Sustainable branding matters as more people get on board with reducing their carbon footprint in any small way they can. Preserving the Earth for future generations requires forethought and forward-thinking. Going green also gives you an edge and helps attract eco-friendly people who want to do business with companies that care about the environment.
Over the last five years, around 28 percent more companies set goals for carbon emissions and water conservation. If you want to keep up with the competition and join the cause, now is the time to ensure your business is eco-friendly.
There are many ways of minimizing your carbon footprint for your design business. Here are eight simple changes you can make today that will ensure your operation is one of the greenest around.
1. Limit Office Supplies
In the United States, the transportation of goods from one location to the next has as much of an environmental impact as the cause of carbon emissions. What if you bought local instead and reduced the damage by limiting the distance things had to travel? You likely purchase supplies for your office, such as hand soap. What if you bought it from a local goat farm instead of from a superstore?
Not only does buying local support your local economy, but it also prevents the transportation issues that increase carbon emissions and makes your business more eco-friendly.
3. Recycle Packages
Do you design models and mail them out to your clients? Instead of purchasing a new shipping box every time, look at the ones that come into your home and business and think about how you can repurpose them for outer packaging. Pull off old labels and replace them with new ones. You’ll save on the amount of paper used and cut down on pollution caused by manufacturing new boxes. You’ll also prevent the loss of trees, which can negatively impact forest areas.
4. Conserve Water
Look for ways of conserving water around the office, such as fixing any leaky faucets. Americans use about 88 gallons of water each day while at home and more while in offices. Fortunately, there are ways of reducing this usage by using water-conserving toilets and faucets. Products with a WaterSense label use 20% less water but perform the same as traditional fixtures. Install low-flow toilets and automatic fauces to reduce usage automatically.
5. Install New Lights
An LED bulb lasts longer than a traditional one and uses less energy, which can add up over time. If you work in a large office building, install automated lights in the bathrooms that only turn on when someone is present. If you’re in a small office or work from home, be conscientious about turning off lights and equipment when not in use or when you’re done working for the day.
6. Invest in ENERGY STAR
Depending upon your office setup, you might have a kitchen with appliances or simply have a heating and cooling system. Buying items with an ENERGY STAR rating helps you reduce your carbon footprint and the energy used to keep machines running. Another thing you can do is install smart thermostats that turn the temperature up and down and can be scheduled to drop usage when no one’s in the office.
7. Add a Garden
Whether you work alone or with a group of other people, adding a garden area outside your building helps put oxygen back into the environment and support local wildlife. You can also grow vegetables and fruits and reduce your need for these foods to be transported to you. Make sure you use organic gardening methods that don’t pollute the environment.
8. Add Remote Workers
Let your workers do their task from home at least a few days a week. Remote workers don’t use gasoline driving to and from work, which reduces carbon in the environment. Remote work is becoming more popular and is attractive to employees looking for more flexible positions.
Not only do you save on energy usage in the form of not commuting to and from work, but you’ll also use fewer resources to run equipment and keep a larger building at a comfortable temperature. Offering the option to work remotely is just another way your brand can go green.
Small Changes Have a Big Impact
If every small design firm and company made little changes, it would make each business a little more eco-friendly. Look for ways to reduce your carbon footprint, such as using real silverware in the break room or keeping paper recycling bins in a handy location. Encourage employees to carpool and provide incentives for those who do.
Think of the many different things the typical designer does in a day that uses energy and look for ways of combating that impact. As a bonus, you’ll attract like-minded clients who also care about going green.