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10 ways to make your business greener - and save money

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Running a sustainable and eco-conscious business makes sense. Not just because it’s a greener way to work, but because it can make it leaner, more efficient and, above all, a more profitable business.

There are many areas where you can make changes and once added up, the savings can become quite significant, not to mention the reduction in your carbon footprint.

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1. Reduce your lighting costs
If there are parts of your workplace that aren’t in constant use, such as store rooms and toilets, think about installing movement sensors so they only come on when someone goes in the room. You should also make sure you’re using energy saving lightbulbs throughout your premises

2. Turn down the temperature
Did you know that you could cut your heating costs by up to 1% for every degree you turn the thermostat down during the working day? Having a fixed level will keep your office at a suitable temperature, and help boost your sustainability. You can also consider setting timers for your heating and that way ensure that your building is only heated when it’s in use.

3. Power off instead of standby

If your business uses a lot of desktop PCs and laptops, encourage staff to activate “sleep” mode when they finish for the day, as leaving them on standby can use as much as 50% of the energy they consume when they’re on. Over the year, it can also cut CO2 emissions by up to 136kg.

4. Save on your printer consumables
Why buy new when a rebuilt printer cartridge costs less, uses less energy in production and takes fewer materials to make? With Staples’ range, we also guarantee that the cartridges will always print to the same high quality.

5. Switch to recycled paper
Although printing less and moving more towards the “digital office” would obviously be the best option to save on printing costs, there is always going to be the need for printouts. But there’s no reason why you can’t switch to recycled paper. The quality is so good it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between recycled and “new”. You can also programme the printer’s settings to ‘double-sided’ as default.

6. Go greener in the kitchen
The kitchen is also an important area in the workplace. You can take a more sustainable approach, for example, by providing 100% biodegradable drinking cups or rubbish sacks made from recycled material

7. Choose greener cleaning products
Many cleaning products contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment, but you can get products that are just as effective, although all are natural.

8. Only order what you need
There is a theory that the most economical way to order office supplies is in bulk, but this isn’t always the case. For example, some products like self-sealing envelopes have a limited shelf life and holding large stocks of items take up space that can be put to better use. That’s why we work with customers to find the most energy, cost and environmentally efficient solution.

9. Switch to rechargeable batteries
Lots of items like calculators, clocks and wireless computer mice run off batteries that tend to need replacing quite frequently. Standard batteries are expensive and have to be disposed of properly, so it’s a better idea to use rechargeable batteries instead. They can be re-used hundreds of times after just one initial outlay.

10. Don’t throw out – recycle
If you haven’t already done it, set up different recycling bins in your office for paper, card, plastic and metal. And if you have any old electrical equipment like monitors and computers to dispose of, recycling them locally will prevent dangerous chemicals like lead, cadmium and arsenic from being dumped in landfill sites.

Follow all these tips and you’ll be well on the way to running a greener and more sustainable business, and a more profitable one. Now that’s a real win-win situation.

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