How to Reduce Your Marketing Company’s Carbon Footprint
Any modern business uses a lot of energy to keep the lights on and ensure their employees are connected to the web. This energy means that most businesses have a large carbon footprint if they’re not taking steps to make their business greener.
Fortunately, marketing companies worried about sustainability can do a lot to reduce their carbon footprint — often without a major investment or disruptive process changes.
These are some of the biggest steps you can take to cut down on your carbon footprint . . . reduce the resources you consume.
Offer WFH and Remote Options
Allowing some or all of your team to work from home can help you significantly reduce business carbon emissions.
For every employee that spends the day working from home, you’ll be saving the carbon produced by two commutes — as well as any power they would have used while in the office.
Your business may not be able to handle the entire staff working from home all the time, but your move to WFH doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. Even offering the option to work remotely once or twice a week can make a huge difference when it comes to carbon emissions.
Remote meetings with important clients and contractors can also help. If you can reduce the amount of travel needed to communicate with your business partners, you can significantly cut down on business carbon emissions.
Take Advantage of Renewable Energy
It’s possible to harness the power of renewable energy to reduce your carbon footprint.
Some businesses go as far as installing solar panels on their office roof, providing a sustainable and renewable energy source that they can use to power the office. With enough solar capacity and some supporting tech like battery storage, it may be possible to power your office entirely with the renewable energy that you collect.
Other green investments — like geothermal and solar water heating systems — may also be a possibility, and can help you reduce the amount of energy your office uses.
Recycle Office Waste
Most office waste can be recycled. Paper and cardboard, for example, are highly recyclable, and many waste management companies offer recycling programs that make the process as simple as dropping paper waste in the right bin.
Metal recycling can be more complicated, but waste like aluminum cans also tends to be very recyclable. Finding a recycling center near your office that accepts metal and bringing your metal waste there can help reduce the carbon impact that your office will have.
Used and broken office electronics can also be recycled — and saving them from the landfill can help you fight the growing problem of e-waste.
If you can reuse or recycle used electronics, you can seriously cut down on your business’s carbon footprint. The same goes for office tech like smartphones, printers and IoT devices.
Before you recycle, resell or donate your office electronics, however, make sure that you’ve wipred them of any sensitive information. It’s also good to log these devices out of business accounts and services like cloud storage systems.
Upgrade to a Green Office
Small changes to your office can have a major impact on how much energy your business consumes.
For example, one common green office upgrade is LED lighting. LEDs use at least 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to 25 times longer — reducing energy costs and the amount of new light bulbs you have to buy each year. LED lights are also brighter than conventional bulbs, meaning you may be able to light the office with fewer lights than you were using before.
Smart appliances can also provide some significant energy savings. IoT lights and thermostats, for example, can automatically adjust lighting or temperature throughout the day, ensuring that no energy is wasted.
Combined with motion sensors, it’s possible to create a smart office system that automatically switches off lights or adjusts air conditioners based on office occupancy, providing further savings on energy.
Swapping desktops for laptops can net you surprising power savings as well — depending on the model of desktop you use in the office, may be able to reduce power consumption of office computers by as much as 80 percent.
Simple changes that don’t require investment in new office equipment can make a big difference here, as well. Many businesses are going paperless in favor of digital files and storage systems to reduce their carbon footprint. A paperless office will also help you to cut down on office supply costs, as well.
Invest in Carbon Offsetting
It’s also possible to invest in carbon offsetting programs. Some businesses balance or offset their carbon footprint by investing in these programs, donating funds to help them run projects that cut down on global carbon emissions — often by planting new trees or providing renewable energy equipment to people who can’t afford it.
If you don’t want to directly give to a carbon offset program, you can also take advantage of carbon offset programs that some businesses offer, like carbon offset shipping.
With carbon offset shipping, for every shipment you make through a certain company, that company will donate to carbon offset organizations on your behalf — balancing out the carbon cost of the shipment.
Partnering with organizations that offer carbon offset shipping or similar programs is a great way to cut down on carbon costs outside of your control — like shipping when green shipment options aren’t available.
Making Your Marketing Company More Sustainable
Simple changes can go a long way in reducing your business’s carbon footprint.
Remote work options, recycling and green office upgrades, for example, are some low-cost and often non-disruptive changes that can dramatically cut down on the amount of carbon a business generates.
More significant upgrades can take your business even further — like solar panels for an office roof.
Eleanor is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.