Helping your small business go green is about more than working towards the ‘paperless office.’ Here, we look at three technological ways to help your business help the planet.
Use the Cloud
Using the cloud for business platforms and apps helps you go green twice over. For instance, by storing files and doing your accounting on the cloud with a free product such as Pandle, you’ve not only got the paperless advantage of going digital, but you’re also saving energy (and potential expense on hardware that’s often underused).
Using the cloud is a bit like using public transport instead of using a car; you’re sharing the use of servers with others rather than paying for your own server and using more energy. And the energy and capacity of your server may well be over the top for your needs.
A 2013 study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Northwestern University found that in-house servers often provide much more computing energy and storage than a business actually needs, wasting electricity – and the company’s money.
Use Your Computers to Communicate and Collaborate
Expensive multifunction landline systems, company mobiles, travel to meetings – ask yourself if these are necessary, and keep asking every time the issue pops up. Communication by computer has gone way beyond Skype and Facetime.
There’s a host of messaging platforms (e.g. slack.com), video-conferencing systems and collaboration tools available today. By using them, you could not only be saving the planet, but saving a great deal of expense, too.
Use Smart Thermostats and Smart Switches
Smart thermostats, switches and plugs can be programmed and controlled from a smartphone or tablet.
A smart thermostat can be set to your precise preferences, saving you or your staff the trouble of fiddling with a thermostat manually and saving energy too.
In-wall smart switches are as easy to use – once they’re set up – as a normal light switch, while smart plugs can be used for individual devices. Many have power-monitoring features too and you can save money and energy usually spent on device ‘standby time’.
So, next time you’re planning a tech change – or you just feel the urge to do more to save the planet – consider these greener technological solutions. Chances are that your pocket will thank you for it, too.
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We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!