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 In Customer Experience

A green policy page is an essential part of the information you provide to potential customers on your company website – right along with your community page.

Many consumers these days vote with their dollar – and they’re giving their business to companies that care. If you’ve been too busy to think about it until now, maybe it’s time you started!

Nice and Easy:

1. Reduce or Eliminate Paper Usage

Email your invoices – many accounting programs like Quickbooks are already set up to do this. Not only does it reduce paper usage and save you money and time, but you’ll reclaim valuable office floor space from bulky storage cabinets too!

You can also use your tablet to take notes. You’ll be surprised how much more organized you can be!

2.  Office Compost

Coffee grounds, tea bags, paper towels, and other kitchen scraps can be easily brought home and added to a gardener’s compost heap, or put into the city compost (if there’s a program in your area).

3. Cut Your Travel Time:

Try holding meetings over the phone or video conference via Skype more often. You’ll spare everyone the pollution and greenhouse gasses, and save time getting to and from meetings.

4. Recycle and Reuse Whenever Possible

Recycling paper, bottles and cans should be a gimme, in my book – if you’re not already doing it, you should be. But you can take it much farther than that by donate or recycle old electronics like computer systems. Your slow computer may be fast enough for someone who can’t afford one at all, or at least can provide valuable metals for re use when recycled. That lamp you don’t want in your house anymore can be brought in to work, and one LED light bulb later – presto! – eco-friendly task lighting. Taking advantage of opportunities to reuse will save you money.

5. Consider the Long View

When making office equipment or furnishings choices, spend a little more now on better quality items that will last longer. Perpetually buying the cheapest items and replacing them all the time doesn’t save you money, and it fills up the landfill sooner. When you’re buying new items for your company, look for environmentally responsible choices.

6. Green Supplies Only

Biodegradable dish detergent at the lunchroom sink, recycled paper for paper towels and TP, and avoiding disposable dishes and cutlery makes for a giant step forward. It’s 2012 now, and green supplies aren’t twice as expensive anymore.

Bonus Points

1. Location, Location, Location

Site your business where it’s easy for employees to use mass transit, walk, run, or cycle to work. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint, and will benefit from a healthier and more engaged work force. Consider installing a small shower and safe bicycle storage to encourage your employees to get their fitness fix – and become more productive during their workday. For more out-of-the-way locations, offer incentives for employees to carpool.

2. Green Energy

Solar and wind power are getting more accessible all the time. If solar panels or other green energy purchases are in your budget, unlimited choices are just a Google search away.

Talking Green

When marketing your organization’s green policy, here are a few rules:

1. Honesty is the Best Policy

Avoid “greenwashing”: never lie about what you’re doing – many organizations have run into PR disasters when they’ve been caught.

Similarly, don’t ask for a hero biscuit for doing the bare minimum. If you’re not doing much, but are making an effort, go ahead and talk about what you’re doing, but use appropriate language. Don’t say you’re an eco-friendly business just for recycling papers and cans; everyone’s doing that now. Many of today’s consumers are hip to the tricks and the doublespeak (witness the fact there’s the “greenwashing” term for it), so be honest.

2. By the Numbers

When writing your green page, use numbers whenever possible. For example, if your company stopped using paper, you can figure out how many trees you’ve saved per year. Statistics help drive the message home, and make many people feel better about what you’re doing.

Resources

Here are some great information tools to help get you started:

  1. GreenBiz.com
  2. Energy Star programme
  3. EcoLogo programme

You’ll find that going green provides you with great value. Greening your business is about saving a lot of things: saving the environment (obviously!), but also saving your health, your time, and your money. There are loads of opportunities for friendly employee contests for morale boosters and social media fuel. Best of all, when you communicate about it in the right way, you can even boost your business. Now that’s what I call ROI!

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