!)
Sustainable and safe – It's important that your business make the right impression to anyone who walks in the front door, and part of that is maintaining a clean, healthy facility. Where that's concerned, all that matters is the effectiveness of your cleaning products, right? Wrong—the cleaning products you use can affect air quality for everyone in your office, and the use of harsh chemicals can decrease air quality, create odor pollution and even increase risk of injury or illness in your janitorial crew. Cleaning products that are friendlier for the environment are often much less harsh, and therefore safer and healthier for your cleaning personnel and your building's occupants.
Engaged, eco-friendly employees – Do your employees care about your environmental practices? The statistics say they do. According to a study by Johnson Controls, more than 60% of employees want to work for a company where employees can take the lead in initiating green practices, and nearly 40% take a company's environmental record into consideration when applying for jobs. As the struggle to attract, retain and engage top talent becomes more and more important for businesses, it's crucial to remember the impression you're making on potential employees as well as on your customers.
While Earth Day is a good time to stop and think about the opportunities we have as businesses to boost sustainability, these 3 things (and many others!) are important every day of the year. Take a look around your office and ask yourself—where do I have the opportunity to do what's right for my business while making a difference, too?