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Forbes Magazine recently published an article about the dirty side of innovations in business and technology. Although our technologies are rocketing forward into the future, a study by the environmental group Greenpeace revealed that “the technologies of the 21st century are still largely powered by the dirty coal power of the past, with over half of the companies rated herein relying on coal for between 50 percent and 80 percent of their energy needs.” Certain technologies, such as cloud computing, actually create increased amounts of pollution behind the scenes, according to the Forbes article.

Today’s companies are looking for any competitive advantage that will help them to outshine the competition in today’s economy. Technological innovations are an important part of that equation, but if you really want to pull ahead, consider challenging the status quo by becoming more environmentally friendly.

Sourcing your company with green energy, the focus of the Forbes Magazine article, is just one of many ways to make your business more eco-friendly. Some environmental measures may take effort or cost money or involve employee training, but many experts agree that investing in a more environmentally friendly business will save you money and give you a competitive advantage in the long run.

Challenging the Status Quo through Environmental Sustainability

1. Invest in energy efficiency.

You can invest in energy efficiency in a variety of ways. Light rooms with lights connected to a sensor which will only come on when a person enters the room. Invest in energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs.

2. Invest in green energy.

Some utility companies will allow you to pay a little extra to source your company with renewable energy and other energy technologies that are cleaner than the old coal power plants which can cause a great deal of pollution. Many environmentally aware consumers are more likely to give their business to companies that employ such conservation measures.

3. Reduce waste.

Challenging the status quo when it comes to waste just means getting your employees on board  with simple conservation measures. For example, encourage your employees to turn off their office lights and their computers before they leave their desks for the day. Install energy-efficient hand dryers in the restroom to reduce paper waste.

4. Promote recycling.

If you aren’t ready to take your business paperless, consider starting a company recycling initiative that will send less waste to the landfills. In many areas, you can actually get paid for recycling a variety of materials, including old computers, cell phones, and ink cartridges.

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Challenging the Status Quo with Green Energy

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