Profit Responsibly in 2011 – Resolutions for the New Year

Dec 31, 2010   //   by Bradley Short   //   Energy, Investors & Stakeholders, Operations Management, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

As 2010 draws to a close, now is the perfect time to make some resolutions for your business.

In 2011, take steps to make your business more responsible, greener, more in tune with all of your various stake holders and more profitable with the following resolutions:

  • Conduct an annual energy audit at each of your facilities, and work to become more efficient every year.
  • Enact new heating and cooling policies (and follow through by raising the thermostat a few degrees in the summer and lower it in the winter).
  • Switch to double-sided and / or black and white printing or, better yet, encourage employees to NOT print materials unless they have to.
  • Install software that automatically shuts down computers at the end of the day, or at least make it a policy for employees to fully shut down at night.
  • Allow employees to volunteer for charities on company time, and pay their regular wages while they do so.
  • Become active in one of the various forums dedicated to business driving sustainability, such as BICEP(Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy) and partner with other responsible companies for sustainability.
  • If possible, switch to an energy company that is dedicated to increasing its use of renewable energy sources.
  • Set an emissions reduction goal, communicate with your employees and customers about it, and then make the investments to meet it.
  • Responsibly recycle all of those old electronics that have been piling up in the supply room.
  • Implement a program to start accepting your products back from consumers after they reach the end of their useful life (in a cost effective and convenient manner) and recycle or reuse them.
  • Create a forum where employees can suggest ways to make the company, or their specific job function, better or more environmentally responsible.  Encourage them and provide incentives for them to brainstorm (and ultimately implement) new ideas.
  • If you own your facilities, install more efficient lighting and window coverings.  If not, talk to your building managers about doing so.
  • Use motion sensors instead of traditional light switches so that lights aren’t left on when nobody is in a room.
  • Consider more teleconferencing instead of traveling to meetings.
  • If you sell a physical product, reduce or eliminate excessive packaging.
  • Hold your suppliers accountable – require them to be responsible as well, and if they don’t, find new ones who are.  Green your supply chain.
  • Become more transparent; share your impact, good and bad, with your stake holders, including employees and customers, and ask them what they think you should to do act more responsibly.

Following any one of these tips is a step in the right direction. If you are truly committed to making a real positive change in 2011, seek expert advice and consider hiring a sustainability consulting company like BusinessEarth to help you.  A good consultant will evaluate your company from the inside-out and find ways for you to act more responsibly, while improving your bottom line.

What are we missing?  What else is YOUR company already doing or resolving to do better in 2011?  Tell us what you think would help other organizations Profit Responsibly in 2011…

…And from all of us at BusinessEarth, Happy New Year!