Estimated reading time: 8 mins
It is never too late to ‘go green’. Eco-friendliness is a sustainable business tactic. You see, for any of you that thought “going green” would be the kind of buzz-phrase that would come and go quicker Pokemon Go or Fidget-Spinners, we some news for you: “going green” is here to stay. Not only that, but it can benefit your business in more ways than you perhaps considered. As any business leader that took the step to championing a greener approach will tell you, making a business greener is now a key strategy for growth.
To give it to you in a nutshell, by becoming an eco-business, you are benefiting from:
- Reduced overheads
- Increased tax advantages and incentives
- Far better branding
- Attracting and keeping top talent
- Establishing yourself as a thought leader
- A healthier working environment
- And a more sustainable planet
As you can see from this short – and far from complete – list, going green is an impossibly smart business strategy to adopt because it delivers a plethora of rewards. Perception, reality, revenues and market share; these are all improved by a more sustainable approach to your business. But that isn’t all because, in a day and age where information is king and branding are queen, your move toward a greener existence will not only improve your image but show you as an excellent example for others to follow. Not to mention that going green is still a great way to stand out from the competition.
Of course, knowing exactly how you can immediately start to go green is a little harder. Yes, you want to improve your image and land yourself on Newsweek’s Greenest Companies list, however far more important than this is the need to help your bottom line. That is why we have come up with a list of ways in which you can start saving your business money today and do your part for the planet. It’s the change in approach that just keeps giving.
Go With Green Web-Hosting
We thought we should start with something that you probably didn’t know was a thing. But it is. Green IT has been around for a while but green web host companies are now cropping up all over the place and, on top of offering you a great service, they also take part in numerous activities and approaches, all of them designed to improve their green footprint. These include the stuff we read about a lot these days, things like using renewable energy and planting trees as a way of giving back. However, a lot of them also buy carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates, which they then use to reduce the cost of running their servers and infrastructures. This is something that should peak your interest and raise your eyebrows because fewer overheads for them means cheaper rates for you. And that is the case. Most green companies in this area either cost the same or less than their fossil-fuel burning competitors.
Get Yourself An Energy Audit
By getting your business to partake in an energy audit, you will immediately understand what simple changes you can make to your office, while also knowing exactly how much of an effect this will have. That’s what we want to see, right? Cold hard facts and evidence. You may be thinking that means not flushing the loo and changing your lightbulbs, but it goes way deeper than this. Using commercial electricians that have experience in energy management and power factor correction, you could save yourself a huge amount. Just by doing this you could drastically reduce your huge energy bills and prevent any more cables from overheating. The other big area to look into is leaks and cracks. By sealing these up you could well cut twenty percent off your heating and cooling bills, according to the department of energy that is. If you’re still a little hesitant about this, then the good news is most states offer free energy audits. So if that is what is holding you back, well, you’ve got nothing to lose and roughly 20% to gain.
We Mentioned Lightbulbs
Factoids have become so common in today’s fake-news society that it can be hard to know exactly what information is real and what has been pulled out of thin air because it was seen on Facebook with a picture of Albert Einstein next to it. This is certainly the case when it comes to replacing old light bulbs with either CFL or LED ones. Yes, they have a higher purchase price than the incandescent ones that are currently burning a hole in the ozone layer above your office, but they last so much longer and use so much less energy. That makes them better value which, as every business person knows, makes them the better deal. Just switching ten lamps would save you $260 a year, and we bet you probably have a lot more than ten lamps burning away in your office. Let’s say you have 100. That’s a huge saving to be made. Don’t take our word for it, though, use this calculator to find out exactly how much you could be saving your business.
Replace Outdated, High-Energy Appliances
It’s similar to the light bulb argument in the sense that old appliances are outdated and expensive to run, especially when you compare them to their newer and greener versions. Kettles, microwaves, desktops, printers, scanners, fans, air-con units, dishwashers, coffee machines, projectors, TV screens and just about anything else that you use on a day to day basis. You’ve seen how much you can save just by swapping out your light bulbs, so imagine how much you could save if you swapped your one hundred outdated appliances for more energy efficient ones. The best way to assess how much energy and money you will save over time is to look out for Energy Star appliances, which tend to have yellow tags. Once again, the splurge required upfront is nothing compared to economic and environmental savings you will make.
Post-Consumer Waste Is The Future
More and more businesses are trying their best to go paper-free, and they are doing an amazing job too. However, going totally paper-free is extremely hard and, unfortunately, rather unlikely. So if you do have to print, what we recommend you do is use eco-friendly paper. We’re not talking about just looking for the recycling symbol, though, because, as well-intentioned as this is, it is an entirely unregulated designation. What you should be doing to maximize your efforts instead is using PWC paper. This is made out of paper from recycling bins and nothing else, making it the most sustainable option and the best way for you to sell that green branding you have suddenly become interested in. It isn’t just where this paper comes from either, it is the process that makes it such a good option as it uses less than half the energy and creates less than half the waste of standard paper. That’s quite something.
Adopt Alternative Energy
Nowadays, with green-energy being championed with such vigor and widespread support, most places allow you to sign up to use (buy!) green energy from your current energy supplier. All this takes is a quick phone call to whoever your provider is and a couple of questions about how their green energy is generated (what you want to hear back is either wind, solar, geothermal, plant matter or hydropower) and how much this will increase your electric bill. Before you suddenly balk at this concept, it should only rise by a very small percentage and the reason it goes up is to purchase green energy that is then fed into the grid. That’s all.
Encourage A No Car Policy
It is such an odd one this because while people loathe how much cars and trucks and vans pollute the atmosphere, they all hate the idea of departing with their vehicles. In fact, over 86% of people commute to work in a car and of them over 75% drive alone. There are a few ways in which you can counter this problem in your workplace (which you can then pop onto your website to show you are doing all you can to be more sustainable). Hold a “leave your car at home” day once a week, or once a fortnight. Offer to subsidize half of your employee’s public transport cost. Have a parking charge at your place of work. Supply bike locks for anyone that cycles in. If there are people that have to commute by car, then reward those that carpool. Another great way to promote this option is to educate your employees on the benefits of leaving their cars at home, such as health benefits, stress reduction, and environmental reasons.
By following these suggestions you will be able to save your business thousands of dollars each year in bills and overheads, while also making yourself far more attractive to the eco-sensitive world in which we live. Clients, customers, suppliers, investors; all of these will have more of a reason to do business with you. As such, no matter which you choose to use, make sure those you have relationships with know about your new mission to become greener.