In honor of Earth Day, insureon, an online insurance provider for small businesses, has published guidelines for businesses to reduce their risk exposure while going green.

"Often, what's best for the environment is also best for a business's risk profile," said Ted Devine, insureon's CEO. "Business sustainability and environmental sustainability overlap in a lot of areas."

He also noted that, just as business insurance comes in various forms to guard against the variety of risks businesses face, "greening" options are available for many aspects of a business.

Insureon recommends the following for small businesses looking to go green while reducing insurance costs.

  • Use nontoxic cleaners and soaps. In addition to being more eco-friendly, these products expose employees to fewer toxins, which can keep them healthy and reduce health insurance expenses.
  • Grow with the earth in mind. When moving to a bigger office (or out of the home office for the first time), business owners should look for green buildings and those with new wiring. These use less energy and reduce fire risks, and therefore reduce property insurance costs.
  • Choose energy-efficient light bulbs. LEDs don't release toxic gases like their incandescent counterparts, which preserves employee health. And because they last longer, LEDs offer fewer opportunities for employees to stand on a chair to replace them – and potentially suffer a workplace injury that could lead to a workers' compensation claim.
  • Log out of and power down computers when not in use. This both conserves energy and lowers the risk of data breaches by limiting access to sensitive data stored on machines or internal networks.
  • Upgrade technology as necessary. Installing newer software can make machines more efficient and is a critical part of avoiding data breaches.
  • Encourage commuting by bicycle. This reduces fossil fuel use and promotes physical health, which can reduce illness and health insurance expenses.
  • Drive efficiently on work trips. Following fuel efficiency guidelines while driving can both reduce energy use and improve safety. Fewer accidents means lower rates on commercial auto or hired and non-owned auto insurance.