The market size of green data centers exceeded $45 billion in 2021, according to a 2024 survey by Global Market Insights. It is predicted to be over $175 billion by 2030, which comes to a compound annual growth rate of over 15%. This points to a growing demand for green data centers and a need to implement eco-friendly practices. This post shares some budget-friendly ones.

Energy efficiency

Your small business can reduce energy consumption by investing in energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting, and programmable thermostats. Data from the US Department of Energy shows that LED bulbs last 25 times longer than luminous lighting. What’s more, they use 75% less energy. You will achieve a lot of savings over time.

You can implement cost-effective solutions to reduce utility bills. One obvious area is cooling. If you live in a region with hot summers, use a fan instead of an AC unit. According to the US Natural Resource Defense Council, an air conditioner uses ten times more energy than a fan, and using a fan can cool a space by up to ten degrees.

Work with sustainable suppliers

Partner with suppliers that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices. As of 2024, 44% of businesses have started mandating partners across their supply chain to fulfil specific sustainability requirements. Source locally-produced goods to reduce transportation emissions and support the local economy.

Choose eco-friendly web hosting

Eco-friendly webhosting providers typically use renewable energy sources for their data centres. By hosting your website with a provider that relies on renewable energy, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and mitigate the environmental impact of your online presence without paying a higher price.

Waste reduction and recycling

59% of businesses were using more sustainable materials in 2023, such as products with lower emissions and recycled materials. You could implement waste reduction measures such as reducing paper usage and recycling programs for paper, plastic, and other materials. Purchase products with minimal packaging and encourage customers to bring reusable bags or containers, if possible.

Check your air ducts

The air ducts in the office could be costing you a pretty penny. If your ducts have holes, are leaking, or are clogged, your HVAC’s efficiency drops by up to 20%. If you suspect you have such a problem, a professional needs to inspect them.

Conserve water

You can conserve water by installing low-flow faucets and toilets and fixing leaks promptly. Educate your team about the importance of conserving water and encourage mindful water usage in the workplace. If you have a kitchen area in the office, get an Energy Star-certified dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand. According to the California Energy Commission, such a dishwasher can save your business $40 in utility costs a year, equivalent to 5,000 gallons of water.

Educate your team

Involve employees in eco-friendly initiatives and provide training on sustainable practices. Encourage employee feedback and suggestions for improving sustainability efforts. You won’t be alone: a 2024 study revealed that 84% of business leaders agree it is possible to attain sustainability targets and achieve economic growth at the same time.

Highlight your eco-friendly initiatives in your marketing materials and branding efforts. Emphasize your commitment to sustainability and appeal to environmentally-conscious consumers. This can improve your business’s reputation and attract customers who prioritize sustainability.

Measure progress

Set measurable goals for limiting environmental impact and track progress regularly. Monitor energy consumption, waste diversion rates, and carbon emissions to evaluate your eco-friendly initiatives’ effectiveness and identify improvement areas.

Final thoughts

55% of businesses started using climate-friendly or energy-efficient technologies, machines, and equipment in 2023. That same year, half of them were training employees on climate action and climate change. As of August 2023, more than 6,000 companies worldwide were certified B Corps, a recognition the global NPO B Lab gives out to organizations for their social impact.

You can join them by integrating eco-friendly practices into your operations. Small businesses can demonstrate environmental responsibility while enhancing their bottom line through cost savings and improved efficiency.