BPO Goes Green: Revolutionizing Environmental Sustainability

Service providers face increasing demand, accelerating their operations and environmental impact. To combat this, BPOs prioritize sustainability, adopting eco-tech to meet client needs responsibly. Collaborate with Unity Communications for green, cost-effective solutions.
BPO on Environmental Sustainability

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Third-party support is central to every organization’s cost-effective and accelerated development. As the demand for scalable services increases, the need for more resources also grows. Business process outsourcing (BPO) firms keep up by employing solutions and methods that, if left unsupervised, can harm the environment.

Providers thus follow environmentally friendly practices to consistently deliver high-quality services. They also implement various green projects to minimize the negative environmental impact of their daily operations.

Let us detail the BPO strategies for ensuring environmental sustainability below.

Understanding BPO’s Impacts on the Environment

The increasing need to reduce costs, boost productivity, and enhance service quality urges businesses to hire service providers. Based on the latest statistics from Grand View Research, the BPO sector earned $280.64 billion in revenue in 2023. The research firm expects the market to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.4% by 2030.

BPO companies require considerable artificial and natural resources to meet the continuously rising demand. However, the increased resource usage results in the following negative environmental impacts:

  • Carbon emissions. Third-party operations require high energy to run computers, servers, and facilities. This power often comes from nonrenewable sources, such as coal and natural gas. Greenhouse gas emissions contribute to climate change.
  • Waste generation. Traditional providers generate a substantial amount of waste, including paper sheets, electronic parts, and packaging materials. The improper disposal of garbage leads to land and water pollution.
  • Water consumption. BPO organizations consume more water to cool computer systems, maintain critical office equipment, and accommodate workers’ needs. A service provider might strain local water resources if it operates in regions with water scarcity and ignores its environmental responsibilities.
  • Traffic congestion and air pollution. Providers employ many professionals who commute to their offices. This activity increases traffic congestion and air pollution as employees use private vehicles or public transport to reach their workplaces.
  • Carbon footprint. Offshore outsourcing services involving manufacturing and e-commerce support have a higher carbon footprint due to air travel and transportation of goods. Transferring equipment, documents, and employees across borders may generate more emissions.

Green Initiatives in the BPO Industry

What is BPO doing to mitigate these risks? Providers constantly explore ways to achieve environmental sustainability. Here are some of the industry’s green initiatives and working practices. 

Adopting Eco-friendly Technologies to Minimize Energy Consumption

Environmentally friendly technologies assist service vendors in reducing energy consumption. They use green solutions to optimize power usage and reduce their carbon footprint. These tools lessen the need for physical equipment and minimize electronic waste.

The platforms below aim to address pressing environmental issues such as climate change, pollution, and resource depletion.

  • Renewable energy technologies (e.g., solar panels)
  • Energy-efficient technologies (e.g., smart grid platforms)
  • Green building technologies (e.g., rainwater harvesting systems)
  • Waste management technologies (e.g., waste-to-energy solutions)
  • Water conservation technologies (e.g., portable hydropower generators)
  • Smart cooling technologies (e.g., automated airflow and temperature control tools)
  • Green networking technologies (e.g., low-power switches and routers)
  • Omnichannel technologies (e.g., help desk systems)
  • Cloud computing technologies (e.g., contact center as a service (CCaaS))
  • Energy management technologies (e.g., energy consumption trackers)
  • Automation technologies (e.g., motion and power adjustment sensors)

Working Remotely to Reduce Carbon Emissions

Third-party providers offer remote working arrangements to decrease carbon emissions. This approach allows employees to accomplish their tasks more efficiently and comfortably. Recent data shows that 62% of workers experience increased productivity when performing their roles remotely.

BPO telework also brings the following environmental sustainability advantages:

  • Decreased daily commute and vehicle exhaust
  • Reduced traffic congestion
  • Lesser fuel and office power consumption
  • Optimized resource allocation
  • Greener lifestyles

Retrofitting Facilities to Meet Green Building Standards

Besides using eco-friendly technologies, BPO firms retrofit their facilities to comply with green building standards. They incorporate energy-efficient lighting devices, sustainable construction materials, and smart heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems to establish sound work environments.

Some service providers use renewable energy sources to power their operations. This measure includes installing solar panels or purchasing renewable energy credits. Such techniques help offset carbon footprints and promote a greener energy mix.

Implementing the Three R’s of Waste Management 

Service providers exercise the golden rule of reduce, reuse, and recycle (3R) to properly manage waste. As part of their social responsibility, vendors apply the 3R method to help mitigate pollution and conserve resources. Here is how they do it:

  • Prioritize reducing waste generation at the source. Third-party vendors execute digitization strategies to decrease paper usage and save on printing costs. This action prevents unnecessary waste accumulation.
  • Emphasize reusing materials whenever possible. BPO firms encourage employees to find alternative uses for items still in good shape. For example, reusing scratch paper for note-taking or printing drafts. Reusing items lowers expenses on office supplies and reduces waste generation.
  • Participate in and implement recycling programs. Providers have dedicated processes and materials to segregate different types of waste. They send reclaimable materials, such as paper and plastic, to specialized recycling facilities. This measure helps divert waste from landfills.

Raising Environmental Sustainability Awareness Among Employees

BPO training programs also promote environmental sustainability. Providers educate their workforce on green policies and encourage them to adopt energy-saving techniques. They also incentivize eco-friendly practices to further strengthen a culture of environmental consciousness.

Getting Certified to Show Environmental Commitment 

BPO organizations also show their commitment to environmental sustainability through certifications. For instance, they apply for an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 certificate to prove that their systems meet ecological management requirements. 

Environmental Sustainability Benefits for BPO Firms and Clients

Establishing sustainable development strategies and programs brings positive outcomes to BPO providers and their clients. In addition to keeping the environment clean and safe, all parties involved experience the following benefits:

  • Lower operating expenses. Energy-efficient technologies and practices help providers reduce utility bills. They can, in turn, provide their clients with affordable rates.
  • Improved brand image. According to Salesforce’s latest report, over three-quarters of customers consider a company’s eco-friendly practices when purchasing. Hence, providers and clients working together to achieve environmental sustainability have a high chance of gaining consumers’ trust. 
  • Long-term cost stability. Investing in renewable energy sources and energy-efficient solutions minimizes reliance on volatile energy markets and fossil fuels. Thus, service vendors and enterprises protect themselves from price fluctuations. This sustainable business model also gives them a stable energy supply.
  • Better talent attraction and retention. New Swedish Institute for Opinion Surveys (SIFO) data shows that 56% of employees value their employers’ environmental and sustainability initiatives. Hence, providers and partners committed to environmental stewardship are more likely to attract and retain top talent.
  • Enhanced productivity. Implementing energy-saving technologies lets BPO companies and their clients optimize workflows and lessen downtime due to power outages. Moreover, paperless programs help streamline document management, accelerate data sharing, and boost collaboration.

The Bottom Line

Service providers use many resources to speed up their daily operations. They must expand their solutions due to the growing demand for faster and more effective support. If left uncontrolled, their activities contribute to various environmental issues, such as the ones discussed above.

To address these concerns, BPO companies execute initiatives focusing on environmental sustainability. They adopt eco-friendly technologies and techniques to meet client requirements while taking care of the environment. These measures deliver critical advantages for all parties involved in the outsourcing deal. 

Let’s connect if you want to collaborate with a provider that employs sustainable practices. Unity Communications implements green projects while delivering cost-effective services for your business.

Picture of Joyce Ann Danieles
Joyce Ann Danieles is an SEO content writer from Manila, Philippines. She’s comfortable writing outsourcing-focused articles, helping you clarify the confusing concepts surrounding the BPO industry. With her experience in news writing and copywriting, she’s always ready to feed your brain with random facts and creative insights.   Outside work, Joyce explores the world of literature. She tries to write fiction she hopes to share with everyone someday.
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Joyce Ann Danieles

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