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Why Startups Are Going Green

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By Townes Haas   |    April 9, 2014   |    6:21 PM

5 Ways to Cut Down on Your Business Carbon Footprint
Businesses have begun embracing the “green movement” in recent years. The value of going green is two-fold: it helps the environment, and – more importantly for most businesses – it improves their bottom line.

According to a report by the World Wildlife Fun and Carbon Disclosure Project, if American businesses were to cut greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 3 percent per year, businesses could “save up to $190 billion in 2020 alone or $780 billion over 10 years”.

Green Business
Businesses of all sizes are seeing the benefits of going green. The Aspen Skiing Co. ski resorts decided to start small by changing out the incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient ones. This move has saved the company $10,000 each year since 1999. They have gone on to add solar panels and replace old boilers, all saving the company more money and improving overall efficiency.

Search engine giant Google has even embraced the green movement. In 2012, “it invested $200 million in a Texas wind farm, and in 2011, it invested $280 million in a fund that helped now-public Solar City finance more solar installations in America, focusing on the residential and business markets.”

Ideas For Your Startup to Go Green
While larger businesses have actively led the “green” charge, startups can take advantage of the environmental and cost savings that come with reducing your carbon footprint.

    Invest in ENERGY STAR rated electronics: The ENERGY STAR label shows you how efficient a product is and the operating cost of the electronic. Look for office equipment and appliances with this label.

    Cut down on the paper: Do you really need to print every document? More than likely, the answer to that is no. Instead, upload the document to a file sync and share app like SharePoint or Box, or send it via email to everyone who needs to see it. For presentations, consider using a screen-share service. If you do need to print a document, use the double-side print option to decrease paper use.

    Reduce electricity use: If you’re not using a piece of equipment, shut it off and unplug it. Electronics still draw a little bit of power even when they’re turned off if they’re still plugged in. If you leave a room, shut off the lights. If you can, install an occupancy sensor. This will turn on the lights when someone enters a room and turn them off after no movement is detected for a certain length of time.

    Outsource your infrastructure: On-site servers and hardware draw a lot of energy. Consider cloud-based servers and storage devices, which are stored in a remote location and maintained by a third-party service provider.

    Recycle: Any paper, plastic, electronic or aluminum products that you use, recycle them. Donate old furniture that’s still in good shape.

When you go green, you not only become environmentally responsible. You also help your bottom line with major cost savings.

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