Published March 7, 2017
There are many ways to make a company more eco-friendly. You can make use of many different products, from recycled tires to energy-efficient heating systems, to lower your business’ environmental impact. The measures involved will depend, in part, on the particular industry. But before we discuss how to create an eco-friendly company, first we need to answer the question of why. Why is it in your company’s best interest to “go green?”
One reason is that consumers appreciate an environmentally conscious company. Going green can improve the marketability of your company. Another reason is that reducing energy consumption is a great way to save money. According to MSNBC, DuPont saved over $3 billion over the course of two decades, all by reducing carbon emissions in their factories (source: Chron). In the U.S., businesses can even receive tax incentives when they invest in green technologies. And, companies can have a much bigger impact on the environment than an individual; your company has a chance to make a difference.
With so many great reasons to go green, now the question is: how can you create a more eco-friendly company? Let’s look at a few things that companies of all sizes can do to help the earth.
Old air conditioning systems, kitchen appliances, and electronics can use a lot of power. One of the first things to look at, when striving for a more eco-friendly company, is whether you can upgrade to energy efficient equipment. This may involve a large financial investment. But, it is worth it! According to the EPA’s energy efficiency program website, most businesses can save 2-10 percent on energy costs through better energy management (source: EnergyStar).
Other energy management techniques cost little or nothing to implement. Setting a standard building temperature and locking the thermostat, for example, can lower heating and cooling costs. Switching from traditional incandescent light bulbs to CFL or LED lights can also lower energy consumption.
Most businesses already make a point to recycle paper, plastic bottles, and glass. But can your company do more to recycle waste materials? You can recycle toner cartridges, cell phones, computers, and other electronics. Remember that when you are upgrading or simply replacing office equipment.
Buying recycled products is important, too. Office supply companies offer options for recycled copier paper, toner, envelopes, and more. And rather than buying brand new furniture, consider buying used to keep older furniture out of landfills. If you’re looking to revamp your landscaping, you can even use recycled rubber tires for mulch.
Manufacturing and other industrial processes use a lot of energy. One way you might make your company more eco-friendly is by using alternative fuels. Recycled tires are often used to create fuel. This is known as Tire-Derived Fuel, or TDF. TDF is a fuel with high Btu-value and low emissions. There have even been studies which show that adding TDF to diesel fuel helps reduce smoke, carbon dioxide, and hydrocarbon emissions in trucks (source: ResearchGate). Many companies in the cement industry are already using TDF. About 53 million tires per year are converted into fuel for cement kilns (source: Beta Analytic). Other options for alternative fuels include solar power, wind turbines, and hydroelectric power.
Create Eco-Friendly Products
Besides making the manufacturing process more green, you can also make the finished products eco-friendly. How? First, by reducing the amount of material used in packaging. Redesigning packaging can reduce the amount of plastic used. It also tends to make packaging smaller (without affecting the product inside), which makes shipping easier, which means fewer trucks on the road for deliveries.
You may also think about creating actual products out of recycled material. Many companies are already doing this. You can find everything from t-shirts made of water bottles, to flooring made of recycled tires. Consumers love buying these products, because it makes them feel like they are doing something good for the earth.
After the manufacturing process is complete, most factories have what’s known as “waste materials” left over. This could be sawdust, scraps of rubber or plastic, or something similar. Whatever the “waste” is, there is likely someone out there who can use it. One great example of this is the cereal company General Mills. In 2006, the company found they could sell oat hulls, a by-product of Cheerios, as fuel (source: Fast Company). All in all, they found that they made more by selling it than they previously spent having it hauled away! This just goes to show that recycling your waste material by selling it is not only good for the environment, it is good for business, too!
Recycled tires are one product that your company can definitely sell for a profit. Shredding tires into rubber crumb or rubber mulch allows you to sell, rather than discard, scrap tires. Rubber crumb is used for things like playground surfaces, athletic tracks, and mulch.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to sell your waste materials, you can use them to create products that your own company needs.
EcoGreen Helps Your Business “Go Green”
To review, we’ve covered six ways that you can make your business more eco-friendly:Making sure your staff recycles products like paper, toner cartridges, and electronics
– Buying office supplies made out of recycled material
– Investing in alternative fuel sources like recycled tire-derived fuels
– Redesigning packaging to be less wasteful
– Using recycled tires and other recycled material to manufacture your products
– Selling waste material rather than throwing it out
These six ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making your business more eco-friendly. You can look to big businesses like Ikea, General Mills, Unilever, and others for more great ideas on how to reduce carbon emissions.
And, remember, if your business creates a lot of scrap tires, make good use of them by shredding them! You can learn more about tire shredders and other environmentally-friendly EcoGreen equipment by contacting our expert staff.