3 Eco-Friendly Initiatives with High Return on Investment for Industry

Doing good for the environment can be good for business. Instead of investing in carbon offsets, industries in Canada should take the initiative to pursue eco-friendly programs in-house. These strategies can carry a high return on investment for industrial businesses looking to be greener.

1. Recycling

In 2007, General Motors implemented strategy to cut down on the amount of scrap materials they sent to landfills. With a focus on using materials more efficiently and saving what could be recycled, the company not only cut down on waste, but gained a lucrative $1 billion/year side business selling scrap metal.

In the year 2014, Canada sent over 9 million tonnes of waste to recycling or organic processing facilities instead of landfills. Industrial businesses who join in can see unexpected returns on their investment.

2. Going Paperless

Moving documentation and records into a digital format can save time, space and money.

  • Digital records are easier to retrieve and navigate than filing cabinets and banker boxes, giving the business’s administrative team a boost in productivity.
  • The space gained by removing physical storage can be put to more productive use. Board rooms, closets, and offices suddenly become open for new possibilities.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency has found that a paperless office saves approximately $80 per employee per year. For an organization with 400 employees, that adds up to over $32,000 a year.

3. LED Retrofits

Lighting is important in an industrial setting, as inadequate lighting can negatively impact both safety and productivity. However, it can be a significant operating cost for large industrial facilities. Replacing burnt-out lightbulbs is also a problem, since it can require stopping work to allow maintenance to come in and replace the bulb.

An energy-saving industrial LED retrofit is an investment that pays off in numerous ways. LED lights are more durable and longer-lasting (15,000-25,000 hours per bulb) than halogen lights. They also consume far less energy. Although it can be costly to implement a plant-wide energy saving industrial LED retrofit, the switch significantly reduces the overhead associated with lighting the facility.