Running a sustainable enterprise in 2021 is a priority for a variety of reasons. First, sustainable and frugal often act as synonyms. After all, spending fewer resources to get the same job done will benefit your budget, as well as your eco-friendly image. The second reason for going green is your PR and being able to label your brand as green.
Lastly, from both an ethical and strategic standpoint, you need to acknowledge that our planet is on the brink of an ecological disaster. This means that it won’t be long until government regulations force your business (and your entire industry) to go greener. Why not do this ahead of time and provide yourself with a sizable competitive edge?
One of the best ways to achieve this is by adopting new tech trends. Some of them are meant to make your business model more efficient. Others can outright reduce your enterprise’s carbon footprint. Let’s check some of the most relevant green tech trends to adopt in 2021.
Remote Work is Reducing Carbon Footprint
In the era of COVID-19, many people were forced to work from home for the first time. Still, even before this unfortunate series of events, there was a large and expanding population of telecommuters out there. Now that they’ve seen all the benefits of the business model, the chances are that many entrepreneurs won’t fully return to the old ways, even after the pandemic is over.
Employees who telecommute don’t have to be paid commute reimbursement. This also allows them for a larger potential talent pool, seeing how reasonable commuting distance is no longer a factor when hiring. From an environmental standpoint, this makes a huge difference since private transport is one of the world’s biggest sources of greenhouse gasses. Since most business interactions in the digital world are paperless, this is another item in favor of this business model.
Accounts Payable Automation Helps Create a Paperless Business World
Old-school invoices heavily depend on the use of paper. However, with the help of processes like accounts payable automation, it’s a lot easier to make a paperless business world. An average company may send hundreds and thousands of invoices annually, which significantly contributes to the enterprise’s carbon footprint. By digitizing and switching to eco-friendly, paperless alternatives, going green becomes a lot easier.
Fortunately, this is far from being the only benefit of going for AP Automation. This high-tech accounting process also helps elevate your accounting’s reliability to a whole new level and ensures that your enterprise always makes its payments on time. In a modern enterprise, an accountant’s involvement in business processes goes past their traditional role. Many of them hold tops spots in small and medium enterprises, while some are getting actively involved in digital marketing. Keeping an eye on everything with the help of accounts payable automation will help increase their efficiency.
Cloud Storage and Green Hosting
Another way to ensure sustainable development in the business world is to turn towards cloud storage. For starters, it reduces the cost of doing business. Compared to the alternative, storing information on these servers is a lot greener in nature than the alternative. Sophisticated as they are, additional HDD and SSD drives are costly (for the user) and take resources to produce (from the manufacturing standpoint). When compared to servers that the cloud storage runs on, this option is quite power-hungry. If the server in question is also using green hosting options, this solution becomes even more environmentally-friendly.
Employee Training and Development
The concept of employee training and development has drastically evolved over the course of the last decade. Online courses and webinars have introduced a revolution in the world of e-learning. These concepts have evolved alongside tech trends that made them possible, efficient, and accessible. Some are even using webinars to drive their sales or get feedback on their products/services. The key thing is that this form of learning doesn’t require printed materials and a commute to the conventional classroom. Materials like e-books, whitepapers, case studies, presentations, and instructional videos are eco-friendly.
The concept of digital marketing is superior to its traditional counterpart in two significant aspects. First, it’s measurable in a way that old-school marketing never was. John Wannamaker, one of the pioneers of modern marketing, once said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” With present-day analytics, this is no longer the case.
Another advantage of digital marketing is the fact that it has a significantly lower use of paper. Email marketing and social media marketing are paperless. The same goes for blog posts. What do you think happens to billboard posts once they get worn out and have to be replaced? Promotional materials of all kinds (eventually) create waste, and not all of them are recyclable. Simply put, digital marketing is both more efficient and eco-friendlier.
More Efficient Local Collaboration
When talking about the benefits of hyper-connectivity, the majority of people focus on the bigger picture. What about being able to connect to other local businesses effortlessly? With the help of local SEO and business databases like Google My Enterprise, it is a lot easier to find local partners. In the case of local suppliers, the carbon footprint of all interactions is drastically reduced since goods and raw materials need to be transported over shorter distances. This concept also strengthens local economies, which is a significant benefit on its own.
The Breakthrough of VR
VR has all but revolutionized many industries, and one of the most prominent examples is real estate.Instead of traveling long distances to visit a home that they are interested in, people can just put on a headset and have a virtual tour of the place. This lowers the carbon footprint produced by the traffic within the real estate industry.
In terms of training and education (something we’ve already discussed), VR can provide trainees to experience simulations without any use of resources. For instance, pilots can fly without spending tremendous quantities of fuel. Furthermore, heavy construction machinery operators can practice without the risk of damaging any materials that they’re handling in the simulation. Overall, as VR technology further expands, we can expect these benefits to grow even further.
By adopting new technological trends, companies are gaining a significant competitive edge. However, they’re also making their contribution to the good fight. All of the above-listed trends have more to offer than being just eco-friendly. This creates that unique win-win scenario where an entrepreneur gets to do the right thing and gets rewarded for it. Still, this is a never-ending process. There are always new ways to innovate and make your business more sustainable. Therefore, you should always be on the lookout.