Articles

Get More, Use Less – Go Green

In Productivity and motivation, Uncategorized on March 28, 2011 by Tim Aikens

How green is your business?  Is going green a boon or a burden?  A lot of received wisdom is that getting good environmental credentials costs money.  Being environmentally friendly is expensive.  But a little logic and research seems to say quite the opposite.  There are an increasing number of organisations out there who, as a result of an overt ‘Green’ strategy, are saving big money.  In addition they are boosting their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) credentials at the same time.

The logic appears almost trivial.  Energy costs money, adopt energy-saving devices or policies you will save money.  However, you only have to look at large office blocks, lights blazing at 2:00 a.m. to see that a lot of people have yet to grasp that particular piece of logic.  The same with major equipment.  Turn off copiers and printers and PCs and laptops and so on.  Of course, for many companies this might be seen as a small amount of money to save.  But it all adds up!  I believe that adopting a philosophy that starts to address the energy issue can soon create a culture all about getting more with less.

There is a lot more than lighting and equipment that can and should be addressed.  Take packaging for example. Whether supermarket meat or HD TVs, they all come with a lot of packaging that takes time to wrap and costs money.  There are good reasons for some packaging, but think of the benefit in labour, time, money and carbon if it were to be sensibly reduced.  Another example is warehousing.  Warehouses cost money (and carbon) to build, use up land and have to be maintained.  The more the world can move to a Just In Time (JIT) culture and philosophy, the more money can be saved through less warehousing.

Now here is an interesting thought.  The UK and most other Western countries are drowning under an ever increasing pile of compliance and bureaucracy.  All of this has to be dealt with. It comes at great cost and the added value of much of it is debatable.  It also has a huge environmental cost.  Think of the paper, energy, heat, time, and labour involved in dealing with compliance or bureaucracy.  Governments need to be pushed really hard to justify their compliance legislation and bureaucracy if for no other reason than the cost to the planet!

One of the fundamentals of any process re-engineering in any business is to reduce idle time or non value adding time.  Taking a green approach to this can force change that will not only reduce non value adding time, it will result in significant financial and carbon gain, because of energy that is no longer wasted – for one thing.

So the message is clear.  When seeking to do more with less, make sure you also seek to improve your ‘green credentials’ at the same time.  Not only will this probably increase the financial benefit, but you will save carbon and be seen by your customers to be doing the right thing!

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