Using the Web for a Greener Business

Worldwide, companies are taking steps to be more ecologically friendly by reducing waste. But what steps are practical for smaller businesses in the Kitchener-Waterloo area? We’ll show you how using online tools can make a big difference — both for the environment and your bottom line.

Simple adjustments to everyday tasks

Think of the usual steps involved in sending a traditional piece of mail. The paper, ink, envelopes and stamps — not to mention the human power and idling vehicles involved in delivering these — can all be reduced or totally avoided by making some small changes to how we approach business. Be cost effective and use fewer resources when completing your everyday tasks. Here are some ideas.

Instead of… Try…
sending paper notes, memos or letters sending an E-mail
burning a disc containing files using your internal computer network or an online file transfer service
having paperwork or files delivered in person any of the above
sending a fax sending an E-mail

‘Greener’ advertising and marketing


Unlike newspapers, printed directories, direct mail or other printed methods, online ads and listings don’t kill trees or contribute to landfills. The Internet offers increased public exposure at a reasonable cost, meaning you might even find electronic advertising to be more effective in accomplishing your objectives.

Instead of… Try…
newspaper or magazine advertising advertising on related Web sites
advertising on your own Web site
posting coupons or specials on your Web site
adding a blog or news section to your Web site
printed newsletters, direct mail campaigns E-mail marketing
greeting cards or invitations sending an E-mail
printed brochures further developing this product or service online or creating a mini-Web site
signs and billboards blogging, video casting or other forms of online promotion
printed coupons electronic coupons

We can help you expand or modify your Web site to meet your goals. We also offer complete E-mail marketing services.

Eco-friendly accounting and payroll


Consider how your business handles accounting. Almost everyone prepares and tracks accounts electronically. So why not continue the process electronically by sending invoices, statements and notices via E-mail? It has been our experience that businesses are happy to receive these documents electronically.

How much waste could be reduced by paying bills or accepting payments online? Or by paying employees using direct deposit instead of by printed cheques? In its Sustainable Development Strategy 2007-2009 document (p. iv), the Ministry of Public Works and Government Services Canada commented:

“By utilizing and continually expanding direct deposit, [Public Works and Government Services of Canada] saved the government $91.8 million last year, and reduced paper consumption by an equivalent of 45,600 trees.”

Could simple changes make a proportionate difference at your place of business?

Instead of… Try…
sending printed invoices, statements and notices sending these as electronic documents
receiving bills by mail requesting bills be sent via E-mail and subscribe to whenever possible
issuing printed cheques paying bills online or using direct deposit
only accepting printed cheques providing the option of accepting online payments

Talk to us about developing formatted E-mail templates for your accounting.

Going green in the real world

Realistically, it will take time for the public to become accustomed to dealing with you electronically and looking out for you online. To support your environmental goals, some supplemental printed materials may be required, at least at first. But perhaps the amount of printing can be reduced or reserved for specific occasions. When printing is required, you may consider exclusively using recycled papers and printing only the number of units that you really need. Through responsible print choices, your green business will prove that it follows through on many levels. We can assist you in developing targeted print materials.

Care for the planet

Happily, the move toward greener business practices is catching on. The public appreciates dealing with businesses that have an eco-conscience. Drawing attention to your environmental efforts can create a positive impression of your organization. Being ecologically friendly can also be economically friendly.

Contact us to discuss how to develop and implement your strategy online and via E-mail.

If you have been able to implement any of these techniques, what benefits have you observed? Do you have any additional suggestions on using the Internet or other electronic methods to reduce waste? We’d love to hear your comment.

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