The green movement.
It’s been all the rage for at least a decade now and continues to gain momentum. A very worthy and relevant cause, it’s now considered bad business if a company doesn’t take some responsibility for the footprint it leaves. In a world striving for sustainability, going green means staying competitive.
However every company still needs to make a dollar and therefore an environmental strategy, as a part of a business strategy, needs to make financial and sustainable sense. A ‘green’ strategy should not only benefit the environment and position your business as environmentally responsible but it should also benefit the company’s bottom line.
To achieve this you don’t have to spend a whole heap of your profit on greening up your company. Small policy and procedure things, like placing recycling bins in your office, using recycled paper, becoming as paperless as possible, using solar heating, turning off offices lights and computers, and many more can all make a difference.
You just have to start somewhere and grow the initiatives. No one is too small to have a positive impact!
So to keep pace with the world, your competition, to make your footprint smaller, your difference larger, your chest swell with pride, and the planet breath that little bit easier, don’t delay – go green.
Here are some ideas to help you adapt your workplace scenario and go green!
Be prudent and be spend savvy
Sticking to a strict budget is essential to keeping your business, whatever size, on track. Strategies for saving money are always worth a second look, and with this in mind you should also be looking into how going green, or green initiatives, can save you money and resources in the short, medium and long term.
One way that a business going green can easily save money is by reducing power usage and energy. By switching your old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) lighting in the office or manufacturing plant, you can save up to 70 % on your lighting bills. Converting to a paperless office saves money on paper, printing supplies and storage space. Keeping your office equipment clean and in good condition will ensure it is running more efficiently. When updating equipment or making changes to systems, make sure the new machines have a good energy rating.
Simple measures like these, and many others, represent real savings to a business going green and make a positive difference in the environment as well.
Don’t forget, one way of being a greenie is by telling your suppliers, customers, staff and other contacts that you are taking these measures. It’s great for your profile and will allow you to share your knowledge and collaborate on how to do it even better. You may even win business by taking these measures!
Get the Taxman on your side! Tax Advantages and Incentives
Like most business owners, you are likely to be on the lookout for ways to minimise your taxes and take advantage of any incentives available to those that are seriously about operating in a sustainable way.
Green strategies often equal tax credits or deductions. The federal government offers businesses tax credits for new renewable energy systems based on wind, solar or geothermal power and the double whammy of this is that renewable energy delivers savings far into the future by reducing your bills. Many states and regional entities also offer their own incentives for energy efficiency so you can benefit twice from the same action. The decision to power your company with a sustainable source of energy is a simple matter of doing the math. It might be an upfront cost initially but you could find it pays for itself pretty quickly. If you need the capital to set it up, often loans and grants with good rates due to the nature of the work being done (environmentally sustainable) can be secured.
Building Your Brand as an Environmental Warrior
Research shows that plenty of consumers prefer to do business with organisations, service providers and manufacturers that share their values and have an active and authentic social conscious. The days of taking and not giving back are gone.
By demonstrating a genuine concern for the environment via real actions, your business can inspire customer loyalty that will likely result in growing sales and business referrals. Spread the word that your business is going green. Tell people what you are doing on your website and through the magic of social media. Ask for advice on what else you can do and consult with other businesses that you feel are doing it well. When people see your business is taking the initiative on sustainability, your brand will resonate and your bottom line will swell.
Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
Hiring and keeping top talent and good staff is very important if you want to save costs, be an industry leader and build your business. It is also equally important to have a good relationship with your contractors and suppliers to ensure you can always deliver on your side of the bargain to your end consumer.
One way to attract and retain great staff, contractors and suppliers is by going green. Like your customers, many of your employees and other people whom are involved in the running of your business strive to be environmentally responsible too. Therefore they want to be a part of, and will be loyal, to a workplace that demonstrates the same concerns and is genuine in their commitment to sustainability.
The choices made in everyday business decisions, from recycled paper towels in the restrooms to Fair Trade coffee in the break room, appeal to environmentally conscious job applicants. Once they come on board, you can include them in your firm’s green crusade. This will engender high staff morale and satisfaction, a salary cant buy feeling. Less need for recruitment and staff training due to high turnover benefits the bottom line and saves you money – adding to your positive environmental impact. Being able to say this out loud and proud adds to your credibility. All in all, if what you say is real, the benefits are too!
Position your company as progressive and a forward thinker
By pursing an environmental strategy, you are able to communicate to all those associated with you, that you are progressive, forward thinking, genuinely dedicated to effecting positive change and that you care about more than just your bottom line.
By continuing your green crusade, you are also demonstrating that you are business savvy enough to not only make this positive impact but that you can balance this with good business practice and a healthy bottom line.
This positions you as an industry leader and an organisation to work for, do business with and be a customer of. Industry leaders are the future so be one and don’t forget to tell people about it so they remember.
Be a greenie – sustainability is the future
The most compelling reason for making your business greener is helping the planet last longer, be better and healthier so we can all retain the amazing quality of life it has so far provided.
The state of the earth affects every kind of life, from endangered species to CEOS. Because sustainable alternatives are readily available to thought-leading companies, it makes good sense to put them into practice.
Creating an ethos of genuine concern and sustainability that permeates your business culture is a huge undertaking that requires long term commitment and innovative thinking. As a business owner, you have the chance to participate and design this in a way that makes financial sense for your company.
Creating environmental sustainability in your business for now and into the future is a smart business strategy that delivers a number of diverse of rewards.
Communicating that you care about the environment using online forums like your home page, social media platforms and blog will benefit your brand and company profile.
If you don’t do it, one of your competitors will – so go green!
Blogs read and referenced in the writing of this blog.