There are many reasons why companies go green, including the need to be socially responsible, to create a more appealing brand image among consumers, and the perpetual hope of attracting new investors. “Going green” seems to be an evergreen topic, but the arrival of Earth Month is an annual call to action. Now that it’s upon us once again, what will you do as a business owner to demonstrate—or reiterate—your commitment to the environment? It’s not as hard as you might think, particularly if you take a good look at the way your company communicates.
Optimizing the way your business communicates, both in-house and remotely, has big potential for environmental impact. It’s likely that your everyday communications can be streamlined and consolidated into a unified system, which ultimately affects something larger than just your business. Plus, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that all this greenery has encouraged some blossoming in other areas of your business as well. Let’s take a look at three simple ways that unified communications (UC) solutions, in particular, can have an effect that reaches well beyond your four walls:
- Take advantage of real-time conferencing tools: Today, employees, consultants and other advisors are spread across the country and sometimes across the globe. A reliable, high-quality Web/audio/video conferencing suite reduces the need for business travel and allows for increased employee telecommuting, allowing workers to be productive from anywhere. The same goes for training sessions, sales conferences, and high-level meetings. Increasing your use of virtual tools is a win for the environment because fewer car trips means reduced carbon emissions. According to the Global Workplace Analytics’ Telework Savings Calculator, if employees who had telework-compatible jobs worked from home even half the time, the nation would reduce greenhouse gases by 54 million tons (the equivalent of taking almost 10 million cars off the road for a year). Reliable conferencing tools could also lead to smaller office facilities down the line, which, for a multitude of reasons, could have an even greater impact on the environment. Your business also wins because productivity increases. Employees will be empowered to work effectively from anywhere, and collaboration increases thanks to the system’s ease of use and excellent quality.
- Offer a variety of communication options: Tools for recording phone calls; instant messaging; and faxing without paper, ink, or fax machines can be bundled into a suite that’s customized to work for any size business. Most workplaces have a longstanding love affair with paper, but you can do your part to end this relationship by offering your employees a variety of communication methods besides that yellow tablet. For instance, Star2Star’s Scalable Cloud Communications Solution includes an option for faxing via the cloud, even enabling documents to be fully searchable. In this case, the environment wins by keeping its trees. According to Reduce.org, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper every year. Your business also wins by gaining employees who do less printing and mailing, are more organized, and have trackable documentation of whatever communications and projects they’re working on.
- Make telephone calls with VoIP technology instead of landlines: Though there’s some debate as to whether or not VoIP is greener than traditional phone technology, there are green options available, including Star2Star’s specially designed VoIP business phone system, which runs on less power than other systems. You’ll also be tossing out the abundance of costly equipment and telephone lines currently snaking their way through your building. The environment wins with a less power-hungry communication option. Your business wins by saving money on energy bills.
Integrating your existing communications tools into a robust yet flexible package has plenty of appeal on all fronts, not just those that are green. Star2Star is dedicated to providing advanced UC features to businesses of all sizes, which lets you focus on your employees and your customers—and gets you back to implementing your next socially responsible project.