Green initiatives are a growing trend in both big and small businesses. Green initiatives mean different things to different individuals and/or organizations, but it all boils down to reducing environmental impact. Examples include, but are not limited to, reducing energy use, switching to clean energy technologies, reducing water use or eliminating unnecessary waste.
“Going green” has somewhat of a negative connotation when it comes to business practices. There’s a misconception that it’s somewhat of a burden, expensive and will cut into profits. That may be true for the immediate short term due to potential upfront impact investing, but going green has a number of benefits in the long run that extend beyond doing the right thing for the world.
Ways to Go Green and Also Help your Business
So how can your business work on going green without being pulled under by major changes and investments? Here are seven ways that can make a big difference to both the environment and your business.
1. Assess Current Company Operations
Before embarking on any green initiative, companies must look at how they are operating and where the company’s environmental impact currently stands. This inherently requires an internal audit, particularly that of operational costs and other expenses.
2. Reduce Energy Consumption
Reducing energy consumption is the most cost effective way to go green. Energy use can be incredibly expensive for a business and there are a number of ways to cut energy use by going green specifically.
- Use energy efficient LED light bulbs. LED light bulbs can last up to 20 years and approximately 30% less energy than incandescent light bulbs.
- Purchase energy efficient office equipment. The upfront costs may be a tough investment to swallow, but the long term utility savings should more than make up for them. Look for ENERGYSTAR-rated appliances.
- Program your thermostats. Set the temperature settings only when people are actively working in the office – the air or heat doesn’t need to be running when nobody is there.
- Turn off lights when they are not being used. This seems like a no brainer, but turning off the lights in restrooms, kitchens, and breakrooms when nobody is in there adds up over time.
- Turn off equipment at the end of the day. This means turning off any computers, printers, etc that aren’t being used. Plugged in electronics still consume energy.
3. Take Advantage of Tax Credits
Green initiative tax credits are available for businesses that implement specific changes. Do some research and see if your business qualifies.
4. Go Paperless
Switch from paper forms and copies to electronics. Everybody is online these days and nobody likes keeping track of paper. This is a win win!
5. Install Water Dispensing Systems
Get rid of plastic water bottles by installing purified water dispensing systems. This not only saves on water bottle costs, but significantly cuts back on single use plastic pollution, which is becoming a major problem in today’s world.
Being an eco-friendly business is becoming increasingly more important among young consumers. By implementing green initiatives you can then market your business to millennials and GenZ who tend to be heavy spenders. A 2015 report by Nielson found that 66% of global consumers are willing to spend more on sustainable goods compared to 73% of millennials.
7. Allow for Telecommuting
Technology has made telecommuting incredibly easy. Allowing employees to telecommute when possible saves the company utility costs because they are using their own electricity at home, but also saves the employee money on gas and transport. This also contributes to cleaner air. It’s a win-win-win!
The Next Step in Green Initiatives
Implementing green initiatives into your business can seem like a no-win situation, but the points above should give you a good start towards doing just that. When you’re ready to take the next step, contact Transformation LLC. We’re in the business of helping your business grow, while making a deep, positive impact on our world for years to come.