Hi, I’m Rob Holden, Managing Director of the Bay Area Green Fund at Community Bank of the Bay (CBB).
From wildfires to water shortages, sustainability is on everyone’s mind these days. As California’s first certified financial development bank, CBB has focused on sustainability since its inception. More recently, we hear more and more about how businesses want to adopt environmentally sound practices.
By making simple changes to everyday operations, every business can have a positive impact on our environment. Being more sustainable doesn’t mean you have to increase your expenses, you can still be “in the green” while being environmentally conscious. We’ve compiled a few actionable tips here to help you create a plan. And, you’ll be creating a positive brand association by showing your customers that you care about the world we live in too.
Divert Waste from the Landfill
It’s common knowledge that garbage is polluting our environment and plastic products take hundreds of years to decompose. A scan of your office can provide ideas on how your business can reduce the use of single-use plastics. Stock kitchens with reusable cutlery, gift employees reusable water bottles, purchase compostable or plant-based garbage bags and recycle out-of-date electronics.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that there are efficient alternatives to travelling for in-person meetings. Some jobs allow for remote work, and video calls are an excellent alternative to a far-away meeting. Not only are you saving hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in travel expenses, you are reducing your carbon footprint too.
Involve Your Team
One (or more) of your employees may be passionate about the environment, and working towards a more sustainable future in their personal life. Start an incentive program for employees to use public transit, bike, or walk to work, or create a Green Team — a dedicated group who care about the environment and will creatively find eco-friendly opportunities for your business’s everyday operations.
Ensure Your Money Does Good
Banks use the money it safeguards on behalf of their clients to reinvest and lend to large and small businesses. The global banking system funds projects from fracking to pipeline creation (and maintenance), ocean pollution, and much more. Most people don’t realize their money is being used in these ways and their money supports causes that might not be aligned with their values. CBB offers the Bay Area Green Fund — a savings account where your funds are loaned to businesses making a positive difference for the community, the economy and the environment. The Bay Area Green Fund prioritizes waste reduction, clean energy, environmental stewardship, sustainable food systems and green building. Learn more at https://www.bankcbb.com/bagf.
Becoming a more sustainable business isn’t as difficult as it initially sounds. By making conscious decisions with your money, sustainable choices in your business and your bank account, you can help the environment. Implement a few things from the list above today, and join CBB in supporting sustainable and environmentally friendly projects locally.
By Rob Holden, Community Bank of the Bay