litter signage

How do modern companies avoid wasting resources like electricity, wood pulp, oil, plastic, and many others? In addition to going paperless and using electric vehicles in commercial fleets, they’re coming up with all sorts of creative methods to reduce waste. Here are some of the most effective ones.

Paperless Offices

Eliminating paper from the daily operational routine of an office is the most popular and perhaps most effective way to reduce the consumption of resources. Workers in all industries support the move, and management teams like the idea of cleaner, leaner-looking workspaces. Like all waste-cutting techniques, going paperless has its downsides, but they are few. There’s usually an initial, short period of resistance to the move, particularly in organizations that have not been at the forefront of digitizing their routine processes.

Additionally, owners must commit to training all team members on the most secure ways to function in a paperless environment. When all documents are digital, there’s a supreme need for enhanced IT security regarding the storage, protection, and encryption of sensitive information. However, the benefits of leaving paper behind are numerous. Not only do businesses save a significant amount of money, but they also instill a high level of computer literacy among every employee. Once the change is made and everyone’s on board, offices that don’t use paper become less wasteful places.

Sustainable Transport for Vehicle Fleets

For fleet managers, one of today’s top areas of concern is sustainable transportation, and they work hard to master the concept. If you supervise a fleet or own a transport company, you can find out how smart, sustainable, and green transportation can minimize the amount of greenhouse gas your vehicles emit. Not only is the effort a way to reduce operational expenses for the company, but it’s also a direct, simple tactic that fights climate change.

Because commercial trucks, cars, vans, and buses travel millions of miles per year delivering goods, even small increases in engine efficiency can greatly impact the overall environmental results of using engine-driven vehicles to perform essential business tasks. Managers who want to educate themselves on the topic have plenty of resources at their disposal, particularly via online books, articles, seminars, and topic-specific websites.

Smart Lighting

The technology behind smart lighting systems is not new, nor is it complex. The two main components are motion-sensitive devices and timers. The consumer retail market has been selling such products for more than two decades. For reasons unknown, commercial businesses have only recently picked up on the potential cost savings of timers and motion-activated units in major office spaces. But even though they’re late to the party, business owners are reaping huge savings in a passive and easy way by installing smart lights that can cut electricity consumption by as much as 25%. Larger spaces, as well as corporations that occupy high-rise buildings, can save even more. Not only do owners save big, but they reduce the overall consumption of electricity.

Efficient Packaging

The packaging question has plagued sellers for a very long time. On the one hand, since packaging is important for business branding, merchants want to use package space for advertising and include mandated ingredient lists and warnings. On the other, they prefer to use less packaging material to save money. Amid the recent push to cut down on unnecessary paper and plastic consumption, there’s been a major change in all forms of promotional packaging.

A trip through any grocery or cosmetics retailer can convince anyone that times are changing for the better. Ornate containers, triple-layered packs, and thick glass bottles are now a rarity on shelves. One reason the move toward efficient packaging is so swift is that it’s a win-win for manufacturers. They save money on the cost of preparing items for retail display and contribute to the industry-wide goal of using only as many resources as necessary to wrap and seal products.

New Inventory Strategies

Storing too much inventory is incredibly inefficient from a financial and consumption perspective. Newer ordering techniques focus on keeping less on hand and only requesting deliveries when the time is right. The JIT (just-in-time) technique is based on Japanese models from the 1970s, but the latest iterations leverage the power of complex algorithms to determine precise order times. Managers know how much it costs and how many resources it takes to hold large amounts of inventory. Using JIT principles is a wise way to minimize waste.

Four-Day Weeks

More than a century ago, several business leaders came up with the idea of the four day work week as a way to save money for their companies, give workers three days per week off, and reduce expenses across the board. The idea made sense, and it still does, but the early 1900s were not the time to implement it. After the Great Depression, mainstream corporations shelved the concept for the most part. Today, in the face of a lagging economy and a renewed effort to minimize waste of all kinds, leaders are rethinking the four-day week and implementing it in unique ways.

How does a shortened workweek save time, money, and resources? The main way is by cutting down on the number of miles driven to and from workplaces. When a company institutes the idea, they automatically reduce employee commute miles by 20%. While there are drawbacks, like the potential for fatigue during 10-hour days, the benefits far outnumber the disadvantages. For the most part, workers like the arrangement, and corporations can significantly reduce their energy consumption.