Opinion: A Time for Change | editorial










The matter:

It can’t be warm outside.

What we think:

Businesses should choose to be sustainable.

Tell us what you think:

Send us an email at [email protected]

It’s hard to believe, but 2022 is just around the corner. Yes, time flies by – but it’s also really hard to imagine Christmas in Colorado when it’s still flip-flop weather. Of course, it will take more than a winter to see if this is a new normal too, but would it really surprise anyone how things went?

The new year is just around the corner. So do you make any resolutions for your business? Making a profit is always good. Growing and hiring more people should be high on your list. Take more time off – maybe in 2023 …

Since we are behind us in mid-December and are experiencing weather that can rival that of the Florida Panhandle; a dry, sad snow dust made up all of our late autumn precipitation; the southern United States was hit by an unusually large (and late) tornado; the Colorado River is at risk; the water levels in Lake Powell and Lake Meade are lower than ever; the American West is on fire year after year (and would you even want to think about the Front Range this summer, if things stay bone dry?) how about deciding to do something that would have real, long-term effects – one Resolution for future generations?

Perhaps 2022 is the year your business becomes sustainable.

Last year the New York Post reported, “A new survey of 2,000 Americans found that it only takes 32 days for the average person to finally break their resolutions – but 68% say they give up their resolutions sooner.”

These resolutions undoubtedly have more to do with getting fit, giving up vice, spending more time with family. But for sustainability to work, it must not be turned upside down by February 1st. Where should I start?

There are many simple ways companies can help turn this around: reduce waste and recycle more, smart landscaping, and conserve water and electricity. But getting it right may require some homework.

For example, more and more employees have recently been working from home. That means less commuting, so it has to be better for the environment, right?

Working remotely also means increasing the use of electronic devices for communication.

from MIT news: “One hour of streaming or video conferencing can emit between 150 and 1,000 grams of carbon dioxide, depending on the service. In comparison, a car produces about 8,887 grams when it burns a gallon of gasoline. This hour also requires 2-12 liters of water and an area of ​​land the size of an iPad Mini. These hours add up in our daily life with all the time we spend on videos – and with it the associated ecological footprint. ”

Simply turning off the video portion of your chat can have a real environmental impact. And if that is replicated hundreds, thousands, millions of times – every day …

The story in MIT news was released in March 2021. The next paragraph reads, “According to the researchers, the global carbon footprint could grow by 34.3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions if remote work continues through the end of 2021. To give you a sense of the extent, this increase in emissions would require a forest twice the size of Portugal to fully store everything. In the meantime, the associated water footprint would be enough to fill more than 300,000 Olympic pools and the land footprint would be roughly the size of Los Angeles. “

Working from home is not going to be enough to change things.

There are many practical ways to get your business on the path to sustainability. And realize that acting sustainably is not altruistic – it makes good business sense.

Forbes reported earlier this year that nine out of ten executives think sustainability is important, but only 60 percent of companies have a sustainability strategy. In addition, Nielsen studies show that 66 percent of consumers would spend more on a product if it were from a sustainable brand, and 81 percent of global consumers believe that companies should help improve the environment.

The article states, “Many business leaders are becoming aware of the need to reuse and recycle and are moving towards a circular economy. It’s also a huge area of ​​growth as the renewable energy market is projected to be $ 2.15 trillion by 2025. “

When someone chooses to quit, a large part of the success or failure lies in that person’s choices. If our current environmental problem has taught us anything, it is that no individual or company can deal with it alone.

We should all make up our minds to do better … while there is still time.


Tips for sustainable business

Reduce meeting costs: Make phone calls instead of holding meetings, send e-mails instead of e-mails, hold virtual meetings to save on business travel costs.

Minimize the use of materials: archive computer files instead of print files, advertise your website instead of brochures, email your promotional materials instead of mailing them.

Reduce waste: Recycle old envelopes, ask staff to use their own mugs, refill printer cartridges that are not being replaced, and buy recycled stationery.

Recycle: recycle anything that you cannot reuse – check with your waste disposal company to determine what will be recycled. Place recycling bins in places where employees will use them.

Turn it off: Turn off lights, computers, printers, and plug-in devices when not in use – they will last longer and lower your electricity bills.

Outsource: Reduce your server needs and lower electricity costs by using cloud computing services (web-based data storage) and using virtual office services or external contractors instead of expanding the office space.

Make it smaller: Turn down the heating – increasing the temperature by just one degree can increase your energy bills by 10 percent. Reduce energy consumption further by: switching off standby power consumption by switching off, installing automatic light sensors, power supply from green electricity providers, selecting hybrid vehicles for your fleet vehicles. Reduce water and electricity consumption in the office kitchen by running office dishwashers full, repairing leaking taps and reducing the hot water temperature.

Buy green: Get green credentials by setting up sustainable delivery policies and guidelines, and send a checklist to your suppliers asking about their sustainable products and services. Ask printers about recycled paper, replace defective devices


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