These days it seems everyone is trying to go green — and for good reason. But green living is not just something to do in your home; it has been a growing business initiative for many companies for quite some time.
According to the EPA, paper consumption has more than tripled since 1960, and the average office worker uses 4 million tons of copy paper each year. Producing one ton of copy paper releases 5,690 pounds of greenhouse gases, or the equivalent of 6 months of car exhaust fumes. Paper also produces methane gas as it breaks down, which is terrible for our atmosphere.
Anything we can do to eliminate wasted paper will be good for our planet. Let’s take a look at how to make your business greener in three simple steps.
Manual payroll calculations are not only time-consuming and inefficient, but can also waste a lot of paper. Even for companies using their own accounting software, there are often still physical files. Switching to an online payroll system that is completely paperless is one of the easiest green business practices you can adopt.
A good online payroll company will handle all of your deposits, prepare your payroll, issue payroll checks, file and report all of your payroll taxes, and offer you clear and easy labor cost reporting via an online, paperless portal. Online payroll not only saves paper, but is also more efficient, results in fewer mistakes and saves office space.
The second of the most effective green business practices is to encourage employees to use direct deposit. This allows for the electronic transfer of a payment directly from the payer’s account into the recipient’s account. So instead of printing paper checks which then have to be mailed in paper envelopes, the payment is just deposited electronically. Not only does this save paper, but also the cost of postage and fuel (because no one has to drive to the bank). Additionally, employees it will make for happier employees because funds will be available faster.
Be sure to promote direct deposit within your company by highlighting these benefits and others, including the elimination of lost checks and the ability to access funds while out of town. Also, make it easy to enroll by providing forms and instructions on how to sign up.
Here’s our third green business idea — promote and incentivize carpooling within your company. Carpooling reduces the amount of hydrocarbons, nitrogen, oxides, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide that is released during rush hour. According to Rideshare.com, each year, every car gives off its own weight in carbon dioxide alone. Carpooling significantly reduces this and other toxic emissions simply because it puts fewer vehicles on the road.
If your company isn’t green, it might be time to start moving in that direction. By beginning with these three simple steps, you can be on your way to more efficient business practices and a smaller environmental footprint.