Saturday, August 3, 2013

Go "Green" With Your Retail Business

It's important for each and every retail store and business to take the initiative to reduce their impact on the environment. Coca-Cola, for instance, teamed up with the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) in 2007 to help preserve the world's freshwater resources. In addition, the beverage company has worked to reduce their CO2 emissions, water usage, and they plan on using 30% renewable plant-based packaging by 2020. While your retail business might not be able to replicate these same techniques, there are steps you can take to create a “greener” workplace; here's how:


The first step in creating a greener environment for your retail business is to make the switch towards energy-efficient lighting. If your store still relies on dated incandescent bulbs to illuminate the area, you are wasting tons of electricity; thus, leading to a higher electric bill month after month. A better option is to switch these incandescent bulbs out with either compact fluorescent (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, both of which last a considerably longer amount while consuming far less energy.

Heating and Cooling

Another area where most retail businesses could improve upon is heating and cooling. Depending on the size of your business, you could be wasting hundreds of dollars in month by improperly using the heating and air conditioning. This doesn't mean you have to stop using the AC during the hottest times of the summer, but instead consider more energy-efficient options. For instance, you could use a programmable thermostat to turn the heating and air off once your store closes. This alone will yield huge savings in your store's overall energy usage.

In addition to using a programmable thermostat, you should also perform some basic maintenance to your heating and air conditioner. I think we've all been guilty of not changing the air filter after the specified date. This may not seem like a big issue, but it can lead to increased energy usage along with poor air quality. Try to get into the habit of changing your store's air filter at least once a month for optimal efficiency.

Reduce Waste

The key to creating a greener, more energy-efficient business is to reduce your overall waste. Sit down and brainstorm ways to accomplish this with other executives or managers. Perhaps you could use recycled paper and packaging, or maybe you could shift from traditional snail mail to email. These are just a couple options for reducing waste in a retail business.

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