As companies tackle climate change, the global water crisis and human rights abuses across the world, we have one question – did they remember to turn off the lights? It might seem routine, but the little changes are still making a big difference for companies, including Ford, which expects to save at least $1.2 million with a management system that will turn off idle computers. Not only will this save money and benefit the bottom line, it will also reduce its carbon emissions by 25,000 metric tons a year.
And simple changes hold true for consumers as well. Washington D.C.’s five cent tax on plastic bags, instated in January 2009, resulted in a huge drop in the number of bags distributed – from a monthly average of 22.5 million in 2009 to only 3 million in January 2010. Shoppers needed the monetary incentive to bring their reusable bags more often. The result was not only less waste, but also over $150,000 in revenue to support cleanup projects in the area.
We’re all pushing the corporate responsibility agenda forward, and there’s no question that simple financial and resource efficiencies won’t solve all of the problems before us. But, as we venture into Earth month, and you continue to tackle the big issues of our time with progressive social and environmental initiatives, don’t overlook the small changes your organization can make. You could implement them today, and they just may add up to something big.