Trends in Sustainability

Article contributed by OfficeMax, Inc., June 2011 The last couple of years have forced many changes regarding how businesses and organizations vi


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Article contributed by OfficeMax, Inc., June 2011

The last couple of years have forced many changes regarding how businesses and organizations view their purchasing habits and respective impacts on the economy and outside world. A focus that has remained constant is the environmental responsibility each organization has to its associates, customers and stakeholders. Sustainability is shifting from a buzzword in Corporate America to an expectation.

Everyday products like paper and toner have taken center stage for companies when green initiatives are discussed, but there are other considerations that dovetail into how businesses spend money. As environmentally conscious companies seek to work responsibly, they must be aware of solutions beyond just paper products and consumption management. By identifying the right products and services, your company will improve its environmental footprint, protect the value of its brand and enhance stakeholder confidence.

With the environmental platform front and center, organizations are expected to respond with corporate social responsibility. What are some simple things an organization can consider when it comes to sustainability?

Are you seeing too much of your delivery guy?
Reduce the number of orders and deliveries. This will reduce the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases emitted. Having fewer deliveries to your loading dock makes a significant difference when multiplied over a year.

Is the web your best friend?
Commit to electronic ordering. Online shopping is not only the most efficient ordering channel, but also the most environmentally responsible one—no paper trail! When it comes to ordering, frequency and size both have an impact on the footprint you leave behind.

Do you really need that box of pens tomorrow?
Institute a company-wide minimum order size policy. When you change your ordering habits from frequent small orders to one large order, you can lower your consumption of corrugated materials, keep shipping to a minimum and reduce paperwork involved in administering multiple orders.

Product-specific recycling bins
Is your company looking for small ways to positively impact the environment? There are easy and usually cost-free recycling programs for products like batteries and pens. Encourage life cycle management of products your employees use to create a strong organizational awareness of “greening” in your office space without changing your processes drastically.

Toner and paper
The two largest office expenditures are typically toner and paper. Recycled paper options continue to grow, and it has never been easier to manage your local environmental choices than when you opt for remanufactured toner. Setting up programs and locations for collection of used toner cartridges is easy. By returning them, you can prevent landfill waste and help to conserve non-renewable natural resources.

Green meets green
A discussion about sustainability is not complete unless it also includes financial sustainability. We all want to do the right thing for the environment, but we also have a responsibility to be good fiscal stewards for our organizations. As the newness of “green” processes, services and products begins to fade, the financial investment becomes far easier to manage. The prices in these key services and areas are balancing out, helping you maintain solid stewardship in both categories.

 Post Tags: sustainability