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See your business through green-coloured glasses to stay strong

See your business through green-colored glasses to stay strong

April 2012

A common misconception about environmental consciousness is that it’s strictly about being a “green” company. But the truth is, it means much more than that. In addition to implementing eco-friendly strategies, business environmental responsibility is about making your business relevant for the long-run.

Taking the first step can be fairly intimidating, but resources such as HP Energy and Sustainability Management Services can help businesses reduce costs and ensure they are fulfilling the responsibilities to their customers and communities. By looking at each of your operational areas, it’s possible to develop a roadmap that will set you on your way to going green.

Why is business environmental responsibility important?

In the past, environmental efforts have often been motivated by public relations in an attempt to create some good press for their business. Today, other stakeholders such as investors are also having a say. As more people recognise that environmental responsibility is an important factor in a company’s economic viability, it becomes more difficult for companies to ignore the calls for change.

But it’s not just investors that are concerned about your business’s environmental issues. In 2010, the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission informed companies about their responsibility to disclose material risks related to climate change.[1]

As external pressures continue to mount, you can expect to see more businesses increasing their sustainability efforts. When a business directs their focus on risk management as well as environmentally conscious operations, the long-term environmental responsibility of the business grows.

Getting started
  • Start from the ground up—youneed to know where your business is before you can figure out where you want it to go. This is probably the least fun step in the process, but it’s a critical step. In order to understand where you are, you’ll need to do an in-depth analysis of your business’s environmental footprint—including everything from transportation habits to your energy and water use. How much trash does your business produce? Do you recycle? If so, how much? While tedious, all of these answers will help you gain a solid understanding of the current state of your business.
  • Determine your best opportunities—bynow you should have a clear picture of areas-of-improvement for your business. Perhaps your research uncovered a lack of recycling, which could open up an opportunity to recycle certain items that you aren’t currently recycling.            
  • Practice makes perfect—identifyingopportunities is only part of the solution. The other—and most important—part is to implement your new plan. For example, if your research uncovered high energy bills, maybe you could start migrating your data to a cloud environment like HP Cloud Services, then you could monitor whether decreased server and storage usage helps your energy bills.  
  • Revise, revise, revise—your business’s environmental needs will evolve almost as quickly as your business, so it’s important that you reevaluate your goals on a regular basis to ensure they’re up-to-date with your current needs.
There are easier ways to become more environmentally responsible, too. Sometimes businesses can see significant cost-savings simply by upgrading or trading in their old technology. Programs like the HP Trade-In & Save program provide businesses with the opportunity to trade in old equipment—whether it’s HP or another brand—for cash back.

Another way to save money—and the environment—is by recycling and reusing printer ink cartridges. It might seem trivial, but the cost of ink can add up quickly, not to mention the damage used ink cartridges can do to the environment when not disposed of correctly. The HP Recycling & Reuse program has recovered over 2.3 billion pounds of products for reuse or recycling since it first started in 1987.

Don’t be intimidated if this all seems a little daunting. With a little research, and a little help, before you know it you’ll be on the right path to becoming a more environmentally responsible business.

For more information
HP Cloud Services
Green IT Tools and Tips
Energy management is good business
HP’s Energy and Sustainability Management Services

[1] SEC Issues Interpretive Guidance on Disclosure Related to Business or Legal Developments Regarding Climate Change
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