Greening your business: tips from an expert

    By Ann Calder, Retail Solutions Specialist, SAS Canada

    TORONTO, May 7 /CNW/ - With increased customer awareness and consumer
demand about the virtues of going "green," getting your company to become more
environmentally friendly is a winning strategy. But sustainable business
practices are relatively new to many Canadian companies. The most common
question I get is: "Where do I start?"
    The following are some tips on how and where a company can start on the
path towards a greener business. A more detailed list of ideas and tips -
aimed at retail companies but applicable to any business - can be found at

    Your Vision

    -   Understand that sustainability must ultimately link to business
    -   You can't manage what you can't measure. Determine your current
        carbon footprint using standard reporting measures such as the Global
        Reporting Initiative (
    -   Set some targets. This could be anything from reducing your energy
        consumption by 10% to getting more employees to take public transit
        to work.
    -   Once the vision is in place you will need a green champion who can
        work across the whole organization with executive support.
    -   Think outside the box. As the following list shows, there are
        literally dozens of ways to reduce a company's environmental

    Your Operations

    Reduce unnecessary lighting:

    -   Bring in a lighting consultant to review your lighting layout for
        appropriate light levels, quality, colour rendering, colour
        uniformity and energy efficiency.
    -   If your building gets plenty of natural light, experiment with
        turning off lights near windows.
    -   Repaint interiors in white or a light colour to increase reflection.
    -   Install motion detectors in low-traffic areas like washrooms,
        kitchens, storage facilities and meeting rooms that automatically
        turn off lights.
    -   Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
    -   Replace fluorescent tube lighting with energy-efficient T8 tubes,
        which are 50% more efficient than older models.

    Optimize heating and cooling:

    -   Ensure your building is properly sealed including weather stripping
        and caulking doors and windows, and ensuring that the building is
        properly insulated.
    -   Install electronic programmable thermostats, which automatically
        adjust the building's temperature.
    -   During winter, heat your building to a maximum of 21 degrees C
        (70 degrees F) when occupied, 16 degrees C (61 degrees F) when
    -   Cool your building in summer to no lower than 24 degrees C
        (75 degrees F) when occupied, and avoid using the air conditioner
        overnight when unoccupied.

    Standard procedures and protocols:

    -   Turn off all exterior, safety, and security lights upon arrival;
        leave on only necessary lights after hours.
    -   Keep energy use to a minimum (lighting, heat, AC) for early or late
        skeleton crews.
    -   Set thermostats to reach optimal temperatures 30-60 minutes after
        employees arrive; set back temperature an hour before closing.
    -   Turn off lights near windows and doors during daytime, and in
        unoccupied areas.
    -   Open your building, if possible, on cool summer nights.
    -   Adjust thermostats for weekend closings.

    Your Merchandise

    Recycling programs:

    -   Partner with local and national environmental agencies or salvage
        companies to find creative solutions to increase recycling options.
    -   Sleep Country diverts thousands of mattresses from landfill each year
        by paying a Toronto-based recycling depot to break down beds and
        recycle the components.
    -   Staples/Business Depot takes back used ink and toner cartridges and
        recycles them through a patented cleaning and remanufacturing

    Buying locally:

    -   Educate yourself on when buying locally makes the most business and
        environmental sense. While buying locally certainly helps the local
        economy it is not always the most viable option from an environmental
    -   Buying locally tends to work best for items like fresh produce.
        Organizations like Greening Greater Toronto
        ( can provide resources for finding
        local suppliers that fit a retailer's product mix.

    Your Advertising and Marketing

    Reduce printed material:

    -   Reduce the use of printed flyers and catalogues by defining target
        markets and striving for efficiency in delivering advertising
        materials to targeted audiences.

    Optimize outbound communications:

    -   Retailers can increase marketing return on investment by determining
        the best offers for individual customers, and reduce the amount of
        print advertising through more targeted and specific offers.

    Promotion price and optimization:

    -   Forecasting software enables retailers to maximize revenue for a
        time-specific event as well as model alternative promotional
        scenarios and assesses their impact on revenue and profitability.

    Your People

    Low-carbon transportation:

    -   Encourage staff to use public transit or carpool by offering
        subsidies or other financial incentives.

    Reduce, reuse, recycle:

    -   Cut printing and paper costs by setting all internal printers to
        default to double-sided printing.
    -   Eliminate disposable cups in the lunchroom in favour of personalized
        mugs and glassware.

    Ann Calder is a Retail Solutions Specialist with SAS Canada, the leader
in business analytics. For more information on how to reduce your company's
environmental footprint please contact Ann. Her full tip sheet, with many more
tips and ideas, is available at

    About SAS

    SAS is the leader in business analytics
( software and services, and the largest
independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative
solutions delivered within an integrated framework, SAS helps customers at
more than 45,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better
decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world
The Power to Know(R)
    The Canadian subsidiary of SAS has been in operation for 21 years.
Headquartered in Toronto, SAS employs 240 people across the country at its
Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City and Montréal offices.

    SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are
registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other
countries. (R) indicates USA registration. Other brand and product names are
trademarks of their respective companies. Copyright (C) 2009 SAS Institute
Inc. All rights reserved.

For further information:

For further information: Editorial Contact: Leslie McNab, SAS Canada,, (416) 307-4645, Visit the SAS Press Center; Editorial Contact: Chris Conrath, Environics
Communications,, (416) 969-2716

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