Consumers are making more informed choices about what they choose to purchase, compared to a decade ago. More people than ever are looking at environmentally friendly products and services in every industry. So, as an entrepreneur, you need to take this shift in attitude seriously.

The simple facts are these. No one will decide to buy your product or service because you actively pursue non-eco-friendly practices. But more people will buy your product or service if you have green credentials. Regardless of your personal thoughts on climate change and the environment, this is a no-brainer—you have to think green.

It’s also imperative that you plan your greener outlook to business right from the off. It can be harder to make these significant changes once you are up and running. Plus, going green can save you money—which is a critical point for all startup owners to consider. There are lots of industries that worry whether going green is truly possible, but it’s a fight we should encourage everyone to join. Let’s take a look at some ideas that you can use to be an environmentally friendly startup.

Click here to read more on practical energy saving tips.

Encourage green best practice

Once you start building your startup team, make sure everyone is onboard with ‘thinking green.’ The people you hire first will often end up setting the agenda for your company culture. So, having an eco-friendly outlook in place from the start will make it much easier to pass on as your business grows.

Focus on energy

Your long-term energy costs will take a significant chunk out of your profits if you don’t think green. Make sure you are doing the simple things, such as turning off lights in unused rooms and powering down computers at the end of the day. You can even save money from being more careful with water. Run regular energy audits, too, to ensure everyone is doing their bit. Some states even offer free energy audits to individuals and small businesses. Contact your local environment department and see if you can get involved.

Go paperless

If you can get away with it, make your company paperless as much as possible. In simple terms, there is no need to use reams of paper every day in the modern business world. There are electronic solutions to almost everything you can think of, from email faxes to meeting apps. There will be times when you need paper, of course—contracts and sensitive legal documents, for example. But you still have a chance to show off your green credentials by only choosing PCW paper. It’s recycled, uses less waste than any other papermaking process, and is made using almost half the energy.

Use green services

There are green services for almost everything these days. You can rent out eco-friendly buildings. You can use a green web host. And, of course, it’s never been easier to recycle everything you use in your business than it is today. You can make smarter buying choices, too. Buy used equipment instead of purchasing expensive, brand new gear. Shop around at your local thrift store for office furniture. And, encourage the use of public transport amongst your team—or start a car share scheme.

Champion the cause

It’s not just your team and employees that you can affect—you can start a campaign for other businesses to get involved with, too. A large part of your startup’s early life will be networking with other people and businesses—and the green angle is a great way to get started.

Measure everything

If you are serious about starting an eco-friendly company, why not make it part of your key performance indicators? Straight away, you will find that measuring your energy and resources will reveal areas for improvement. You’ll be able to set yourself targets for cutting back waste. You can track your progress and the effects of every new initiative. And, of course, you can start making a big noise about how well you are doing – which we will take a look at next.

Shout it out

Given that there are clear benefits of being a green business, it makes sense to make a lot of noise about your successes. As we mentioned before, people are making informed choices about what they buy these days. The green angle is a great marketing tool for any business in any industry. Think about your customer’s thought processes when they make a buying decision between you and a similarly priced rival. If there is little but a cigarette paper between you regarding value, your green credentials might well swing the sale in your favor.

As you can see, there is a broad range of benefits and easy solutions for making your startup green. It makes complete sense, both in financial and marketing terms. Both of which, of course, are vital to the success of any startup!

kerby-macaAuthor: Kerby Maca sleeps and breathes green business. He first got into the green business when he moved into an environmentally friendly workspace.

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