A business going green benefits not only the environment but also the company’s own bottom line. If you haven’t taken steps to make your business greener, you are missing out on a key strategy for growth. You may believe that going green is just another short-lived trend or that your business is too small to make a difference. However, in a world striving for sustainability, going green means staying competitive.
You need not spend a ton on greening your company. You can easily get started with measures as small as placing recycling bins in your break room. In any case, don’t procrastinate. To keep pace with your customers and your industry, start going green now. Following are seven compelling reasons to join the green crusade.
1. Saving Money
Sticking to a strict budget is essential to keeping your small business on track. Strategies for saving money are always worth a second look, so you should be looking into going green. One way that a business going green can easily save money is by minimizing power usage. 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 percent on your lighting bills, according to Energy Star. Converting to a paperless office saves money on paper, printing supplies and file cabinets. Lots of measures like these represent real savings to a business going green and make a positive difference in the environment as well. Also, by sharing your best savings strategies in a series of blogs on your website, you can connect with environmentally conscious readers who may become customers.
2. Tax Advantages and Incentives
Like most business owners, you are likely to be on the lookout for ways to minimize your taxes, too. 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. The credit covers 30 percent of the cost for an installed system. As we both know, renewable energy delivers savings far into the future too. Many states and regional entities offer their own incentives for energy efficiency. The decision to power your company with a sustainable source of energy is a simple matter of doing the math.
3. Building Brand
Research shows that plenty of consumers prefer to do business with merchants, service providers and manufacturers that share their values. By keying into concern for the environment, you inspire customer loyalty that will likely result in growing sales. Spread the word that your firm is going green on your website and through the magic of social media. When people see your business is taking the initiative on sustainability, your brand will gain traction and your profits will grow.
4. Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
Hiring and keeping top talent is critical if you aim to become a leader in your industry. According to Forbes, your firm must stand out in a big way to attract the best employees. Believe it or not, one way to do this is going green. Like your customers, your employees want to be environmentally responsible, so they naturally prefer to join a workplace that demonstrates the same concerns. When your home page, About Us page or blog proudly declares you value sustainability, potential employees with similar concerns are sure to take notice.
The choices you make, 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 mission. Before you know it, your production and staff satisfaction levels are through the roof.
5. Positioning to Be a Thought Leader
By going green, your firm can set the standard for your entire industry. For example, Pepsi devotes major space on its website to chronicling its journey toward sustainability. Other beverage bottlers must follow suit to remain competitive. U.S. industries, including automakers like Ford, are establishing supply chain sustainability, taking responsibility not only for their own factories but also for the sources of their materials. Because these organizations publicize their efforts, they position themselves as leaders in the ongoing fight for sustainability.
You can institute groundbreaking practices, too, and get a jump on your competition. By keeping your customers and social media followers in the loop, you can differentiate your firm from the others, placing it in the limelight.
6. Providing a Healthier Work Environment
It’s one thing to align your firm with employee values, but ensuring your facility is a healthy place to work shows your staff you really care. Maybe employees are taking more sick days than in the past, they complain of headaches or have little energy. Addressing pollutants like new carpet fumes, chemicals and stale air with improved ventilation may help. A healthier staff is more productive, energetic and innovative. Remind your employees of your concern for their wellbeing in a monthly online newsletter, email or on your website.
7. Contributing to the Sustainability of the Planet
The most compelling reason for making your business greener is helping the planet become greener. 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 without delay.
Creating critical sustainability is a huge undertaking that requires all hands on deck. As a business owner, you have the tools to do your part. Going green now is a smart business strategy that delivers a multitude of rewards, from higher revenues to market share. Communicating that you care about the environment using online forums like your home page, social media pages and blog will benefit your brand while offering an excellent example to others.