|Simple Ideas for Going Green in Your Business
The electricity crisis of early 2008 affected all of us as individuals as well as businesses. Perhaps the silver lining of that period was that it forced all of us to think about our energy consumption and change our behaviour to become more efficient and thereby greener.
But, a year and a half later, how many of us are still doing the little things like switching off our geysers during the day or turning off our TVs at the mains? When it comes to running a business there are many easy and cost-effective ways to become greener. Going green is also an ongoing process – there are always more ways for your company to make a positive impact on the environment and society around it.
To begin, a few simple pieces of advice:
A simple mantra for all green initiatives is “Reduce, re-use, recycle” in that order. All of the ideas listed below build on one or more of these ideas.
- Start with simple things. It is always easier to convince sceptics to support a simple and low-cost initiative. By definition these quick wins are also easiest to implement and easiest to demonstrate value-add.
- Start by implementing small changes to existing business processes which are aimed at reducing costs. Cost reductions affect the bottom line as much as new initiatives which increase revenues, but (as demonstrated below) are often much simpler to implement.
- Always measure, monitor and report the success of the initiatives you implement. It is impossible to demonstrate value-add without measuring it. Before you implement any measures, think carefully through how you will measure its success. Ongoing monitoring your projects will allow you to continue to demonstrate value-add over time and also slowly introduce more sophisticated initiatives and monitoring requirements. Both the initiatives and the evidence of their impact should be reported on an ongoing basis to your stakeholders – both internally and externally.
The short list above is provided as a catalyst for thinking about green initiatives which make sense in your own business. This principle is always important to consider – all such initiatives must be meaningful and add value in your own business in order to be sustainable.
- Computers. Adjust the power setting on all computer monitors so that they are automatically powered-down after a set period of inactivity, rather than switching to a screensaver. Computer monitors are very power-hungry and such savings can be significant.
- Printing and photo-copying. Set the default print or copy option (if available) to double-sided and consider reducing the size of printed and copied pages to fit two pages per sheet, for example. This can represent a significant cost - saving for all general printing and copying requirements.
- Printer cartridges. Consider refilling printer cartridges rather than replacing empty cartridges with new ones but if this is not possible then at least recycle your used cartridges.
- Recycle. Wherever possible, use recycled products such as paper and packaging. Make recycling bins widely available in the office, and allow for separation of paper, plastic and glass products. Wherever possible, make sure that procurement makes use of recycled products (especially notepads for office use) and ensure that company waste is recycled. Most confidential paper waste can be shredded before being recycled.
- Car-Pooling. Parking is one of the truly contentious issues in office politics. Consider offering direct incentives (such as reserved and/or free parking) for those who are prepared to travel to work in lift clubs. Consider offering mass transport from larger suburban hubs such as shopping centres. Encourage the use of public transport such as the Bus Rapid Transit and Gautrain systems coming online in Gauteng, by providing transport to and from transport hubs and peak travel hours.
To find out more about sustainability and your business, click here.
Katharine Vincent, BA Hons. (Oxford), MREs (University of East Anglia), PhD (University of East Anglia) Email:
, Phone: 072 1964525.
Tracy Cull, B. Soc. Sci. Hons (University of Natal, Durban) Email:
, Phone: 082 820 6608
|Practical Sustainable Development and Reporting Conference
|Dates and Venues:
||28th & 29th October 2009 - JHB - Gallagher Estate
4th & 5th November 2009 - CPT - Belmont Conference Centre
11th & 12th November 2009 - DBN - Makaranga Garden Lodge
||R6450.00 incl VAT
||Contact 0861 11 3094 or
or visit www.econobee.co.za and fill in the online form or get the brochure.
Not sure if this is right for your business, why not give us a call (0861 11 3094) or send us a mail (
) and we will give you all the advice you need to ensure you make the right decision.
|Company Wide BEE Implementation
In many cases one person is appointed to handle all B-BBEE activities in a company. This is often a recipe for failure. To properly implement BEE, and earn the maximum points requires a multi-disciplinary approach. Usually it is the HR person who is allocated the job. HR is affected on the BEE scorecard via employment equity and in some cases skills development. The other elements need as much attention and different skill sets are required. Procurement needs buy-in from the financial director/manager/accountant/creditors clerks. Without this assistance a company will not be able to calculate their procurement spend or get the support of their suppliers.
It is almost unfair to expect an HR expert to be able to extract relevant information from the general ledger. It is actually quite a difficult task for even the accounting staff to extract the correct information, so without their buy-in and assistance the job will not get done properly.
Similarly with the other elements: Skills development may be managed by the skills development facilitator, but training takes places in all levels and divisions of an organisation. Buy-in from all managers is crucial to succeed in gathering all the required data.
Enterprise development takes many forms:
Socio economic development can even have an element of marketing associated to it. Donations to a favourite charity can earn the company extra marketing collateral.
- Discounts to customers – the responsibility of the sales manager
- Investments in ED projects – the responsibility of the CEO or FD
- Professional services rendered – All professionals
- Shorter payment periods to suppliers – the responsibility of the creditors staff and FD etc…
In general to properly implement B-BBEE properly requires many people in the organisation to provide support.
In our experience the companies that have consistently earned the highest scores are those that have included as many people in the process as possible. They have ensured that all members of staff understand why they want to implement B-BBEE, how the whole company can benefit and give them comprehensive training on all aspects of B-BBEE. They ensure their staff understand what is expected of them and recognise that each one will at some time be called upon to provide assistance or information to the person responsible for implementing B-BBEE. That person knows that he will get the support of the rest of the company.
Contrast this with the approach used by some companies that call in a verification agency or consultant and ask them to “make us B-BBEE compliant or give us a certificate” without being prepared to do the ground work themselves. This will surely waste money and will not succeed.
This is why it is so important to prepare a scorecard internally and then improve the score so that you and your customers are completely happy.
|Report Back - Johannesburg BEE Procurement and Enterprise Development Conference
The recent BEE Procurement and Enterprise Development Conference held at Gallagher Estate on 1st October 2009 was an outstanding success. "The conference was extremely informative and enjoyable" one delegate commented, with another commenting "It was a resourceful and engaging conference that consisted of a super-charged, BEE expert and knowleadgeable presenter and intelligent delegates. The communication and reception before the conference was spot on".
All delegates attending enjoyed a highly entertaining but extremely knowlagable presentation which delved into the intricate details of BEE Procurement and Enterprise Development. The delegates were also able to interact and exchange ideas with one another and the EconoBEE team which led to invaluable knowledge being gained but also great practical insights learnt.
The conference’s exceptional content was so compelling, very informative, useful and up to date. Invaluable expertise in the Implementation of Procurement and Enterprise Development was gained. Questions and answers were also energising. Implementation of Procurement was further made easy by the unveiling of BEE Procured, a procurement management system that will take away all the procurement admin pain and problems that most businesses face in the empowerment journey. Best of all BEE Procured was given to all delegates as part of their attendance.
|Is BEE procurement a pain? Sort it out quick and easy - click here.
Not sure how to get a BEE Scorecard, click here to see a demonstration of how best to produce your own BEE scorecard.
08 October 2009
In this issue
- Simple Ideas for Going Green in Your Business
- Company Wide BEE Implementation
- Report Back - Johannesburg BEE Procurement and Enterprise Development Conference
EconoBEE is a BEE consultancy that has developed extremely effective tools to measure and implement Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment. Our services focus on the business side of BEE. Our services include EconoBEE Scorecard, BEE Scorecard Workshops, EME Pack, Document Pack, EconoLog and the 10 Step Process to BEE Compliance.
Our company supports various organisations and drives the BEE Expert Group to help maintain and develop knowledge in the BEE industry.
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it to us and we will include it in our BEE Procured database.
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