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“There’s an app for that” is a phrase that now seems to have found a place firmly in the modern lexicon, normally accompanied by a raised eyebrow and a skeptical look for the true usefulness of the myriad and ever-growing list of apps available to us. However when it comes to small business and sustainability, there really are some great apps at hand that make tracking progress and identifying energy-saving – and therefore cost-saving – opportunities a whole lot easier. If you’re just starting out on the road to making your business more sustainable, this is a really good, straightforward way to begin.
To that end, here are my top four apps for small business sustainability success:
iRecycle (for iPhone and Android): This uber-recycling app means you’ll never need to puzzle over how to recycle anything ever again. A big claim, but as it provides access to more than 1.5 million (million!) ways to recycle, it’s a fair one to make. A location-based app, it gives users access to details for collection points as well as details on other materials collected. With an easy-to-use interface, it’s a great – and free – resource to have on hand.
CK Ranker: This app, championed in Greenbiz.com, pretty much does what it says on the box: it allows small businesses to rank their sustainability efforts against Corporate Knight’s Best 50, Global 100 and S&P 500 sustainable leaders list. What I particularly like about this app is that it’s the best form of competition, providing transparency against 12 key performance indicators (including energy consumption, water usage etc.) allowing companies of any size to understand what works and what doesn’t and then apply the successful strategies to their own companies. It’s also a great way of publicly highlighting your company’s commitment to sustainable practices.
Drip Detective: Dripping taps are annoying at the best of times, but in the midst of a drought, every drop is anguish to my ears. This free app lets you quantify just how much wasted water (and therefore dollars) that dripping tap is costing you. A great motivational tool for quickly fixing drips and also a great way of quantifying what you are saving by doing so.
Eco Charger: A pet peeve of mine is seeing smartphones still plugged in even when fully charged – a dreadful waste of electricity. This app aims to put a stop to that by ringing or vibrating once fully charged, and the phone must be unplugged before the alerts will stop. I’m also a big fan of the powerful simplicity of the app’s online description and raison d’etre: “Leaving chargers plugged when battery is charged is consuming on average 1 W. There are more than 4 billion phones and chargers all over the world.” Enough said.
If your business uses any great sustainability apps that you’d like to tell us about, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below. As ever, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
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