When environmental issues first hit the headlines back in the late 1970s the concept of going green was alien to most businesses. Since then, the world has pulled together and created all kinds of initiatives and programs to help reduce carbon footprints and the amount of waste sent to landfill.
Schemes range from a simple paper recycling bin in offices through to full scale carbon offsetting for large manufacturers. However, going green is not simply good for the planet – here’s why it’s good for business too:
With an increasing percentage of consumers choosing to only buy organic produce and recycled paper goods, there has never been a better time to shout about your company’s green credentials. Whether you have adopted a policy of only using sustainable materials in your production or gone for something a little simpler like car-pooling on the way to work – people want to hear that their potential suppliers are taking environmental issues seriously.
One of the best methods of making the public aware of your commitment to environmental issues is with a press release. Prepare a statement that leads with the changes that you have made in your business and outlines your reasoning. Include quotes that outline your personal feelings about green business practices and finish off with the differences the move has made both to you and your customers.
Save money and resources
There is a myth that customers pay more for sustainable energy generation and product manufacture. In fact, many modern day technologies such as air source heat pumps have the ability to provide your business premises with heat all through the year whilst reducing your overall heating costs by up to 66%. The price of solar PV has dropped considerably over the years, with the set up cost of most installations being covered in the first 5-7 years of usage.
There’s even the potential for businesses to make money with the feed in tariff applicable to electricity generated from solar panels. Not only is this a sustainable method of powering your company’s lights and appliances, but the government will also pay you a set rate for every kilowatt of excess energy you produce.
Creating new business opportunities
An increasing number of larger organisations now require their supplier to demonstrate a commitment to environmental issues, including sustainable sourcing and waste reduction. Many tender application forms have specific sections that request proof of your company’s green policies and procedures.
By implementing ISO 14001 you are pre-qualified for many business tenders and contracts, with this international management system verifying your green credentials. Additionally, it is one of the best accreditations when it comes to showing your customers and stakeholders that you are taking ecological issues seriously.
Building a better future
Using clean and sustainable forms of energy is likely to set your business ahead of the pack, but it also helps support renewable providers. Your revenue is used to create profits that can fund additional developments ranging from increased solar panel farms through to massive ventures like offshore windfarms, which even now are beginning to replace North Sea oil and gas production.
In all walks of life there are early adopters whose actions spur others into contribution. By implementing green policies and procedures into your business there’s a very good chance you’ll inspire others into similar actions. Don’t be surprised if you see both your supporters and competitors following your lead.
Whether or not you decide to implement green energy generation for your business, you can still get involved with many other environmentally conscious activities. There are many recyclable materials used by all businesses, including many plastics that specialist companies reprocess for use and even old office furniture could be free-cycled through the web.
There are even energy savings to be made in day to day activities. If you have a delivery driver make sure that you are sending them on the shortest possible route to cut down on your fossil fuel consumption and on a sunny day why not open the windows or even work outside, rather than running the energy guzzling air conditioning unit?
All it takes is a little attention to the details and forethought and you can make your business greener very easily and quickly. There’s also so many suppliers out there now with a commitment to sustainability, it’s possible to support other businesses that care about environmental issues without paying over the odds.