7 Ways Using Custom Software Can Reduce Your Business’ Carbon Footprint
It is important to consider your business’ impact on the environment. Our planet is facing grave consequences if we do not all do our best to improve the situation. One of the easiest ways to improve your carbon footprint is to implement custom software to help with your business operations. This may seem like an expenditure you’re not ready for, but the secret is, you’ll fall behind your competitors if you do not adopt new technology as soon as possible.
Companies of all sizes can benefit from all types of software, though custom software is by far the way to go. Not only does software improve your bottom line; it can have wide-reaching positive impacts on the environment as well. Luckily, majority of the changes a business can make to reduce damage down to the environment will actually save you money-so there is no excuse for not adopting this kind of new technology!
1. Easily and Accurately Create Reports from Metrics Collected
Ultimately, one of the main ways to understand what kind of an impact your company is having on the environment is to gather big data, organize and analyze it. This was once a very tedious strategy to undertake, however with the mass introduction of custom software into the markets, we are seeing a dramatic change in how companies are operating. It was never acceptable not to keep records pertaining to your business, although nowadays it is more than expected that you have easy, quick access to this same type of information. No more file cabinets (big waste of money), endless journal records of transactions, pointless printing fees, the electricity- most of all, your bottom line improves- no time wasted on sifting through paper copies of data to find relevant information.
At the click of a button, with the use of an internal search system, you and your employees can immediately pull out the data that is really needed.
Not only does this involve going paperless, it minimizes your need to use medieval methods to provide information to investors and customers. Having instant access to all sorts of relevant data allows your business to operate more smoothly in a manner that minimizes your negative impact on the environment. After all, if there is an anomaly, or some sort of issue occurring somewhere, it will be much easier to identify and fix before anything gets out of hand.
This can help you keep track of your chemical usage, air emissions, waste, recycling output as well as help manage your workforce in the best manner possible to achieve a minimized carbon footprint.
2. Track Inventory, Order Just-in-Time
Custom Software can be designed to track orders, sales and damaged products, allowing you to maintain order with ease. Organizing the supply chain system has many advantages for your company- some of which you may not even realize exist until you’ve implemented a new strategy. It can be easy to overlook mismatched numbers when it comes to missing stock counts. Many companies fail to even count how much waste they produce- another thing custom software can help out with. By tracking your inventory, you can pull all sorts of relevant data from the system to help you better decide when to place a new order. It can also aid in seeing just how much waste your company actually puts out.
By analyzing this data, your employees can make more informed decisions as to how much to order and when to do so. This allows for minimal waste, in turn lessening your impact on the environment.
Think of food-based industries: If your restaurant is wasting liters and liters of milk or cream each week, it could help to see how this data fluctuates. By understanding how your inventory is affected in detail, you are able to then make many changes that can improve your bottom line, as well as your environmental footprint. It’s a win-win; not to mention your customers are likely to be happier and feel better purchasing from your company.
3. Plan the Most Efficient Travel Routes
Custom Software has endless applications; one of the most useful being the ability to be able to plan trips and schedules with more accurate attention to detail. Previously used routes can be stored and allow your employees to copy or redesign the plan based off the collected data. By planning the most efficient routes, and keeping track of all trips or schedules, this type of software feature can help you minimize your carbon footprint, as well as save money on travel costs.
4. Keep a Database of Supplier Information – Internal Search
So you keep track of your inventory- but what about your suppliers? Are you taking care to do the research into your suppliers to make sure you’re getting your goods from a reliable source? Companies who have failed to look into their suppliers can find they’ve been bitten by their lack of attention to detail. A good example of this, is when it was found out that Nestle’s supply chain involved plenty of child labor– an issue that has been fought against on a global scale for many decades.
Aside from morality reasons, imagine the negative impact on your PR such a discovery could have. Knowing where your supplies are coming from is of utmost importance in today’s market, seeing as millennials are taking over, and they tend to be more socially conscious. The market is more likely to reward you for announcing that you’ve done your research, and you care on a corporate level about the planet, than if you ignore this aspect until the day it comes to light. Even a company the size of Nestle faces an uphill battle post-media report of slave labor running rampant in their supply-chain system, so imagine what it could do to your business.
Don’t get caught up in an environmental scandal- your business just might not make it out alive and well.
For example, the Sands Las Vegas Corporation reportedly works with Hewlett Packard and General Electric in large part because of their sustainability commitments. Even smaller companies, such as the mattress supplier Zenhaven, are now investing in natural and eco-friendly materials. Not only is this good for the environment, but it’s good for business: Consumers increasingly expect transparency from brands about how their products are sourced- and are more willing to invest in ethical supply chains.
Custom Software can maintain a large database of supplier information, allowing for your employees to be fully-informed within seconds of logging in and conducting an internal search. Suppliers that are flagged can be avoided without redundant research, and those looked into can be marked as good to go.
5. Go Paperless and Save Money
Collectively, paper accounts for around 35 percent of businesses’ waste streams (not to mention all the trees required to produce paper in the first place).
Effectively, by eliminating paper trails and moving into using digital records you will greatly reduce your company’s negative impact on the planet, all the while actually reducing costs for your business.
Here are some ways custom software can have a positive effect:
- Instead of printing out and storing important files in physical folders or storage boxes, you will be able to back them up digitally on an external drive.
- Encourages employees to utilize electronic signatures so even documents that need to be signed don’t need to be printed.
- Switches your business to electronic invoicing and payment systems.
- Keeps your mailing lists up to date so you’re not needlessly sending out mail that will never be seen by the person it was meant to reach.
- Implement automated workflow for document/case authoring, collaboration and verification
Some facts about going paperless:
According to Entrepreneur, the average office worker uses about 10 000 sheets of paper a year, and for every 30 sheets printed, approximately 39% are disposed of shortly after.
An average usable tree produces about 8500 sheets of paper– which means that for every employee, you use at least one tree per year.
Recall that the entire process of printing paper involves emissions. Not to mention all the machines and power your firm uses to be able to maintain this method of document sharing.
According to Tech Wire Asia‘s research:
Microsoft has made the switch, and by doing so they have realized approximately $7.5 billion USD in savings per year.
Domain has reduced contract handling time by 90% and witnessed labor and cost savings of up to $300,000 AUD per year.
EzyAccounts has reduced the time to finalize each franchise agreement by up to four hours.
Salesforce, after switching to using eSignatures, has witnessed a 30 percent year-on-year growth rate without adding to sales operations staff numbers.
5. Eliminate Data and Communication Silos
Custom case management software can make a huge difference for internal communication and decision-making processes. By collecting and organizing all sorts of company data, software can help you extrapolate the most valuable of tidbits at your convenience. All sorts of permissions can be given to individual users or be partitioned amongst a collection of user groups. This means that important data can be made accessible from anywhere, and only be accessible for those who have permission to view the sensitive information.
Employees who have this type of information at their fingertips are much more productive- this software helps prevent miscommunications from spiraling out of control.
In essence, custom software will allow your company to communicate internally, as well as externally, in an organized, efficient manner.
Your company will be much less likely to make mistakes leading to environmental detriment or even just a jump in the size of your carbon footprint. Good methods of communication lessen the negative impact data silos can ultimately have on the environment.
6. Organize Audits, Inspections & Non-Compliance Events
Using software to organize all documents and reports pertaining to your environmental impact helps make better plans for the future. It is prudent to stay on top of new technology no matter what industry you’re in, because the future generations essentially expect your business to operate with a certain level of technological prowess. Innovative concepts go viral, but so do terrible stories about companies dumping waste or overlooking emissions laws- see the Volkswagen scandal, for example. They were caught committing fraudulent activities, misleading millions of consumers to believe their vehicles were meeting emissions standards. Assuming you’re not trying to trick everyone, your company would definitely benefit from software that helps input this type of data for tracking and progress reports. Your software can collect this data and down the road, you will have an easier time presenting the information in an organized, logical manner. You will be able to see progress in this area of your business, as well as many others. This allows you to properly determine if you’re doing all you can to improve your carbon footprint; even having the potential to show you reports utilizing various metrics and measurements.
Spread the word- our climate is hurting. We need to see change happen now, we don’t have much time left. We can all do our part, especially as businesses- that’s what it takes to change the big picture.