7 Ways to Make Your Small Business Green

It isn’t always easy being green…or at least that’s what it may feel like for small business owners. However, the key to success lies in leveraging one of your company’s greatest strengths–your employees. Rather than taking complete ownership of the “going green” process, share the initiative with the entire company. By involving the team, you’ll increase the likelihood of its success and potentially broaden the scope of your impact.

With that in mind, here are 7 ways to turn your team green:

  1. Set expectations. Develop a green business plan, complete with tangible goals, and share it with your employees. Hold everyone within the corporate structure accountable.

  2. Create a green team. Enlist employees who are most passionate about environmental causes to lead the charge by starting a committee to oversee workplace green initiatives. Solicit their ideas and allow them to create mechanisms. By putting employees in charge, they will value their involvement and be more invested in success of initiatives.

  3. Provide incentives. Find ways to reward green behaviors. Give small bonuses or perks for employees who take public transportation, bike to work or buy hybrid vehicles. Give out gift cards or employees who suggest ways the company can reduce its footprint.

  4. Make it easy. Make recycling bins more accessible. Give each employee or small group of employees separate bins for paper recycling, can recycling and plastic recycling. Provide reusable dishes, silverware and glasses for employees to utilize.

  5. Educate. Dedicate a small portion of company time – perhaps three or four times a year – to teaching employees about environmental topics or everyday ways they can be more eco-friendly. Consider hosting “lunch-and-learns” where speakers are brought in to talk about timely environmental topics.

  6. Lead by Example. Be a role model for green behavior. Seeing managers and owners practicing conservation, encourages employees to do the same. Soon green business practices will become the norm rather than a theoretical initiative or a hassle.

  7. Think beyond the office walls. Adopt a green cause and promote awareness throughout the year. Do an annual companywide fundraising event to raise funds for the cause.
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