Being sustainable doesn’t mean you have to increase your costs as is commonly misconceived. The simplest of items has the potential to give any business the environmental responsibility they desire to maintain a positive reputation.

Regardless of your business being situated in a sky-scraping metropolis or in a quiet area in a small town, there are plenty of efficient solutions your business can take to become greener without having any negative impact on your profitability.

In our interview with Joanne Moss from PPS Equipment earlier this year, Joanne advised to research switch to a material you can prove is sustainable whilst also maintaining product quality standards.

Businessman goes green

Here are 5 areas Noobpreneur suggest your business can switch to today and not notice any negative impact:

Refillable Pens

It is estimated that there are more than 240 million disposable pens sold in the United Kingdom alone each year. These contain plastic and toxic inks that are deadly to our environment.

This can be easily avoided by switching to reusable ink cartridges. Not only is this better for the green space around you but it works out cheaper over time.

The pen manufacturing brand Zebra offer a pack of pens at £5.19 with two refills only costing £1.88.

Printing Waste

We’ve all experienced it – you print a document and the final page only has the footer or one sentence because it’s been dragged over from the previous page. How frustrating!

Software like GreenPrint identifies areas of waste before you print. This then sends you an alert of the wasted space and even gives recommendations on how to eliminate it before you print.

GreenPrint claims to save 17% on printing materials and around £69 per year as a result so there’s an instant financial benefit to your business.

Chlorine-Free Paper

Despite living in a digitally dominated society, paper is still used within businesses. Whilst most manufacturing processes that used to involve chlorine bleaching have been eliminated, a few still exist. What’s bad about this is that chlorine gas has been linked with cancer in air pollution.

Chlorine-free paper means removing the procedure of using harmful chlorine gas and thereby reducing environmental damage. Friendlier than this is to look for paper that is produced from substances such as bamboo, hemp or organic cotton.

Office recycling
photo credit: London Permaculture / Flickr

Implement a Recycling Scheme

It may not happen overnight but making a start and a pledge to work on a recycling scheme and policy within your business can sure make an improvement towards going green. Whether it’s simply by improving recycling rates by 10% for the next month, every little contribution helps.

This also helps embed the recycling scheme into your employees’ mind. It’s unlikely everyone would move across to being 100% green overnight but bit by bit it will become second nature to them, so installing a new target every fortnight or month will go a long way over the course of a year.

Optimise Natural Lighting

The majority of businesses operate during the day; often 9-5 work hours. If your business is one of those you have a great opportunity to make the most of daylight. It’s quite simple – the more windows the better!

If you’re sitting at a computer all day, insufficient lighting can cause eye strain, so it’s essentially that you have sufficient natural lighting around you. To do this, you can rearrange your office so that your employees are close to the natural light sources. In return you’ll save money from not using so much electrical lighting.