Eco-friendly is more than simply allowing pets into the office or offering employees ride-share vouchers. Practices like this are effective, but they only scratch the surface. True eco-friendly solutions dig into your business’ infrastructure at deep levels. Though it might take a bit of time to investigate the best eco-friendly practices for your business it will pay off in the long-term. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Take Part in the Circular Economy
The European Union recently adopted regulations requiring businesses and industries to recycle many products, including tech, food and other waste materials. Recycling these materials for reuse is the fundamental principle behind a circular economy. Not only does this model reduce waste, it also contributes to a products long-term value.
In the United States, the circular economy is prevalent within the tech industry. Recycling servers, laptops, phones and the batteries that power them is often a regulatory requirement. Partnering with a company that provides secure data removal, refurbishment is one way to profit from used materials. These companies then re-sell the tech to secondary markets.
Produce for the Circular Economy
Manufacturers are not left out of the green circular economy. McKinsey reports that circular economy design is a production trend. Companies that produce coffee pods, toner cartridges and other products that are meant to be discarded do not have to change their business model. Rather, these companies can re-design their products using non-toxic, recyclable materials. As a result, eco-friendly manufacturers are putting more time and money into research and development.
Choose Sustainable Construction
Sustainable construction practices include the evaluations of materials that compose the tool, equipment or building. The amount of energy required for optimal performance and the item’s longevity are also considered. However, businesses and industries typically calculate their environmental impact in one of two ways.
The first method prioritizes local production and materials. By choosing local, sustainable materials, companies make a positive economic and quality-of-life impact on their community and reduce the need for fossil fuels. Materials like precast concrete and reclaimed wood and metal fall into this category.
The second method considers the amount of energy needed to create or grow the product, process it and ship it. Sustainable materials like bamboo, cork and sheep’s wool insulation fall under this kind of sustainability.
Reduce Bioburden Using Green Chemistry
Industries that require cleanliness include food processing plants, pharmaceutical production areas and cosmetic labs. These industries experience bioburden, or the cost of cleanliness. Many anti-microbial solutions are not eco-friendly.
Microspheres are an eco-friendly solution to bioburden. Microspheres are a network of infinitesimal mineral particles that are integrated into plastics or other materials. Microspheres repel bacteria and other sources of contamination. Green chemistry is still in its early stages but it holds a great deal of potential.
These tips are snapshots of an ongoing, dynamic industry. Businesses are poised for major eco-friendly operational changes if they just put in the effort. Getting on board now will likely help your business increase future revenue. Additionally, if your business would like to cut down on energy consumption, be sure to look for equipment like environmentally friendly vehicles, HVAC systems, and laboratory mixers that use less energy and cut down on utility costs.