For businesses, going green is possible — even during tough economic times.
That’s what Clean Air Campaign experts told a small group of local employers Wednesday at the Columbus Public Library during a seminar on eco-friendly options.
“Businesses are being pressured to go green, but how do you do that?” Mike Williams, Clean Air Campaign director of programs and employer services, asked the crowd.
Williams spoke of several solutions, like creating paperless systems, switching fleets to hybrid or electric vehicles, reducing business travel or changing operations to reduce waste. But some of those options, Williams admitted, could take time, money and other resources businesses may not have or be willing to spend.
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Williams and other presenters honed in on an option they said was affordable and fairly easy to implement immediately: greening the employee commute.
Every mile a motorist drives creates 1 pound of pollution, according to the campaign. That tailpipe exhaust, in fact, is responsible for about 67 percent of the smog in Columbus.
With the region poised for growth stemming from Fort Benning and West Point’s Kia plant, residents should expect even more cars on the road.
To decrease traffic, campaign experts suggested several green options for commuters: carpooling, vanpooling, using public transit, biking or walking.
Employers can also take part.
Offering flexible work hours can decrease traffic and pollution at peak commute times. Telework, or working from home, can keep more cars off the road — and increase worker productivity and lower facility costs, said Erin Clark, Clean Air Campaign alternative work schedules specialist.
All green options may not work with every business or employee, a campaign representative said.
“They’re not one size fits all,” Clark said. “Everyone cannot telework. Everyone cannot work a compressed work week.”
She encouraged employers to consult the campaign on what environmentally friendly options would work best for them.
ContactAndrea V. Hernandezat 706-571-8586