Top three financial reasons (and a climate change one) why your company needs an eco-calculator

4 09 2008

A dispatch.

You cannot stop a negative habit without knowing how much and how often you are doing it. Enter the financial “carrot”: the online environmental calculator with a finance edge.

True, public demand, employee engagement, shareholder interest and newly defined sustainability goals are the “pressure points” for companies to cut their consumption habits and curb carbon emissions.

But today, organizations like Xerox, RecycleBank and Creative Citizen are offering more than just a climate change reason to decrease consumption: money. And, they are doing it by showing your employees the financial figures generated in conjunction with their online, environmental calculators.

So, who is going to make it easier for your employees to stop polluting and start saving? Disclaimer: Note that while not all these organizations cater to companies (most cater to individuals), they have the potential to take the next step and in the meantime, can be deployed on a per employee basis.

1. Creative Citizen wants to make your wallet fatter and your company greener
For those who wouldn’t ever use a carbon calculator in the course of their company’s operational life, enter Creative Citizen. The site hosts content showing users how to accomplish certain tasks or projects geared to environmental solutions and sometimes, financial savings. In all, the site focuses on five metrics for savings: Water, money, emissions, electricity, and waste (i.e. trash).

As Chris Morrison points out on Venture Beat:

“On Creative Citizen, changing your light bulbs gets quantified: $111 in savings for each bulb over its lifetime, and 141 kilowatt-hours of electricity. That’s a lot more concrete than simply shaving some CO2 emissions, and may attract users who wouldn’t otherwise be interested.”

2. RecycleBank couldn’t motivate your office to cut its landfill contribution without measuring it first
As Amie Vaccaro points out in Just Means, Recycle Bank rewards people for recycling with hundreds of dollars in reward value annually, using pounds of recyclables recycled per week as the key motivating metric.

This company caters primarily to households and communities, but think about the corporate savings: if RecycleBank families recycle on average 80 lbs per month makes $20 in reward value per month, then even a small company with 20 employees who recycles 200 lbs per month earns $50 just for throwing out – without sorting – its recyclables.

3. Xerox wants you to stop your employees from using personal printers
OK, we realize that just because America’s largest print and copy company introduced a Sustainability Calculator does not make buying a spanking new Xerox multifunction device to continue to print paper the right thing to do (um, check out the five comments on Xerox cynicism in the original New York Times‘ post**) but it sure does motivate employees to cut their personal printing habits by putting their greenhouse gas emissions right in front their eyes five days a week – on their personal monitor.

According to Patricia Calkins, vice president of environment, health and safety at Xerox, the underlying business assumption of the online calculator is that personal printers are energy suckers.

Weekly tip: Don’t forget to cut your company from the mass mailer’s hot list – according to Forest Ethics as spotted on EcoWorldly, the 100 billion pieces of junk mail Americans receive each year are equal to over nine million cars or 51 million tons of greenhouse gases.

Measuring your company junk mail habits just got easier – scroll down to this how to guide by Global Stewards on “Reducing Business Junk Mail”and sign up for Red Dot‘s brilliant anti-junk campaign.

Want to know how much greenhouse gas, trees and wastewater you can save by using affordable, eco-friendly paper products? Find out and keep track of your organization’s environmental savings today by adding Green Printer’s Eco-Calculator widget code to your blog, Facebook or website.

**Big thank you to Nate Burgos of Design Feast for pointing out this article.



One response to “Top three financial reasons (and a climate change one) why your company needs an eco-calculator”

13 10 2008
Jenny (01:23:22) :

This is a nice post about book Gift cards and its a very needed information.
Thanks for such an important post.

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