~by Tess Pajaron~
Many businesses today are struggling with the idea of changing the way they do things to get on board with green initiatives. It looks like it will cost quite a bit of overhead to get things in place, and the idea of having to train employees on new technologies or procedures can seem overwhelming. What many business owners don’t realize is that there are many benefits to their company going green that may make it worth the transition in a very short time.
Today’s consumer is bombarded with choices about what to eat, wear and buy. Moreover, today’s consumer is very concerned with their own environmental impact and their carbon footprint. When offered a choice between two products, many people are now opting to spend a little bit more to support a company that they feel is socially and environmentally responsible. When you opt not to go green, you can eliminate this entire segment of your market, basically handing potential customers to your competitors that have chosen to go green.
Switching to digital technologies not only reduces use of paper, it means that you can keep a record of absolutely everything that transpires. Emails, memo’s, chat messages, invoices; you name it, it’s backed up on the “Cloud”. There is the added protection of knowing that your data, customer records and record books are all safe in the event of a disaster.
3. Cost Savings
While there may be an initial expense in going green, there will be long-term savings realized when you do. LED lights are expensive, but they last practically forever and use minimal electricity. Going digital will cut down on the money you spend on paper, pens, tape, staples, and other office supplies. Even updating your building with energy efficient products will save you money on your power, water and heating bills.
4. Tax Breaks
This is a big one. There are numerous tax incentives for businesses to go green. Whether it’s a deduction for building improvements or a credit for upgrading a system, this is often where businesses find the most gains. Look into your local tax codes to find out where you might catch a break, and even if your local government can advise you.
As stated above, today’s consumers are interested in finding businesses and products that not only meet their needs, but that share their values of environmental sustainability. Being able to market your business as one that cares about protecting the environment and preserving the earth for future generations can really boost the traffic that you see.
6. Employee Wellness
This one is overlooked by many people. Removing harsh chemicals from any of your products or just from your building maintenance can improve the health of those working around you. Getting rid of harsh overhead lighting, switching to cleaner-burning fuels and many other green processes can actually help your employees to avoid illness and stay positive. Even things like incorporating “walking meetings” can have multiple benefits. It keeps you from using energy resources while sitting in a conference room, while at the same time giving the benefits of exercise to everyone involved.
7. Recruit Fresh Talent
Just like today’s consumer, today’s talent is interested in working for a company that shares their values and makes them feel as though they are contributing to more than just the bottom line. Young graduates will take the job at the green company over a traditional competitor, even for less money. The very fact that they are working for a green company that values the environment over profits is considered a benefit. You can’t go wrong there.
With a background in business administration and management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. She likes to cover stories in careers and marketing.