How Tech Advances Have Helped Companies Increase Their Sustainability
With the news that the planet may have passed its greenhouse effect’s “point of no return,” there is more pressure than ever for individuals and companies to reduce their carbon footprints and improve their sustainability.
There are quite a few ways to do this. You can reduce your energy consumption, diligently reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible and you can stop dragging your feet in the analog world and join the digital revolution. This isn’t just about buying a Kindle and buying fewer physical books. It’s about finding ways to digitize areas in your personal and professional life to help you reduce your consumption on multiple levels. Here are a few of them.
Thanks to the cloud, the Internet, etc. outsourcing some of your company’s tasks is easier and more cost effective than it has ever been. One good example of this is to hire a third party to manage your tax compliance and payroll responsibilities instead of hiring people to manage this for you in-house. Hiring financial pros costs less than hiring an in-house accountant and tax compliance specialist because you will only pay for the work that actually gets done instead of hiring someone to work full time whether or not there is work to do. You also reduce the amount of office space and equipment you’ll need to provide in-house. And, of course, thanks to direct deposit and digital transfer, you’ll reduce your paper consumption and waste.
Speaking of reducing paper consumption and waste, getting your office as close to paperless as possible is another great way to put the advances in digital technology to work for you. Sure, tablets will cost more than a case of paper–at least at first–but they will save you more money than you would spend on paper and printing costs over the course of their lifetimes. Yes, you will still have to keep some physical records on site, but you will reduce the amount of paper that floats through the office via reports, memos, meeting notes, etc.
Thanks to advancement in technology, most tech companies now allow their employees to do work from home. This not only helps a company as they get a sharp cut in their monthly energy bills but also results in significant savings for employees in terms of fuel saved and reduce carbon footprints. Since travelling time is reduced, it results in enhanced productivity. Employees can spend more hours on their work while spending less time in daily traffic woes.
The role of green technology is to replace methods and practices that deplete natural resources with alternative sources that are efficient and sustainable. Alternative energy sources include investing in renewable energy technologies like solar, wind, geothermal instead of relying on traditional sources like fossil fuels. Renewable sources are sustainable and can help to cut down on pollution while creating a sustainable environment for our future generations.
Apart from this, companies can also use green building techniques and methods to build environment friendly building that is resource efficient. Wikipedia says, “Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to both a structure and the using of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition”. In other words, green building requires close cooperation between design teams, architects, and engineers to reduce overall impact of the built environment on natural resources by reducing pollution and waste, and efficient use of water and energy sources.
Almost every company has to deal with their clients. Whether it is related to requirement gathering or weekly status updates, video conferencing helps a company to quickly get in touch with their clients and get issues sorted out in a timely manner. For a company, it helps to eliminate the need of sending a person to onsite and deal with client on regular basis. On the other hand, it also helps a company to reduce their flight carbon footprint and also results in some extra savings.
Another benefit of living in the digital age is that you can globalize your company without nearly as much muss and fuss as was required a decade ago. The cloud and the plethora of digital tools that allow employees to collaborate and manage projects remotely mean that you can hire people from anywhere and allow them to work wherever they’d like. Even if you prefer a 100% local employee pool, you can allow your staff to work from home. This, like outsourcing, reduces your physical space requirements, the money you’ll spend on furnishings and equipment, and the amount of power your company consumes.
These are all basic steps you can take to digitize your company. These are not the only ways in which technology and digital improvements can help your company be more eco-friendly. Here are two of the other ways digitizing your office can help.
Motion controlled lights: motion controlled lights monitor for movement and will only light up a room in which someone is actually working and moving. Otherwise, the lights are off, reducing your carbon footprint and your utility bills.
3-D printing: 3-D printing has been a boon to many industries but there is one incredibly innovative way that it has helped everyday companies like yours: packing materials. Recently entrepreneurs and scientists figured out how to use algae and funguses (aka mushrooms) to create 100% biodegradable packing materials. They print out models of the different types of packaging and then use them as templates for the individual pieces. Digital technology also allows the incubators maintain the optimum temperatures and conditions for these pieces to “grow” even if there isn’t a human there to monitor them.
The fact is that digital companies are more productive, efficient, and profitable than those that are stubbornly holding on to their analog traditions. These are just a few of the ways in which that is true. What are some of the ways you can use digital tech to reduce your company’s carbon footprint?
Image credit: Unsplash
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