4 Sustainable Tools for a Greener Online Business

May 9, 2016

11:09 am

When did “going green” become a thing for online businesses? You may not be polluting the earth as much as those in the manufacturing and agriculture industries, but businesses are not devoid of a carbon footprint. Since 2010, companies have been growing their awareness and adopting more ethical operational practices to preserve the environment. Apart from a healthier planet, there are several benefits of going green as a business.

For one, going green means more economical choices for energy and resource consumption. This includes lower costs of electricity, equipment, and supplies. A green workplace that utilizes environment-friendly cleaning products and organic food choices also lead to healthier employees – as evidenced by a 20 percent decrease in sick days reported. Furthermore, having a green agenda for your business is perfect for your brand’s image.

However, what does it mean for an online business to go green and how can it be achieved? Here are four great tools that can make this happen:

Go with Green Dedicated Services

Web hosting is a necessity for online businesses. However, did you know that web servers (including those being used by giants like Google) are responsible for 2 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions? This means merely owning a site and having it hosted by a non-green server is contributing to a bigger carbon footprint.

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If your company runs with a vast amount of online data, you could opt for green dedicated servers. Although green servers run on renewable energy and are “carbon neutral”, you can still receive the same level of performance as other hosts. And since these companies rely on their power, they are also protected from outages affecting their area.

Go Paperless with Email Marketing

Not only does sending paper mail annoy most customers, but it also contributes to bigger costs and more trees cut. On average, a US office worker uses around 10,000 sheets of paper in a year – that’s an unnecessary expense for an online business that operates mostly digitally.

This is why going green warrants having an email marketing strategy. With an effective email marketing platform, you can quickly build emails and manage your campaigns without burning through countless sheets of paper. Your audience will also thank you for sending information to their digital inbox as opposed to using physical junk.

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For online businesses, email marketing has been one of the foundations of a winning inbound marketing strategy. 89 percent of digital marketers still use email lists as their primary lead generation channel. When done the right way, email marketing helps maintain brand awareness, boost lead nurturing, and increase brand authority. You can opt for an all-in-one tool to manage and optimize your email marketing campaigns.

Run Operations Using Project Management Tools

Instead of having a physical workplace and spending more on bills and space, you can use a project management tool like Asana to have your employees work remotely. In addition to electricity and office space, you will also encourage your team to save money on transportation. Don’t forget that this is a top carbon emission contributor worldwide – amounting to almost 30 percent in the US in 2013.

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A tool like Asana will help you monitor a project’s status down to the smallest tasks. Its features are built around promoting collaboration and making sure everyone knows exactly what he or she should be doing. You can also set deadlines, track the progress of tasks, manage teams, and integrate third-party apps such as Dropbox, Github, and Google Chrome.

Meet Up Via Webinar

Physical meetings may be necessary from time to time. However, they can be very time-consuming and wasteful most of the time. This includes electricity, transportation, free snacks, and the time wasted waiting for everyone to show up.

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As an alternative, you can have your meetings online via video conferencing and webinar hosting. A comprehensive webinar tool can help you with building and broadcasting webinars for your team and customers alike. In addition to the savings of having a work-from-home setup, webinars can also save precious time.

Apart from marketing, remember that you can also use webinars to facilitate remote training. Since they are completely reusable, the people involved with the webinar no longer have to participate each time. Viewing a webinar also allows team members to use it as a reference at any time. All they have to do is to play the particular section of the webinar they need.

Going green is a win-win for both businesses and the planet. It is a corporate responsibility that can be fulfilled with the right tools at your disposal. Just remember that there may come a time when going green is no longer optional – it’s important for us to do our part today to run successful and sustainable businesses.

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Christopher Jan Benitez is a professional content marketer and writer. He has helped small businesses achieve their goals by implementing a robust content strategy that emphasizes their unique selling points and promoting created content using effective online channels and methods, in particular, social media marketing and search engine optimization techniques.

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