Cash flow is the lifeblood of all businesses and continues to be a major problem for many.
With Vince Cable likening the UK’s recent economic woes to living through a war, many companies are adopting a rationing mentality looking at all types of money saving tips to reduce costs without cutting their most valuable asset – staff. This includes thinking green. With just a few small green changes, business owners can pocket the pennies.
The ‘Four Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rethink’ are the new ‘make do and mend’ mantra for the savvy credit crunch office manager.
When it comes to office supplies, here are a few simple tips to help you cut your office overheads and save the planet.
1. Think before you print!
Check how long an email trail is before you print it – select just the pages you need.
Install programs like GreenPrint software which will help you to identify where you can cut down on waste printing.
Set your printer default to mono.
Similarly, set your printer default so that pages print on both sides – this simple measure can half your photocopier paper usage.
The key thing is to remember you can always override these defaults when you need to.
2. Think digital
Cut down on creating costly hard copies of staff handbooks and manuals which become out of date almost as soon as you publish.
Instead, think about creating an electronic library that’s easy to access and can be updated easily at any time.
Email meeting agendas in advance rather than sending a copy to everyone.
3. Update your mailing lists
Make sure your mailing lists are up to date. This will save you the cost of sending out unnecessary letters and direct mailers and save a small fortune in paper, printing and postage.
4. Recycle and reuse
As hard as we try to go digital, we still need paper, so why not explore greener options.
With the need to ensure the secure destruction of confidential data, why not kill two birds with one stone and opt for a Closed Loop solution – an audited process that sees waste paper shredded and recycled before being returned to its original ‘owner’. It’s the perfect recycling loop and a truly sustainable solution.
As well as helping you cut your stationery costs, Closed Loop helps ensure you don’t pick up any fines for failing to destroy confidential waste.
Look for green alternatives to your current stationery supplies. Millions of disposable pens are sent to landfill every year. Consider seeking out refillable alternatives and stocking only refills in your supply cabinets. This is cheaper in the long run and helps office managers take better control of the stationery budget.
5. Simple changes save money
Introduce a no print policy on emails.
Reduce font sizes on documents to reduce paper usage.
These are just some simple suggestions to show how thinking differently and going green can make your overheads leaner. Combine these with looking at other key operational costs such as utilities and transport and you could save a fortune and the planet.