Sustainable Business Ideas for 2012

As Global Climate Change becomes a growing concern for people across the globe, environmental responsibility has never been more important. While the environmental movement was once a subject for activists and hippies, it's now reached the mainstream and business leaders from every industry have joined in the cause. Not only do sustainable business practices help protect the earth from environmental threats, but they can significantly reduce business costs as well.

One way in which companies are encouraging sustainability is through their employees. More and more offices are implementing bike-to-work schemes or offering incentives to employees who carpool. Similarly, more business leaders are becoming aware of just how much waste an office can produce and an increasing number of companies are making recycling a priority. In addition to standard paper recycling bins, consider going the extra mile with your business and providing a compost bin for food waste. Not only do practices like these help reduce your company's carbon footprint, but they also help instil eco-friendly habits into your staff.

Another major area in which businesses are adopting sustainable solutions is in their energy consumption. Any business, large or small, can immediately benefit from switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, adding insulation and draft-protected doors, eliminating unnecessary air travel, turning computers off when not in use, unplugging unused appliances and minimising heat/air conditioning usage. By being diligent in these areas, you may be surprised what a different it makes to your carbon footprint - not to mention your gas/electricity bills.

Finally, many companies are using a method known as business process automation to re-organise their various systems into a more efficient and sustainable structure. This usually involves an overhaul of the company's IT system in order to extend existing software applications and implement new software tools that eliminate wasted time. If your company spends too much time posting documents and filing papers, consider switching to a steam-lined system that automates those time-consuming tasks. Not only does this paperless system eliminate unnecessary waste for a more sustainable output, but it also frees up more time for focusing on clients.

Thus, 2012 is the year of the sustainable business. Whether you do a complete overhaul of every department in your company, or decide to implement sustainable systems gradually, it's clear that taking action is necessary. In addition to the threat of Global Climate Change, businesses in this day and age simply cannot thrive if they're perceived by the public as environmentally irresponsible.

Author's Bio: 

Fiona Roy writes for a digital marketing agency. This article on business process automation has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

Category: Business ideas

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