This is a guest post by Stacey Cooper, a business consultant and a contributor on bizzmark blog, with interests in small business, finances and green business.
Beside the fact that it’s good for the environment, running a green business is also great for your business’ bottom line.
Cutting down on waste and preserving resources saves money, and there are various simple things you can do to operate a business that’s environmentally friendly, whether you run an off-site enterprise or a home-based business.
A 2014 global survey has shown that about 55 percent of consumers are willing to pay higher prices for services and goods from manufacturers that engage in environmentally-friendly business practices. A 2013 research by Cone Communications said that more than 70% of Americans consider the environment when they shop, as opposed to 66% in 2008.
When people think about what it means to be environmentally friendly, recycling is what usually pops into mind first. It is important, but it’s only one part of the equation. By “greening” your business, you are helping the environment, but if you advertise your business practices as green, they must be genuine
How to Become a Green Business
1. Reduce Water Usage.
The past few years have been the driest ones ever recorded in western North America. As a result, a very stringent water rationing has been enacted by many municipalities.
However, reducing your water usage is an obvious way to conserve a valuable resource and save money, no matter if your business is located in a drought-stricken area or not.
You can do it by fixing your plumbing leaks and dripping taps, and installing low-flow toilets and faucet aerators. Make sure that the washers in on-site laundry facilities are low-water and Energy Star rated.
As for cleaning jobs, you can avoid using a hose connected to a tap, but a high-efficiency pressure washer.
2. Go Green with Cleaning Products.
Many of those familiar office scents, the “nice-and-clean” smells, are toxic to both the environment and your body.
Replace bathroom cleaners, hand and dish soaps, and window cleaners with green cleaning products. Many of them are concentrated and will definitely save you money in the long run, even though they may seem pricey.
Reduction in allergic reactions, increased clarity, and improved health are some of the benefits that tell us it’s a really small price to pay for a healthier environment and running a green business.
3. No More Addictions to Convenience.
It’s your job, as a business leader, to break the cycle.
According to NationMaster, North Americans still manage to produce more garbage than anyone else, even though many believe that they are good at recycling.
To continue reducing waste, people must overcome the addiction to single-use and throwaway products, such as single-use coffee cups. Provide recycle bins, encourage employees to bring their own water bottles and cups, and convert to warm-air hand dryers in washrooms and kitchens.
Your kitchen waste should be composted and picked up by local farmers and municipal recycling.
4. Recycle and Reuse.
Used plastics, glass, and old paper often get tossed into the trash bin. Instead of doing that, an in order to become a green business, ask around about the recycling program in your community.
Anything that can be recycled can be reused, from plastics and aluminum to furniture. Waste generators conduct the waste classification, so the material can further be reused in different industries.
Waste Classification Guidelines have been developed by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and are a step-by-step process of waste classification.
5. Energy Saving.
Switching to CFLs (energy-efficient compact fluorescents) and T5 or T8 linear fluorescents in your office can cut your energy use by up to 75%.
LED lights consume much less energy and don’t contain toxic gases like incandescent bulbs.
They are a bit pricier, but last about 5 times longer than other light bulbs. Also, urge your employees to turn their tech equipment off at night, and install energy management software for a green business.
6. Teach Employees to Think Green.
Green up your company culture, and encourage your employees to comply. Ask for their opinions on possible ways to enhance your service in line with your green business mission.
Value their input and ideas, and they will embrace the company’s new policy.
Once people realize that you’re serious about doing the right thing for the environment, your credibility will rise.
These implemented sustainable measures can be used as leverage with your clients, save you money, and are the right thing to do. Go green as far as you can. If, at any point, it seems like there’s no more road ahead of you, innovate and create new ways.